OTTAWA — Ex punk rocker NDP MP Charlie Angus is criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for having the Great Dominion’s preeminent political portraitist paint his portrait in his office on Parliament Hill; in violation of rules that prevent MPs from using parliamentary resources to leverage celebrity portraitists like Court Painter to advance their political ambitions.
The portraits reveals the prime minister in his Centre Block offices lit by a single overhead bulb. He was overheard to say to Court Painter,“You are at the heart of a great portrait tradition and movement in the Great Dominion— and you know what’s at stake, that’s why I’m asking you to paint my face for the enjoyment of tens of thousands of Canadians who have tweeted in support of my awarding you this prestigious commission.”
The Prime Ministers Office posted a special link to the Court Painter website, where art fans are asked to make donations to his retirement fund.
The problem is that members of Parliament are governed by strict rules about keeping their parliamentary work separate from fundraising for Court Painter. According to the members by-law of the board of internal economy, which governs the House of Commons, parliamentary premises like Centre Block can’t be used for funding activities, including “solicitations of contributions and solicitations of donations especially for portrait painter grifters.”
Ex punk rocker Angus said painting the portrait in the prime minister’s office was a “bush league” move from someone who should have known better. “He knows the rules. This is not rookie backbencher activity. This is the prime minister of the country,” he said. “He seems to believe that because he’s Justin Trudeau, prime minister, rules don’t apply.”
Trudeau was overheard murmuring under his breath “So whats your point?”
Court Painter in a fit of staged rage emphasized that the portrait was painted using his own paints,brushes,canvas, easel and 100 watt bulb for illumination of the subject : not with parliamentary art supplies or equipment.”I am just an occasional tax paying, hard working portrait painting senior practitioner trying to enhance reputation and resume and don’t appreciate an ex punk rocker who never had a hit record , criticize my means of livelihood by bringing up some cockamamy rules meant for those not in power.” The PM could be heard clapping warmly in the foreground!
Ex punk rocker Angus said he plans to send a letter or maybe a tweet to the board of internal economy asking for a review of the portraits before Court Painter starts selling reproductions and fridge magnets containing the images…… at loss leader prices!