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Stoffer set to host annual All Party Party 

[PoliticsWatch updated 11:15 a.m. May 15, 2007]

NDP MP Peter Stoffer holds his annual All Party Party on Wednesday. 

OTTAWA  — It started as a hastily organized,  non-partisan Christmas party, but today the All Party Party is considered the biggest social event of the year on Parliament Hill.  

Organized by NDP MP Peter Stoffer -- who prefers to refer to it as "the workers' party," not his party -- proceeds from Wednesday's event will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Canada

"In 1997 I came here and it was Christmas time and I asked my staff, 'What do they do here for a Christmas party?'" Stoffer explained to PoliticsWatch. "The staff told me individual political parties have their own parties."

"I said, 'We don't get together or something?' They said, 'No.' So I said, 'This is nonsense.'"

The Nova Scotia MP, who was voted the most congenial MP by his peers in a recent survey, took the initiative, purchased refreshments, set up his stereo in the middle of the foyer of the third floor of the Confederation Building and stuck an invitation on everyone's door in the Parliamentary precinct. 

Five hundred people showed up for the first party and each year attendance grew. 

By 2000, Hill security told Stoffer the party was too big for the Confederation Building foyer, so he moved it to a large hall in the West Block and gave it the All Party Party name. 

No longer a Christmas party, the annual event has raised over $20,000 for various charities since 2000, according to Stoffer. Last last year's party attracted over 1,500 guests. 

What makes the event different than most other stuffy Hill functions is that everyone on the Hill is invited. 

"It's in honour of the 3,000 people who help us do our jobs," says Stoffer.

MPs and senators are asked to chip in $50 each to pay for a party for all Hill staff, including bus drivers, cafeteria staff, maintenance workers, security and MPs' assistants. 

Corporate sponsors also kick in with gifts that are door prizes. PoliticsWatch.com is among the proud sponsors of this year's All Party Party. 

This year there are 200 door prizes, including flat screen TVs, Ottawa Senators playoff ticket packages, restaurant and spa gift certificates and fine wines and spirits from around the world. 

If that's not enough, the firefighters association is helping out with the event and Stoffer has requested 12 firefighters to show up to serve drinks. 

"I told them I only wanted the calendar guys," Stoffer said. 

This year's party will be held Wednesday, May 16 in Room 200 West Block. 

: Related Links

> NDP MP Peter Stoffer's Web Site

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