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Pettigrew Suffering From Split End

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Pettigrew Suffering From Split End

A close-up of Minister for International Trade Pierre Pettigrew's follicle A-27625 (inset) from this recent photo indicates "significant" splitting.

Minister for International Trade Pierre Pettigrew is clinging to his political life after it was revealed earlier today that he has a split end on at least one of his hairs.

Rumours of the Pettigrew split end have been dogging the impeccably coiffed minister for weeks, but he has repeatedly denied the presence of any hair damage. Today, however, the Minister came clean and admitted that he does indeed have "structural damage" to a hair on the left side of his head.

In a statement this morning at the National Press Club, an emotional Pettigrew acknowledged the problem with his hair, but insisted that he is working to rectify the problem.

"Approximately 10 days ago, it was brought to my attention by my hair care specialist that a small amount of trauma has been sustained to the end of follicle A-27625.

"I have discussed the matter with the Prime Minister, and he agreed with me that in no way will this have any impact on my ability to perform my duties as Minister for International Trade," insisted the debonair parliamentarian.

But this afternoon in a heated Question Period, the Official Opposition pounced on Pettigrew. Canadian Alliance hair and grooming critic Earl Sassoon questioned whether or not the Minister has the moral authority to negotiate trade deals on behalf of Canada anymore, and, as expected, asked for Pettigrew's resignation. This marks the 4,843rd time the Alliance has asked for a resignation of a cabinet minister in the last six months.

"What must the Americans think when they look across the table during softwood lumber talks and see a representative of this government who can't even take the time to ensure that the ends of his hairs are all as one? Why won't this guy give me my moment in the sun and resign, now?" bellowed Sassoon.

Click here to listen to a scrum between Minister Pettigrew and ravenous parliamentary reporters looking for blood

The Tories agreed with the Alliance over 'hairgate' and although they were taking the day off for a ski trip, the Bloc Québécois probably would have been outraged as well, but newly-elected NDP leader Jack Layton, the most stylish member of the NDP since Tommy Douglas, was more conciliatory than his opposition brethren. "Man, I wish I could grow a head of hair like he has," said the eternally upbeat Layton. The NDP leader was seen discussing conditioner application techniques in the House of Commons foyer with the beleaguered Pettigrew after yesterday's QP.

The vigorous, three hour-a-day hair-strengthening regime that the Minister engages in seems to have lost its impact, according to Chatelaine magazine parliamentary hair columnist Cheryl Ogilvie-Homeperm.

A National Research Council beautician works on a treatment for Minister Pettigrew's damaged hair.

"Although there were rumours that he was experiencing brittle dryness and minor knotting while he was Minister of Human Resources, those allegations were never substantiated," said Ogilvie-Homeperm. "This is his first legitimate hair crisis that Pettigrew has had since he joined cabinet seven years ago, so I think that he will recover."

Continued Ogilvie-Homeperm: "Even with the tens of thousands of dollars that Pettigrew spends out of his own pocket every year on his hairstyle, you knew that with all he's got on his plate right now, what with the softwood lumber battle with the U.S., the World Trade Organization dispute settlement process, threatened tariffs on imported styling gel and sculpting wax by the Belgians, all of that stress was bound to cause some hair problems for him eventually."

National Post House of Commons style columnist Igor DeLa Viva was less charitable in his assessment of Pettigrew post-split end. "Oh my God, it looks like his hair was hatcheted with a….hatchet," sniped DeLa Viva. "It might have something to do with a little bird who told me he saw Pierre at the Parliamentary barber's on the hill last week."

Pettigrew's official hairstylist, the Sorbonne-trained Georgio Bizenti, who is flown into Ottawa from his Paris studio every weekend to tend to Pettigrew's hair, would not return phone calls. We think we might have had the wrong number. A spokesperson for Pettigrew insisted that there is no strain between the two, and Bizenti will continue to remain as the Minister's official hairstylist.

Wearing a toque, which he insisted was due to the extremely cold, windy weather, (even though he was indoors) a defensive Pettigrew angrily denied the rumour that he has frequented the parliamentary barber.

"Parliamentary barber? You are joking right? Do you honestly think that someone with hair like mine would go to a 'barber'? I find that question very distasteful."