Canada Day evokes colourful reactions from press gallery reporter

Two years ago, The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt had the Canada Day blues…

They’re painting the town blue for Canada Day in the nation’s capital this year.

Though the red and white of Canada’s flag is usually the dominant colour scheme for the big party in Ottawa on July 1, blue seems to be all the rage this year – a good, solid Conservative blue, to match the government in power.

Workers have been erecting the main stage for festivities this week on Parliament Hill. By yesterday, it was evident the favoured hue seems to have definitely shifted from red – which also happens to be the colour of the Liberal party, the Conservatives’ arch-rivals.

This wouldn’t be the first time, however, that this symbol-conscious government has eschewed red for blue.

The government’s official website, www.gc.ca, has increasingly leaned toward blue tints ever since the Conservatives came to power almost a year and a half ago.

For this year’s Canada Day, Delacourt was seeing red,

Early into his first term as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper mused aloud about how he wished Canadian reporters would stand when he entered the room. I believe the collective reply to this musing had something to do with weather forecasts and the temperature in hell.

But yesterday, on Canada Day, Global TV news showed us how Harper managed to get the military to give him a salute that’s normally reserved for the Governor-General. As Heritage Minister James Moore explains in the video, this was something that the Prime Minister apparently wanted.

So if you do run across our Tim Horton’s, hockey-dad, regular-guy PM this summer on the barbecue circuit, give him a little salute. Or stand up, or something. He really seems to appreciate deference.

Comments

comments

  • Anna Grace

    Uppity, even for the Star.

  • GK

    I served as an officer in the CF for 13 1/2 years. If the PM were to show up at a parade, we would definitely give him general salute. Anyone can be honoured with a general salute if they are the reviewing officer at a parade. The governor general receives a royal salute – that's the difference. So there's really nothing newsworthy here, other than that the media doesn't understand our military customs and traditions…

  • JDot

    These PPG people are a c0mplete joke. Macleans liberal blogger wherry, is running the same thing. We have to have the most useless journalist in Ottawa..

    As to Delecourt, she is nothing but a Liberal shill, for real, who takes anything she writes as anything other then liberal talking points?

  • Alberta Bob

    The media does have a lot to learn about our military. For example, they seem to think Canadian Generals have stars when in fact they have maple leafs. In the 20 years I served, I saw this many times.

  • wilson

    Well maybe Delacourt should get used to it,
    with a huge majority of Canadians not that enthralled with the monarchy, perhaps all the pomp and ceremony of the GG is soon to be gone!!!!

    The Queen's coming this year, maybe it's time to cut the umbilical cord.

  • Bec

    What is wrong with the color BLUE? Completely appropriate under the circumstances and history of this great nation.

    I just let my hubby buy an antique Ford (20 years makes it an antique, lol) and because it was BLUE and because we name all of our vehicles, it is called the BEST BLUE, HARPER.

    The COMMA is essential to the essence of the name.

  • wilson

    The GG was an 'invited guest' at the Canada Day ceremonies,
    not on official business, correct?

    Moore said that the protocol was the choice of the PMs to make,
    so suck it up Ms Delacourt.

  • Gabby in QC

    Is there any way to get the entire video of the James Moore clip? I'd like to hear exactly what the PM chose to do as his “prerogative.” And if anyone can direct me to the CBC video of the afternoon Canada Day coverage with Mansbridge and Hiscox, I'd appreciate it.

    This “issue” reminds me of the debate over the lowering of the flag on the Peace Tower upon the death of a member of the Canadian Forces, when many uninformed people claimed the PM had radically changed the protocol to suit his own purpose.

    Ms. Delacourt refers in her blog post to the PM musing aloud “about how he wished Canadian reporters would stand when he entered the room.”

    I saw that presser held by Pres. Bush with the PM, and distinctly remember that the PM's remark was made tongue in cheek, with the tiniest of smiles. Apparently Ms. Delacourt has a hard time discerning any hint of understated humour – if it comes from a Conservative that is. Too bad Ms. Delacourt failed to notice that hint of self-deprecating humour on the PM's part.

