The Tomato

Roland Paris (left) has returned to teach at the U of O after advising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: CC, US Embassy. Edits: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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Tough political questions range from hair products to bromance with US president

Roland Paris, who spent six months as a senior advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has returned to teach at the University of Ottawa.

“It’s been a good experience working for the federal government, but it’s time to move on,” said Paris. “Besides, at this university I can rub elbows with Ottawa’s real political powerhouse—the SFUO.”

Paris said his time with Trudeau has led him to rethink his teaching style.

“Let’s just say I’ve learned a few lessons on how to connect with young people, and I’m excited to bring these techniques to the classroom,” said Paris. “I can neither confirm nor deny that I will be bringing baby pandas to my lectures.”

If Paris is excited to return to the university, students are even more thrilled to receive him—if only to ask him questions about his former boss.

“Because of the position he held in Trudeau’s government, he can answer so many of my burning  questions about how our Prime Minister has been conditioned,” said Neal Jenkins, a second-year political science student. “No seriously, what conditioner does he put in his hair? I’ve been trying to replicate his style for months.”

Interest surrounding Paris’ insider information about Trudeau has reached a fever pitch on campus, so much so that he’s had to hide out in the basement of Tabaret during peak hours.

“What excites me the most is Paris’ insight on the current government’s bilateral relations with foreign powers,” said Larry Finkelstein, a third year arts student. “In other words, I want more details on Trudeau’s bromance with Obama!”

Finkelstein continued “I also have some pressing questions on the issue of the Senate in Canada— what was it like to punch Patrick Brazeau in the face during a boxing match?”

Even doe-eyed first-years have been quick to bombard Paris with political questions.

“Trudeau got so much attention for how he made his first cabinet, and I could really use some insight on that,” said Brandon McCoy, a first-year english student. “I bought a cabinet from IKEA and I still can’t figure it out.”

Paris said he’s amused by the inquiries, although he wishes they were a little more sophisticated.

“I’m happy students are taking an interest in federal politics, but I do wish they would ask me some more substantive questions.”

Paris said he’s been stopped all across campus and interrogated about minor Trudeau trivia.

“The hotdog guy on Laurier wouldn’t give me my food until I told him Justin’s workout routine,” he said.

Paris said that he knows the shallow questions will subside, and things will go back to normal, with his time beside Trudeau eventually fading into memory.

“Honestly, that’s why I came back to the U of O. I’m sick of people saying he has better hair than me,” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to working with new university president Jacques Frémont. “He’s a stylish guy, but I think I can finally say I have nicer hair than my boss.”