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Is this how they spend the working mans money?
Monday, February 4, 2008 at 11:20:20 AM

NDP Leader Jack Layton has gathered his MPs to plot policy and election strategy for a possible spring vote.

The theme of their caucus? "To make life more affordable for hard-working Canadians," the party claims.

The site of their conference? Chateau Montebello, a posh, high-priced resort east of Ottawa that has played host to world leaders, most recently an August meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexico President Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

"With economic uncertainty emerging as a predominant concern amongst ordinary Canadians, the NDP is re-doubling its efforts to make life more affordable for today's families," Layton said in a statement.

Given that affordability is the theme of the meeting, the choice of venue has raised a few eyebrows. Montebello boasts that it is "an exceptional resort famed for its rugged luxury.

"Here, in a stunning red cedar log château, you'll experience rustic elegance and a warm welcome," the resort's website says.

When they are not tied up in meetings, NDP MPs can partake in cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and relax at the resort's new spa that offers "inspiring treatments such as Maple Body Scrub or a Natural Rice Body Polish."

If the party was worried by appearances, a Holiday Inn might have been a more appropriate choice.