    Another thing I remember distinctly is that she was present at that presser, so if I was able to discern the humour on TV, I'm surprised she failed to do so. Oh, and I also remember that the PM called on her to ask a question. I don't remember what her question was, though. Maybe it wasn't that memorable? (written with the hint of a smile).

  • jenna

    American journalists routinely stand when the President enters – they even used to do it for Bush, and it is simply seen as common courtesy, although the PPG seem to regard it as completely beneath their dignity.

    When Obama was here, he and Harper arrived for their joint press conference, and all the US journalists in attendance rose to their feet, while the Canadians kept their bums firmly in their seats – too funny.

    As far as the salute is concerned, I'm sure someone from the military, maybe the Chief of the Defence Staff, would have objeted if the soldiers didn't want to salute the PM. I get the impression that given his support for the military, they would be more than happy to salute the PM.

  • Gabby in QC

    Oh, and is the military salute accorded to PMs? It would appear so:

    http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/prtcl/salut-… info also posted at Ms. Delacourt's blog)
    “Who is entitled

    The current Canadian practice is to be found in the Canadian Forces Administration Orders (CFAO 61-8, mod 8/84).

    Honours and salutes are accorded to the following dignitaries:

    • Heads of state;

    • The Queen's representatives in Canada

    • Members of reigning royal families

    • Heads of governments

    • Ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Canada; and

    • Ministers of National Defence. …

    When are they accorded

    The Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence: a 19 rounds gun salute is fired for the Prime Minister and 17 for the Minister of National Defence when visiting a saluting station (but not more than once a year); full honours are given on occasions when the mounting of a guard of honour is warranted …”

    You know, it would be SO easy to avoid creating useless controversies if journalists simply bothered to check the facts before they attributed all sorts of motives to the PM.
    Same goes for Jeffrey Simpson in the G&M:
    “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has elbowed her aside in taking the military march past.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/why-canadians-owe-great-thanks-to-michalle-jean/article1202410/

  • Delacourt

    Isn't Delacourt rumoured to be the replacement for Don Newman? And, she's a Paul Martin biographer, that must make her emininently qualified to host a CBC program. When she's done that and the last viewer has left the show Iggy can appoint her as GG.

    Delacourt's view is the Canadian View — heh they can call the new show that — The Canadian View! Instead of hosting it from Ottawa they can host it from the CN Tower Viewing deck. Between her and Mansbridge we could get CBC Toronto all the time. Oh yah, we already get CBC Toronto all the time.

    Heh is she related to Fleure Delacour from Harry Potter?

  • Gabby in QC

    How does one de-register from Disqus?
    Or
    How does one avoid those pop-up boxes asking to claim a comment? Annoying!

    Right under “Post Comment” one has the option of “Do not subscribe” or “Subscribe to all comments.”
    Will choosing “Do not subscribe” do it?

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    You aren't registered with Disqus and that's why you're getting the popup (likely). If you subscribe to the comments, I believe it sends you an email when other people comment on the same topic or thread.

  • paulsstuff

    I remember her article about how devious the PM was to paint the stage Tory blue. The problem was the stage was the same color blue in previous years under Liberal rule, and I emailed her links of Canada Day festivities during the Chretien years showing the same color blue stage. I also pointed out to her that I was someone who performed in a band, and that most outdoor stages were painted blue as it simulates the horizon making people further away from the stage have an easier time viewing the performers. The blue color used on the stage also helps keep performers cooler than a dark color.

    I asked if she would correct herself for the misinformation. Oddly she never did and I never recieved a reply back.

  • Gabby in QC

    Hey, you're still reading our entries! ;-)

    Actually, I think I did register at one point, but I wanted out … you know, a tech-klutz like me likes things simple … but I was not able to complete the de-registering procedure … I think.
    Tsk, tsk, I'll just have to adapt.

  • Liz

    So is the issue here that an insignificant, out-of-touch reporter said something random and stupid on her blog, or is it that Global “News” seems to have run a piece with the intention of humiliating the Prime Minister by depicting him as an egomaniacal control freak? The latter seems like a bigger deal to me…

  • Dela Court

    Stephen, you're such a nice young man. You took my most offensive comments out and left the other drivel.

