An occasional advice column, this time by David Martin alias Ms. Canuck, helping fellow Canadians with their troubles.

DEAR MS. CANUCK

Dear Ms. Canuck:

I’m writing because I hope you can help. You see my husband has been demonstrating some strange sartorial habits of late. It seems any time we travel abroad, he insists on dressing up in local costumes. Just recently on our trip to India, he donned about half a dozen East Indian outfits. It’s getting to be a bit embarrassing. What can I do to help him kick this habit?

Sophie in Ottawa

Dear Sophie in Ottawa,

It does sound like your husband has a problem but I wouldn’t worry too much unless he starts choosing female costumes. For the moment, you might just remind him that there are likely lots of problems that need his attention at home and maybe he should ease up on the globetrotting for now.

Ms. Canuck


Dear Ms. Canuck:

I am a very important person in Ottawa and I pride myself on my ability to achieve sunny ways. Lately, however, two of my western friends have been fighting over, of all things, a pipeline. Usually I can solve such a problem with a cute saying and a smile. But lately I seem to have lost my touch. What should I do?

Just in Ottawa

Dear Just:

Kudos to you for your sunny ways but sometimes you have to actually take some action. When it comes to pipelines, I’ve always found that it’s best to adopt a strong position right from the outset. By doing so, you may lose a friend but you will undoubtedly win some votes. If you wait too long, however, you may lose both friends and a whole bunch of votes.

Ms. Canuck


Dear Ms. Canuck:

I’m really down in the dumps. I’m the leader of an important federal party and I want to become prime minister but nobody seems to know who I am. How can I increase my profile?

Scheer Futility

Dear Futility:

Sorry; if I don’t know who you are, I can’t really help you. Have you considered creating a political platform?

Ms. Canuck


Dear Ms. Canuck:

I am a very caring provincial leader but for some reason my polling numbers are really low and I’m feeling down in the dumps. I really can’t figure it out since I’ve been handing out electoral goodies like crazy and if one of my opponents promises something, I just double it. You’d think that would make me popular but it’s not working. Help!

Liberal Toronto spender

Dear Liberal spender:

It sounds like you’ve got a winning political formula there. The only reason I can think of as to why it may not be working is that you and your predecessor have been using it over and over again for years. If that’s the case, you might want to try a healthy dose of a remedy I call “honesty.” It may not get you re-elected but I guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself.

Ms. Canuck


Dear Ms. Canuck:

I’m looking to become the next premier of a really big province but I’m worried that I might screw it up. I’m way ahead in the polls but we’ve been in that position before and still managed to lose. I’ve got some great rightwing ideas I’m just itching to share with the voters. How can I get my message out there?

A Ford not a Lincoln

Dear Not a Lincoln:

Sometimes when you’ve got an itch, it’s best not to scratch it. If you’re way ahead in the polls, the worst thing you can do is to share your ideas. That can only get you in trouble. Take a hint from one of my other advice seekers who answers everything with a cute saying and a smile. Barring that, you can always model yourself after Donald Trump.

Ms. Canuck