“Public servants from four different departments have confirmed to the Canadian Press that they received a directive late last year that the words ‘Government of Canada’ in federal communications be replaced with ‘Harper Government’” (CP).
At first, the news that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rebranding our government in his name struck me funny. What chutzpah.
On second sober thought, it’s creepy. Journalists often refer to governments by the name of the leader (e.g. Campbell government) but it’s not necessarily a compliment. This move to make the “Harper Government” official (at what cost to taxpayers?) is a bit much. Question. If the Conservatives get a majority, will we be Harpernadians living in Harperland?
In another royal move, the PM says the Conservative officials did nothing wrong when they fiddled with funding in the 2009 election. The federal Court of Appeal agreed with Elections Canada that the Harper Conservatives did in fact breach the Elections Act. It benefitted the party at the taxpayer’s expense. Four Conservative party officials are facing charges over the issue, but King Stephen insists the matter is simply an “administrative dispute.” Question. What would he call it if an Opposition party did it? Last but not least, disgraced former federal integrity commissioner Christine Ouimet resigned shortly before Auditor General Sheila Fraser released a scathing report on her failure to do her job properly. Ouimet’s “departure pay” totalled more than $500,000. Question. How much departure pay would she have received if she’d done a good job?
On the home front: Both Mayor Kerry Cook and our MP Dick Harris were quick to applaud Taseko Mine’s revised proposal for the Prosperity mine.
Question. Had either of them actually read the second proposal or even seen it? Or were they basing their opinion on Tasesko’s press release? If the latter, is that how they usually make their decisions — based on press releases?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.