    Thank you for caring so much.

    You'll go far. You must not be from Toronto originally?

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Yeah, the ad hominem doesn't add much to the discussion and usually derails things.

  • terry1

    Whatever the outcome of her column I do now think we should call Harpo the generalissimo because apparently PM is not a good enough title for him.

    His attack ad on the Bloc's so called soft approach to pedophiles will endear him to those who love right wing nut bar stuff and they will definitely be saluting the generalissimo. Most right wing dictators loved to snuff out dissent by force and maybe Harpo, since he despises parliament, might be reading some of their biographies.

    After all, he does think he can porogue parliament anytime he wants.

  • terry1

    Gabby, A lone Quebec Tory and a techno klutz who likes simplicity………..wow!!!!! :)

    No wonder your posts come from a special place. By simplicity you mean black and white with absolutely no grey matter. You will be a good soldier in generalissimo Harpos right wing army

    LOL :)

  • terry1

    Hysterical Liz, You mean Global got it right and now you feel your leader is really exposed for what he is? I agree, that's a big deal and one I'm sure the Liberal war room will just love come election time.

    We once again thank the media for voicing their opinions in a frank and truthful manner, unafraid of storm troopers.

  • Liz J

    Yes, the Prime Minister can prorogue parliament, not so sure he could “porogue”{sic} it. I seem to recall it being done even by Liberal Prime Ministers ,one being Jean Chretien, who also liked to call elections frequently for his own benefit.

    BTW Terry, do you find all comments made by someone by the name “Liz” to be “hysterical”?

  • Liz J

    What does this comment add to the debate ? It's a personal attack on a person who always contributes with intelligent, meaningful debate. It appears you are not here for that purpose.

  • terry1

    Liz J hysterical… it was done to get your attention.

    I think adding smiles and “LOL” takes care of the personal attack lie you just promoted. Too bad you can't understand internet language and too bad you come across as an angry Tory ALL the time. You sound like a generalissimo Harpo fan.

  • Liz J

    Excuse me Terry luv, your pointed and poignant humour escaped me there. You're such a joker.

  • Gabby in QC

    “True refinement seeks simplicity.” Bruce Lee

    “By simplicity you mean black and white with absolutely no grey matter.”

    I try to live by the well-known KISS maxim: Keep it simple, stupid.

    Terry1, you OTOH, live by your very own KISS maxim: Keep it stupid, simple.

  • Gabby in QC

    Liz J, I wouldn't bother further with Terry1.

    He may pride himself in his “grey matter” but here's a little factoid:
    “About 40% of the human brain is made up of gray matter whereas 60% is white matter. However the gray matter consumes about 94% of the total oxygen used by the brain.”

    Likewise, Terry1 uses up most of the “oxygen” in the threads he spews upon.

  • Liz J

    Good shot!

  • terry1

    its all right darlin' you're a reformatory fan.

  • terry1

    Gabby the lone Quebec reformatory, thanks for the science lesson but Wikepdia doesn't catch it all.

    I'm sure you like the refined debate of like minded reformatories but sometimes opposite views are important unless of course you are generalissimo Harpo getting his salute from the minions.

  • terry1

    Gabby, Your choice of author is in keeping with the violent nature of your thought processes.

    I have really simple expressions when talking about con artists:
    “There's a sucker born every minute”….P.T.Barnum of Barnum and Bailey circus act promoters.

    As far as the kiss maxim goes……. I'm glad its that simple for you. then again you can't manage a computer so I would suggest you substitute in the word simpleton if I was you.

  • terry1

    Liz J hysterical…thought the two Liz's might be one and the same :)

    Here's some more tory culture and history:
    nastiest insults hurled in the House of Commons
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/659455
    Sleazebag” – Former MP John Reynolds, to Liberal MP Joe Volpe. (2005).
    “F–ing bastard.” – Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, to former Liberal MP David Walker (1991).
    “Slut” — Former Conservative MP Bill Kempling, to Liberal MP Sheila Copps (1991).
    “Quiet down, baby.” – Former conservative minister John Crosbie, to Copps (1985).
    “You are one bitch,” – former Reform MP Ian McClelland, to Copps (1997).
    “The honourable member from Snakeville,” Former governor general and justice minister, Ray Hnatyshyn, to Liberal MP John Nunziata (mid-1980s).text ignored
    “Little chubby little sucker,” Former Reform MP Darrell Stinson, to then Conservative leader Jean Charest (1997).
    “Sambo” — Conservative MP Jack Shields, to NDP Howard McCurdy, then the only black MP in the Commons (1991).

