POLITICS

Former Manitoba premier Gary Doer's portrait unveiled in provincial legislature

05/10/2012 11:53 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT
WINNIPEG - Former Manitoba premier Gary Doer will now have a permanent presence in the legislature.

A portrait of Doer, 64, was unveiled Thursday in a committee room where portraits of other former premiers are hung. The portrait shows Doer in front of the legislature rotunda in a navy blue suit and tie, clutching a rolled-up paper in one hand.

Doer, with his trademark self-deprecating style of humour, thanked the painter, the person who cut his hair for the portrait, and "playground hockey and all those great community clubs for my chipped teeth".

Doer served 10 years as premier until 2009, when he resigned to become Canada's ambassador to the United States. He had taken over the helm of the NDP when it was in tatters in the late 1980s and built it into a dynasty that won solid majorities in three successive elections under his watch.

Doer said he enjoyed his time as premier as well as his new job, but noted there are differences.

"When you're premier and you go to a meeting and there's a really good idea, you say `that's great, we're going to do it'. When you're ambassador, you go to a meeting and there's a really good idea, you say `that's great, I'm going to recommend it'."

As for the rolled-up paper he is holding in his portrait?

"It was the Blue Bombers' season schedule, and the plans for an NHL team. Just kidding," Doer said, referencing the return of the Winnipeg Jets in 2011.