Winter Holidays 2019: We asked the party leaders for their favourite Xmas movies and what they'd give each other for Christmas

Winter Holidays 2019: We asked the party leaders for their favourite Xmas movies and what they’d give each other for Christmas

It's the season for lighthearted frivolity, and so QP Briefing is leaning into the spirit of the time too.

We put three questions to each of the party leaders to learn their favourite Christmas movie, a memorable Christmas-season story, and what they'd give one another for the big day.

Here's what we learned.

Favourite Christmas movie

Green Leader Mike Schreiner chose the 1983 classic A Christmas Story, which he noted was filmed in Toronto and is set in Cleveland, where his wife is from.

No one was around to triple dog dare this reporter to point out another similarity between Schreiner and the main character Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath also went with the Toronto classic, citing the famous line, "You'll shoot your eye out!"

"Enough said," Horwath said.

Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser went with the perennial holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life.

It was unclear why he identified with a film about a man who sees his best efforts and aspirations go to waste until he succumbs to the mounting pressure of extended finances and finds grace in not taking his surroundings for granted. But he told QP Briefing he likes the Jimmy Stewart film directed by Frank Capra that went underappreciated in its day, so there's that.

Premier Doug Ford has always had a playful boyish streak to him, and that was clear in his movie choice. He went with the 1964 TV movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which first aired just over two weeks after he was born.

Between Sam the Snowman, prospector Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snowman, the premier knows an all-star team when he sees it.

Favourite holiday season anecdote

Schreiner told QPB a story about how during a particularly mild winter a few years ago he and his daughter canoed in a river that you normally can't canoe during that time of year.

People along the riverbank took photos and turned it into Facebook posts and it was memorable for all involved. It's also a quintessential Schreiner story, as it combines Kansas wholesomeness with a connection to the environment.

Fraser went back to nature with his story too. He shared a story about Bam-Bam, a deer that an Ottawa family found on the side of the road and kept in contravention of the law. It was then confiscated by the Ministry of Natural Resources in December 2006, which caused a public outcry. Fraser, who then worked in Dalton McGuinty's constituency office, had to deal with the fallout, which included a 12,000-person strong petition that newly-minted MPP Lisa MacLeod led. Ultimately Bam-Bam was returned to the family just before Christmas, with Premier Dad playing the role of Santa.

Speaking of dad stories, Horwath shared memories of her father, who always made sure the family got a real tree, whether it was off a lot or a tree farm. He'd take the kids to get it, giving her mom "a well-deserved break."

"It seemed that regardless of the source, our trees often looked at risk of toppling. My dad’s solution: strategically placed finishing nails and fishing line," she said.

Some things never change.

Ford's favourite seasonal memory is a bit more quotidian, saying, "I was delivering papers with my mom right around Christmas Day and just remember how beautiful the snow fell that morning."

A season for giving

Lastly, QPB asked each of the party leaders what they would give each other for Christmas.

Schreiner said he would give his counterparts a trademark green tie, or a scarf for Horwath if that's her preference.

Fraser said he'd give Schreiner a red tie, or maybe a red and green tie. "I work so well with him," he added. For Horwath, he'd like to gift her something a bit more unattainable. "I'd like to get her a Grey Cup," he quipped, a reference to Hamilton's recent loss in the big game to Winnipeg. Fraser said he'd give Ford a copy of the Dale Carnegie self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Ford said he'd give Fraser a Mini-Cooper given that the Liberals can now downsize from a minivan. Schreiner would receive a unicycle. And departing from the transportation theme, he'd give Horwath a copy of the Ace of Base album Happy Nation featuring their hit single "The Sign," a nod to NDP MPP Joel Harden.

Horwath continued the transportation theme, saying she'd give Ford a toy van with a miniature TV and captains' chairs. For Fraser, a beaver tail with the works, to remind him of home. And Schreiner would get some carbon offsets, so he can go south to get some sun.

—With files from Jack Hauen

David Hains

QP Briefing Reporter

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