ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The beaver is one of Canada's national symbols and now a senior Liberal wants to make the puffin the symbol of the country's self-proclaimed natural governing party.
Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff says the industrious little seabird -- with its black and white plumage, distinctive striped beak and orange feet -- is a "noble'' creature that exemplifies Liberal values.
"It's a noble bird because it has good family values. They stay together for 30 years,'' Ignatieff said Thursday outside a Liberal caucus retreat in the Newfoundland capital.
"They lay one egg (each year). They put their excrement in one place. They hide their excrement. ... They flap their wings very hard and they work like hell.
"This seems to me a symbol for what our party should be.''
Ignatieff was charmed by the birds during what was supposed to be a whale-watching tour for Liberal caucus members Tuesday. The MPs and senators saw no whales but did get a close up view of a colony of puffins nesting on a rocky offshore island.