  • Gabby in QC

    Terry1, your allusion to the Barnum & Bailey circus promoters is an apt one, since your comments usually are at that clownish level.

    As for my choice of a Bruce Lee quote, it was intended to show that no man (or woman) is as one-dimensional as you appear to be. But of course, that subtlety escaped you. You apparently live only to insult commenters.

    And as far as my limited knowledge of things technical, at least I recognize my own limits. Your stupidity, however, is limitless, knowing no bounds.

    I'm going to take my own advice to Liz J. Terry 1, consider this my last reply to your trite and lackluster comments.

    “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • terry1

    aw shucks Gabby… you have broken my liberal heart!!!

  • Liz J

    Not to forget the famous words of one of your heroes,PET : “Fuddle Duddle”.

    There are plenty of examples of less than polite language from politicians from all sides if anyone has nothing better to do than search for them.

  • Ted

    Seems to me like he is, by rules of protocol, entitled to the military salute and, by rules of respect for the office, not off by wishing for reporters to stand up.

    To me, the issue is that in both cases, it is Mr. Let’s Pretend I’m An Ordinary Tim Horton’s Guy orchestrating these royalty like behaviours. Why does he want the salute so badly?

    This is also the guy whose office arranges for staffers to stand outside 24 Sussex to applaud his departures and line the entrance ways to make it seem there is an overflow of popular support for him.

    No a big deal, but clearly not an ordinary kinda guy in any way when he demands such royal treatment from his lowly subjects.

    What is concerning is that he is clearly living in a bubble, distant and insulated from the concerns of Canadians.

  • Ted

    Seems to me like he is, by rules of protocol, entitled to the military salute and, by rules of respect for the office, not off by wishing for reporters to stand up.

    To me, the issue is that in both cases, it is Mr. Let’s Pretend I’m An Ordinary Tim Horton’s Guy orchestrating these royalty like behaviours. Why does he want the salute so badly?

    This is also the guy whose office arranges for staffers to stand outside 24 Sussex to applaud his departures and line the entrance ways to make it seem there is an overflow of popular support for him.

    No a big deal, but clearly not an ordinary kinda guy in any way when he demands such royal treatment from his lowly subjects.

    What is concerning is that he is clearly living in a bubble, distant and insulated from the concerns of Canadians.

  • Richard

    and what about “fuddle-duddle” ?

  • Richard

    and what about “fuddle-duddle” ?

  • Liz J

    The Prime Minister of the country and the Office itself commands and deserves our respect. For many reasons, safety included he cannot move about freely without security nor can his family.

    This PM got to where he is today by going among the people from day one. The Conservative Party has kept it's coffers well stocked from ordinary, grass root support. It's a concept foreign to the Liberals who are now forced to do the same by a little rule enacted by da little Guy, JC from Shawinigan.

    For the first time in my memory we have a PM who is tuned in to the ordinary people, seniors in particular.

    You can spread any lie about him being serious when he quipped about wishing reporters would stand up when he entered a room, that will not make it so. He does have a sense of humour but it's lost on those whose only purpose is to slag him at every opportunity.

  • Gabby in QC

    Ted, your commenting methods are so predictable.

    They usually start off with an even-handed statement, in this case “Seems to me like he is, by rules of protocol, entitled to the military salute and, by rules of respect for the office, not off by wishing for reporters to stand up” thus leading the reader to think a reasonable argument is coming.

    But then you spoil it all by launching the inevitable silly accusations.

    Have you any direct knowledge of this PM's demands from his staffers?
    Do you have a direct line to the PMO that you can make such wild assertions?
    Your imagination and reality are not necessarily congruent.

