PM’s Priorities

Here’s is a letter sent to the Parliamentary Press Gallery by Stephen Harper’s spokesman Dimitri Soudas,

Today the Prime Minister was in Ontario to promote Canada as an attractive place to invest and a great place to do business. The occasion was the landmark decision by Tim Hortons to reorganize as a Canadian company.

Michael Ignatieff has criticized today’s focus on the economy, claiming that the Prime Minister should be at the United Nations talking about climate change – not back home focused on the economy.

In synchronized attacks, the Liberal Party issued a press release denouncing the Tim Hortons visit, while MP Bonnie Crombie and a handful of Liberals carrying United Nations flags protested outside the PM’s announcement – essentially picketing a Canadian economic success story.

Our priority is the Canadian economy. Nothing takes precedence over the economy.

The decision to picket the Canadian homecoming of Tim Hortons is shameful: further proof that the Ignatieff Liberals care more about political games than the Canadian economy.

The Prime Minister’s speaking spot at the U.N. General Assembly (Friday, 5:00 p.m.) conflicts with attendance at the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. The PM is attending the G-20 summit because our priority is the economy.

The Ignatieff Liberals feel that speaking to the United Nations is more important than working on the economy with other G-20 leaders. We disagree.

Nothing is more important than the Canadian economy

By the way, the Liberal attacks conveniently omit key facts: Prime Minister Harper and other world leaders worked on climate change at a U.N. meeting last night, and today Canada’s seat in the General Assembly will deliberately be vacant during the speech by Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

(It’s also worth noting that if Michael Ignatieff had his way, this week we would be in the middle of an unnecessary, opportunistic election. So much for his concern about attendance at the U.N.)

Dimitri N. Soudas
Associate Communication Director/ Press Secretary
Directeur des Communications associé/Attaché de presse

Prime Minister’s Office
Cabinet du Premier ministre

Yesterday, the Liberals (Bonnie Crombie’s office) picketed Tim Horton’s.

Also yesterday, we saw the Liberal line appear unattributed on Elizabeth Thompson’s blog.

Michael Ignatieff is trying to differentiate himself as an internationalist who wants to “regain Canada’s position on the world stage”.

Unfortunately for Ignatieff, while he was away Canada’s international role has matured from peacekeeper and “honest (nuanced) broker” to peacemaker and a country that is heard. We’ve earned our role and found our voice to act and speak with moral clarity, without ambiguity or hedging, on middle eastern policy particularly when it comes Israel and Iran. Canada is a country that is doing the heavy lifting and is now at the sharp end of the spear when it comes to taking a leadership role in rebuilding and securing Afghanistan. While Mr. Ignatieff insists that we need to “regain” our place on stage, he hasn’t noticed that we’ve earned our spot at the table.

Instead of making waffles with other “middle powers”, we’re grilling steaks with the US and the UK.

And while Mr. Ignatieff would have us pass the syrup and listen to some more feel good speeches at the UN, the Prime Minister is at the G-20 working for everyone that balances a chequebook in this country rather than just those that tut tut and pass the cheque.

  • hollinm

    Parnel….I heard much the same from you prior to the last election. How Canadians respected Dion and hated that nasty man Stephen Harper. I mentioned to you in my previous post that there is a change in the mood of the country and it does not look good for Ignegative. You can bloviate as much as you want but we know that Canadians are by and large not convinced they want the Czarist Count as our next PM.

  • terry1

    mervin, perfect segway to my comment about harpo the mgnificent. after 5 years in the headlines as leader or PM he has barely reached 30% in the popularity ratings. He also remains personally untouched by any attack ads which will come. Let's see how the fat little dictator does then.

  • hollinm

    Parnel……and where is your leader after having been on the job for almost a year? I would seriously question your guy when the country has been in the worse economic recession since the 30's and can't beat the PM on any of the leadership questions. You see Parnel Harper has the job and it is Iggy who wants it. So the pressure is on Iggy to perform.
    Bring on the attack ads. There is nothing you can say that hasn't been said before unless your buddy is going to invent things like wafergate during the election.

  • terry1

    Why are you responding with another question? I asked you why Harpo cannot get his personal numbers higher than he has. Please answer the question.

  • hollinm

    Unlike you I am not clairvoyant. You want to make it all about Harper because you guys are terrified of him.

    Did you see the Leger poll today. 36 Cons/30 Libs.

    More concerning for the Libs is the various other questions asked. Iggy does not do well.

    As Chantal Hebert said this morning in her column if Iggy thinks that Francophone Quebec is going to abandon the Bloc he is in for a rude awakening.

    Now you can reply to may comments and turning the question back at you. Why is Iggy not doing well.

    There is big time trouble for Libs today. Coderre is holding a press conference and will resign as Quebec Lieutenant. So much for all the good things about Quebec in the next election.

