Canada's first lady returns to her roots
Undaunted by snow in June, townsfolk lined the streets Saturday as Laureen Teskey Harper returned to her old stomping grounds for the annual Diamond Valley parade.
Bundled in a long coat and mittens to ward off the cold, Harper, the parade's grand marshal, led an array of floats, bands and marchers through the streets of Black Diamond.
"It's lovely to be home,"said Harper, who was born in nearby Turner Valley and grew up in the area. Her parents were ranchers and own an electrical contracting company there. "I love it, no matter what the weather is."
Mounted on Stormy, a black quarter-horse, and wearing boots and a cowboy hat, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife waved to children and called out greetings to old friends.
The Conservatives secret weapon is Laureen Harper. She is smart, independent, had her own business, and people just naturally gravitate towards her. She is a feminist in the true sense of the word. She is strong minded enough to do well on her own. She is confident enough to enjoy being a stay at home Mom, who makes the kids lunches. She is a loving partner to the Prime Minister willing to help and support him without thinking it diminishes her in any way. I suspect Steven Harper the man, is totally wrapped around her little finger.
I know this article is dated, but it gives a bit of a picture of the history of their relationship. It's a good Sunday afternoon read.
The quick -- and shrewd -- rescue is typical of Harper, who since her arrival in the nation's capital five years ago has become one of the nation's most intriguing political spouses. She arrived Laureen Teskey, a folksy, motorcycle-riding Albertan refreshingly unstudied in Ottawa mores. She joked about the "mucky-mucks" and drank beer from the bottle. Post-2006 election, she's been retrofitted. Now she's Laureen Harper. A photographic essay of life at 24 Sussex Drive in the July Chatelaine could be postcards sent from 1956. Harper, who ran a thriving business after having her two children, appears to be channelling Donna Reed as played by Ellen Barkin. She revels in her role as stay-at-home mom to Ben, 11, and Rachel, 8, boasting that there's no nanny, she makes the kids' lunches and that the Harpers are just an "average Canadian family." Her only public cause -- fostering homeless cats for the Humane Society -- is similarly heartwarming and unassailable, though the recent addition of 11 kittens rescued after a fire at a Cornwall, Ont., animal shelter adds credence to 24 Sussex's new nickname, the Cat Palace.
If I had daughters, I would hope that they would look at Laureen as a great role model.