    What prominent political figure, leader of a country, is not distant or insulated from the common folk, particularly when there are so many who express vile hatred for him in forums such as this one or in op-eds like Liberal strategist Scott Reid's “Kill him, kill him dead.”

    Yes, yes, Obama loves to go out into the crowds, and women have been known to faint at the sight of his benevolent smile and his mere presence. But is he any less insulated? I doubt it. I'm sure the Secret Service has something to say on who gets up close and personal with the President.

    And pray tell, how many times did Trudeau, Chretien, or Martin rub shoulders with you, a concerned Canadian? Canadians want to know!

  • Richard

    “What is concerning is that he is clearly living in a bubble, distant and insulated from the concerns of Canadians.”

    interesting, that comes immediately to mind when I read anything you, Ted, or your pal Terry1 have to offer.

  • Richard

    “What is concerning is that he is clearly living in a bubble, distant and insulated from the concerns of Canadians.”

    interesting, that comes immediately to mind when I read anything you, Ted, or your pal Terry1 have to offer.

  • Liz J

    Yeah, I concur.

  • Liz J

    You forgot to add LOL with smiles so guess we can deduct you're really serious with this comment.

    Who's angry now? Who's been outsmarted?

    Goodbye Terry, too bad it has to end this way.

  • Ted

    Liz:

    Kudos to the Conservatives for connecting to Canadians slightly better than did the Liberals. (I say slightly because, obviously from election results, they did not connect with most Canadians or in 2004 or 2006 that many more Canadians, which is not meant as a slight, but to avoid overstating how well they did as our media love to do.)

    But Harper as ordinary guy, just like Bush as ordinary guy, was entirely orchestrated. Argue if you will that they brought in policies more connected to ordinary every day lives of Canadians, but the men themselves were not. Harper has had a desk job as a career politicians and lobbyist not subject to the ebbs and flows of the market. He’s never played hockey or gone camping or volunteered at the local Boy Scouts, etc. Same with Bush: eg. he bought that ranch a year before he ran and sold it just as soon as he was out of office. That doesn’t make them a bad people or a bad leaders, but photo opportunities at Tim Horton’s or driving a pickup truck do not make them ordinary folk. It is all image manipulation. No less than Keith Davey dictated image manipulation of Trudeau doing a cannonball in a pool or wearing a carnation, or of Chretien as “le petit gar”. But we will all be better off if we learned to look past such propaganda and demanded more substance from our leaders.

  • Ted

    Liz:

    Kudos to the Conservatives for connecting to Canadians slightly better than did the Liberals. (I say slightly because, obviously from election results, they did not connect with most Canadians or in 2004 or 2006 that many more Canadians, which is not meant as a slight, but to avoid overstating how well they did as our media love to do.)

    But Harper as ordinary guy, just like Bush as ordinary guy, was entirely orchestrated. Argue if you will that they brought in policies more connected to ordinary every day lives of Canadians, but the men themselves were not. Harper has had a desk job as a career politicians and lobbyist not subject to the ebbs and flows of the market. He’s never played hockey or gone camping or volunteered at the local Boy Scouts, etc. Same with Bush: eg. he bought that ranch a year before he ran and sold it just as soon as he was out of office. That doesn’t make them a bad people or a bad leaders, but photo opportunities at Tim Horton’s or driving a pickup truck do not make them ordinary folk. It is all image manipulation. No less than Keith Davey dictated image manipulation of Trudeau doing a cannonball in a pool or wearing a carnation, or of Chretien as “le petit gar”. But we will all be better off if we learned to look past such propaganda and demanded more substance from our leaders.

  • terry1

    Liz J hysterical,
    You'll be back… you can't resist taking on a Liberal. :)

  • Jon

    Liberals are born without hearts, even you knew that terry1.

  • mred256

    you can't even think of an original and have to take other peoples quotes now Terry1?!?! You're not overly inventive and when all else fails why is it you always fall back on name calling and smears??? Are you afraid of something or compinsating for some personal lack???

    Just trying to understand your own personal compass as I think the Lode stone elsewhere in your hemisphere is off balance if not off side most of the time…