  • Rich

    What was missed online national post, is the following paragraph which shows up in my daily newspaper:

    “The seldom-used security-certificate regime has existed since 1989 and the government was successful in deportation proceedings in almost all of its cases until the program became a chief element of the federal “war on terror”

    This second part is in the online report:
    Mr. Van Loan said he is puzzled about the crash of the previously successful regime.
    “It held up quite well until 2006,” he said. “We started getting different court decisions in the exact same facts.”

    Another piece missing from the online version of the national post is as follows:

    “It was in 2006 that the Conservatives formed government, replacing the Liberals.”

    My questions is why is their two different versions one online and the other printed?

    Also why is our court system being so partisan?

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.h

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.h

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.h

  • terry1

    harper is unpopular, not because people fear him. 705 of the population detests him.

    As for Iggy's popularity if you would take off your partisan glasses you woud note neither he nor the party is panicking. It looks as though he is finally replacing Coderre as Quebec lieutenant a move long overdue in my opinion. Iggy is not hogging the spotlight like harpo is and still building his war chest and doing so very nicely. The party, I beleive, feels its better to not overexpose him and save his strong suit for the election because Harpo cannot measure him until then. Strategies, my friend are how elections are won and you will admit the Libs have been masters of winning elections. That experience has not been lost.

    So you can keep hoping against hope that Iggy will crash and burn because Harpo has said some nasties about him but unlike the election last fall Iggy is very well prepared and has a lot of money. Those are major differences that will come into play.

    Lets hear the next whine from you.

  • hollinm

    Parnel I don't need to whine. The polls and leadership numbers are in our favour.

    I could take your comments that you sent when you were supporting Dion and paste them into this comment section. They're exactly the same.

    Keep believing what you like. Harper is an experienced campaigner while your guy bounces from guardrail to guardrail. Yep Libs are going to announc high speed rail but will only do it when the economy gets better. What kind of campaign platform is that? That's like me saying I am going eliminate income tax when we no longer have a need for them.

    You may be happy that Coderre is out but you guys are in for a world of hurt. He also resigned his defence critic portfolio. I have no use for Coderre. He is a windbag but he is a proud man and I knew he would resign the day Iggy made his fateful decision. Who's running the show parnel? Iggy or Rae?

  • justinling

    I was unaware that this was this was an official outlet for the PM's press releases. I'll have to bookmark this entry under 'dribble.'

  • Gabby in QC

    Ummm, I doubt the resident troll known as Terry1 would appreciate your referring to his numerous posts here as “dribble.”
    You progressives can be sooo unkind to your own people!

  • justinling

    Show me the post where this Terry1 fellow posts NDP press releases and I'll be just as quick to drop the d-bomb.

  • terry1

    Gabby, being progressive is better than being regressive or even retarded.

  • terry1

    I wonder what you reformatorts will do when the wild rose party decides to run candidates federally. I heard today, from a very reliable source in Edmonton, that is becoming a distinct possibility because people in alberta are fed up with both the provincial Tories and the harper reformatorts who are acting like socialists.

  • Bruce

    So you were talking to Gayle were you? Or was it your alter ego Parnella?

  • Gabby in QC

    Ahem … the NDP is not the exclusive proprietor of the appellation progressives.
    There's plenty of other parties that describe themselves as being progressive.
    http://www.elections.ca/content.asp?section=pol

    And since we're playing a “show & tell” game … show me where “this blog is an official outlet for the PM's press releases.”
    Apart from the Dimitri Soudas letter sent to the PPG, what other PMO press releases do you see here? A bit of an exaggeration on your part, don't you think?

    Would you level the same accusation at Susan Delacourt's blog? Or at David Akin's? http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/2009/09/answe
    http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/20

    Finally, “Show me the post where this Terry1 fellow posts NDP press releases …”
    Sorry, I can't do that … but you can read the kind of idiocy he's in the habit of spewing in a reply to me 38-40 minutes ago.

  • justinling

    I'm well aware about the term progressive. You just seem to like disagreeing with me.

    Here's two more examples of cut-n-pasting on Stephen's behalf;
    http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2007/12/cpc-wants-a
    http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2008/06/many-libera

    Any journalist, myself included, will tell you that posting press releases verbatim is against any sort of reasonable procedure, regardless of what party it's from. The parties *want* you to post them, which is sufficient reason not to.

    But this terry fellow should be careful how they throw around certain words, because it gives a bad name to actual progressives who are actually concerned about what passes for journalism these days. (hey, like, me!)

  • terry1

    Brucey, your intellect continues to shrink; being a reformatort dosn't have to be that painful.

  • terry1

    I'm well aware of copyright law if that's where you are heading. If you think I'm also aiding and abetting other writers,etc so be it.

  • Gabby in QC

    “You just seem to like disagreeing with me.”

    Ahhh, congratulations, you've figured me out already.
    Yes indeedy. I like to disagree with ANYONE who makes inordinately exaggerated statements.
    I like facts, not overblown rhetoric and hyperbole, nor idiotic epithets.
    Just read some of Terry1's scribblings to get an idea of what I mean by the latter.

