Nova Scotia

Peter Stoffer, former NDP MP, roasted by friends, colleagues

One of the most popular and well-respected members of Parliament over the last two decades was roasted by friends and colleagues in Nova Scotia.

Friends, colleagues and members of the military community packed into a legion in Lower Sackville

One of the most popular and well-respected members of Parliament over the last two decades was roasted by friends and colleagues in Nova Scotia. 3:28

It's hard to take shots at someone like Peter Stoffer.

So friends gave the former NDP MP a flack jacket at his roast Friday night in Lower Sackville.

"It's kind of like roasting Jesus, how can you roast somebody when nobody is going to say anything bad about him?" Gerry White, a retired naval and RCMP officer, said with a laugh.

Retired naval officer and former RCMP Gerry White presented Stoffer with a flak jacket, complete with a name tag reading Stoffer, Peter A. SD1. (CBC)

The barbs didn't dig too deep, but just in case White gave Stoffer some body armour — a camouflage vest with a name tag reading Stoffer, Peter A. SD1.

"Shit disturber, first class," White said at the event, held at the Royal Canadian Legion hall.

It's an appropriate title for the man who went to bat again and again for members of the military and veterans, he said. 

'It was wonderful serving with you'

Rear Admiral John Newton, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic, thanked the longtime MP for his work and credited him with bringing military personnel concerns to the top of the chain of command when needed.

Stoffer put effort and personal attention into each of the files, he said.

"You're so much part of the military of Halifax, the 105,000 out of 400,000 people. You're one of them. You're a brother. You're in the fellowship of the Canadian Armed Forces and the greater family," he said.

"Thank you for everything you did. It was wonderful serving with you."

Dennis Manuge, a disabled military veteran, said it was more appropriate to toast, rather than roast, Stoffer.

"On behalf of Canadian veterans, Peter, I'd like to name you the honourary colonel commandant of Canadian veterans and keeper of Canada's sacred obligation towards our men and women in uniform," he said. 

The crowd of about 300 people included many current and former MPs and presenters passed along messages from politicians across the country. 

"Peter, I have great news. I'm living proof you can be recycled over and over and over again," said Cumberland Colchester Liberal MP Bill Casey. 

'Compost Pete' steps away from politics

Casey also passed along best wishes to "Compost Pete"  from Elizabeth May, one of the many people who knew Stoffer when he worked for Canadian Airlines and taught composting. 

Stoffer said he enjoyed the event and was proud of the sentiments behind the vest. 

"I was very, very honoured and very surprised and most humbled," Stoffer said, adding the money raised went to CIOE-FM, a community radio station in Lower Sackville and the legion's poppy fund. 

As for what's next, Stoffer says during the Christmas season he'll be volunteering with the Salvation Army's Kettle Drive and in the New Year, he turns 60. 

He plans to take a vacation with his wife and says they'll re-assess future plans in the spring.

There's a petition circulating that calls for Stoffer to be appointed to a Senate position, but Stoffer was quick to shrug it off.

"I think Prime Minister Trudeau has an awful lot of friends and people out there who he can appoint long before myself," he said. 

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