Plane Talk: Rodger Cuzner and the political ‘entertainment tax’

Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner in conversation with Tom Clark on entertainment taxes, growing up in Cape Breton, his love for hockey and his favourite song.

Even high above Ottawa in Tom Clark’s Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Rodger Cuzner is a comedic force to be reckoned with.

“I’m a regular Marc Garneau here,” the Liberal MP from Cape Breton joked as he took the controls of the tiny plane (Garneau’s own flight experience, for anyone wondering, includes several trips to space).

While reading poetry in the House of Commons or cracking jokes at the expense of his caucus-mates are par for the course with Cuzner, he told Clark that being class clown can come at a cost. House leader Dominic Leblanc calls it the “entertainment tax,” he said.

WATCH: Rodger Cuzner recites his annual Christmas poem in 2015 in the House of Commons

Rodger Cuzner’s Annual Christmas Poem
Rodger Cuzner’s Annual Christmas Poem


“You know, you’re dismissed as a guy that isn’t taken seriously,” Cuzner explained.

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“But I think I’ve worked hard enough on the issues that I’ve been involved with as a parliamentarian that people—I think I’ve earned the confidence of the people in my riding.”

WATCH: Rodger Cuzner’s comedic account of  Justin Trudeau’s boxing match against Sen. Patrick Brazeau.

Rodger Cuzner’s The Thrilla on the Hilla
Rodger Cuzner’s The Thrilla on the Hilla


Cuzner said one of the most surreal aspects of his job has been meeting famous figures like Nelson Mandela, but that there is also a lot to be learned from average people.

“You get to meet so many special people, and so many just average Canadians that do very special things,” he said.

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Watch the extended Plane Talk interview with Rodger Cuzner above.