Although I have yet to be personally invited to the Prime Minister’s official residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, as a partial owner (one-thirty-three-millionth of it is mine as a taxpayer) I feel I have a stake in how it’s managed. It’s scandalous that the wiring hasn’t been updated since the 1950s and the entire structure is in need of a complete overhaul. I do find those portable air conditioners hanging from the third floor windows a bit unsightly but considering the home has no insulation, I can sympathize. I favour renovation rather than a tear-down as I really don’t want some new post-modern McMansion overlooking the river. We kinda like the old limestone homestead.
Now, in the true Canadian spirit of Dudley Doright riding up on his shiny black Mountie horse, professional fixer-uppers Mike Holmes and Brian Baeumler have stepped up to the plate and offered to do the work as part of a television series. Call in Scott McGillivray and we have an über-hunk trifecta guaranteed to git ‘er done, done right, on time and on budget. They’ve already proven it hundreds of times. Add Brian Gluckstein to the mix for the interior design and we’d have a dream team that would create something that would garner world-wide attention and praise. If Justin and the missus pitched in a few hours of free labour the work would go even faster.
The possibilities are intoxicating. Mike, Brian and Scott understand and have built to sensitive environmental and energy standards. They’re sticklers for building to code or even exceeding it. They have a support network of resources second to none. After all, they have done amazing things in only half an hour on television. And if Brian Gluckstein did the interiors, it would never go out of fashion and 24 Sussex would be eternally tasteful for entertaining foreign and local dignitaries.
All levels of government are notoriously inept at managing construction projects. Just look at the ridiculous pace of highway repairs and construction, the Gardiner Expressway fiasco, Ontario gas plants and the “Bridge to Nowhere” as perfect examples. I’m sure the National Capital Commission has numerous stories of shame and mismanagement that we never even hear about. Bring on our own team of Canuck-hunks and just watch them whip old 24 Sussex into shape. It would be a source of national pride, built to code, energy-efficient, family-friendly, showcasing Canadian materials and workmanship and restoring our national pride. Heck, I’ll bet we could even include a granny flat for Maggie who’s getting up there and will probably soon need a little help (after all, she’s my age), a fumoir (wink, wink) and a legal basement apartment for some refugees. And it could all be done before Justin’s daughter becomes Prime Minister. Just say the word, Justin. Make the call.