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NDP MP pays homage to Layton with a hockey mask

The hockey mask owned by Winsor NDP MP Briane Masse.

Handout/Brian Masse/Handout/Brian Masse

The hockey players clear out of town Sunday and the MPs are back in on Monday. And one them, Brian Masse, will return armed with a goalie mask the envy of those NHL All-Stars. Hockey fans and stars are descending on Ottawa for the NHL All-Star weekend. The all-star game will be played Sunday.

The NDP MP from Windsor, who is playing in nets for his caucus in its weekly recreational hockey game, had a professionally-painted mask created for him over the Christmas break.

It pays homage to the NDP's late leader, Jack Layton, as well as to the iconic Tommy Douglas. It also features the NDP Superman logo that has been trademarked by a constituent of Sudbury NDP MP Glenn Thibeault.

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It was painted by a former autoworker, Dan Lessard, who had been laid off from General Motors, and then decided to go into his own business. He is also a tattoo artist.

For the past couple of decades, Mr. Lessard, who lives in a nearby riding, has been painting these masks for NHL players, including goalie Curtis Joseph.

It took him 20 hours; typically his masks range in price from $800 to $1500.

"Thought I would share, as every once in awhile it's nice to have fun in politics!" wrote Mr. Masse in an email.

Topp-spin

We know that he's a good kisser. But we had to hear that from his good friend, actor and comedian Peter Keleghan on a .

It was a joke – and the first in what the NDP front-running leadership candidate's team is promising is a series of YouTube endorsements.

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This week's instalment is not as humorous. Mr. Topp's wife, Rebecca Elbourne and their two sons, Simon, 16, and Alex, 14, talk for about what a great Dad and husband he is. There is no mention of kissing.

Rather, his boys talk, somewhat sarcastically, about his "lectures" on "random facts of historicalness" and more seriously how he encourages them to pursue their passions.

His wife, Rebecca, says he looks "for the best in people" and that he supported her efforts at going back to school for a graduate degree.

It's all very folksy and natural, and it gives a little insight into Mr. Topp. As a backroom strategist, he's never really been in the public eye – unlike the MPs who are running against him for the leadership.

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About the Author
Ontario politics reporter

Jane Taber is a reporter at Queen’s Park. After spending three years reporting from the Atlantic, she has returned to Ontario and back to writing about her passion, politics. She spent 25 years covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. More

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