Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Eating up the Hill: Canada-USA and Beautiful British Columbia

Tonight was a light night on the Hill social circuit. With the long week starting to catch up with an old guy like me, I bypassed receptions by a health care lobby and a major union and made just two stops: the Canada-USA Parliamentary Association annual meeting and the Wonderful Wednesday British Columbia reception.

First up was the Canada-USA Parliamentary Association meeting, in one of the meeting rooms in Centre Block. After ensuring the MPs and Senators had ample first pass at the snack table, I wandered over to sample the goods on offer.

Many of the events on Parliament Hill use Parliament's catering service, so you get to see some of the same items regularly. For example, my favoured rye cranberry crips from Canada-Europe the night before were pack, and I again enjoyed them with some cheese.

I complemented my fancy cheese and crackers with a beef slider (a tad dry, truth be told -- could have used some cajun ketchup) and a phylo pastry stuffed with cheese. I also noticed for the first time that Parliament has its own Peace Tower-branded wines -- red and white. I don't know if the Speaker does a selection like he does with the whiskey or bottles it himself, but I shall investigate for future installments.

With the AGM business in hand, I headed out the Hall of Honour and down the front steps of Centre Block (always an inspiring walk, especialy at night) and went across Wellington to the Sir John A. Macdonald building for the British Columbia reception. It was good to see many of my BC compadres and be greeted at the bar by a selection of BC's finest, including the hipster-favourite Lucky Lager.

Not being a beer drinker, I opted for a glass of Pinot Noir and wandered over to check out some of the snack tables,, which were plentiful and offered a wide variety of BC-inspired cuisine.

The sushi was popular but, like beer and coffee, I'm not a fan. There was also a stir fry station and carvery, because in the interior we BCers know our beef. I insead opted for some more cheese and a healthy helping of dumplings, which we BCers know as well. They were coldish, but still delicious with a selection of sauces. I may have missed the smoked salmon, or perhaps that would have been just too steretypical BC.

Premier Clark was due to speak, but she didn't take the podium before I began to fade and decided to  head for home. The evening social calendar is clear Thursday, so it will be leftover spagetti for me.

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