    “Any journalist, myself included, will tell you that posting press releases verbatim is against any sort of reasonable procedure …”
    Ahem, have you spoken to some of your colleagues about that practice? Like the two I mentioned previously?

    In any case, I don't know whether Stephen belongs to the journalists' union, or whether he would refer to himself as a journalist. A citizen journalist, maybe.
    I recall he was asked by a member of the PG to leave the hallowed halls of the Parliament building because he was not considered a journalist.
    So why should Stephen adhere to what you call “any sort of reasonable procedure”?

    And if you are indeed a journalist, why are you slumming here, where “reasonable procedure” is so obviously not being followed, as you disapprovingly pointed out?

  • Geoff H

    Parnel, you are just as uninformed and delusinal on this site as on Steve Janke’s site.
    Nice to see you’re consistent.

    More than can be said for Iffy.

  • terry1

    Gabby, I must take exception to your ramblings and the ego boost you like to give yourself. This is primarily a forum, supposedly, for the debate of ideas from a conservative perspective. You seem to think it's a place of reformatort worship where everyone must heed the ideological drivel put out by the high priest(s) of that ecclesiastical hierarcy and simpy endorse their words.

    Of course dissent,particuarly truthful stuff, is not truly allowed because it offends the high priest(s) of the movement.

    As for my so called distortions of the faithful's gospel according to the high priest(s), I might suggest that the rest of the world within our national borders, at least 70% of them, do not buy their false and heretical ideology.

    As for idiotic epithets I would not suggest you start rereading some of your diatribes. You use what YOU see as absolute fact and truth but it is simply the word according to you and your high priests with no blinders taken off.

    In other words, in my typical “overblown rhetoric”, I say you are generally full of crap and/or you work for, or are hypnotised by, the high priest(s) propaganda machine. Or maybe its a combo of both.

    To the journalist above, gabby is a champion (chump) of the right who believes that all dissent against her ideology is heresy and those journalists who challenge the ideology should be burned at the stake.

    Amen brother!!! LOL

  • Gabby in QC

    More sophomoric dribble from a mental midget …
    What's the matter? Your party's troubles getting you down?
    Awww! cheer up, buttercup, there's more to life than writing prosaic posts on conservative blogs.
    Take a course in remedial English, for instance.
    Or go hobnob with your friends at the Laurier club.

  • justinling

    So you agree; you're merely a vehicle for the automated, thoughtless production of contradictions to whatever I suggest. Wonderful, the partisan system is alive and well in Canada!

    It is not exaggerated to say that Stephen is merely a mouthpiece for the Conservative party of Canada. Posting their press releases, whether you fashion yourself a 'citizen journalist' or whatever, is just plain low. It basically reads “I can't even be bothered to fool you into thinking that I'm unbiased, so here's what the Conservative Party.” I would advise Mr. Taylor that he should ask to be on the payroll if he's doing any PR.

    And I never said I was some world class journalist extraordinaire. I have some experience with small-time media as well as being a 'citizen journalist' and I know enough to not spew out whatever the parties want me to say.

  • Gabby in QC

    “So you agree; you're merely a vehicle for the automated, thoughtless production of contradictions to whatever I suggest.”
    • No, I do not agree. If you recall my previous reply, I like to disagree with “ANYONE who makes inordinately exaggerated statements” – like the one you made, i.e. that this blog is “an official outlet for the PM's press releases.”

    “… the partisan system is alive and well in Canada!”
    • Did I claim to be non-partisan? I am a conservative and proud of it.
    Are you suggesting you are completely free of any partisanship whatsoever?
    Fine, if your mind is free of any opinion whatsoever, then you won’t mind if I refer to you as “an empty head.”
    Now, don’t go getting all insulted … you did call me “a vehicle for the automated, thoughtless production of … blah blah blah.” Tit for tat, fair's fair, no?

    “It is not exaggerated to say that Stephen is merely a mouthpiece for the Conservative party of Canada.”
    • It may have escaped your notice, but this blog is part of the Blogging Tories.
    There are Liblogs, NDP blogs, Green blogs, etc.
    Are you suggesting those bloggers are non-partisan?
    Are you suggesting they are objective and unbiased?
    Are you suggesting those bloggers and their supporters do not promote their own party line?

    You use the word mouthpiece.
    More appropriate words would be supporter, fan, advocate, proponent … yes, even partisan. And what of it? I doubt Stephen has been hiding he supports the Conservative Party. So your entire premise and protestations fall flat.

    “I know enough to not spew out whatever the parties want me to say.”
    • But you apparently know very little about what the purpose of political blogs is. Reporters report, op-ed writers opine.
    And bloggers?
    From Wiki:
    “Political blogs are considered to have a stated political bias. Although professional journalists covering mainstream media news are often pursuing objectivity, political bloggers openly peddle their personal opinions. But according to a book published by Oxford University Press, research by Brigham Young University political scientist Professor Richard Davis found that most people who closely follow both political blogs and traditional news media tend to believe the content on blogs is more accurate. The study also found that blog readers still get most of their news from regular news sources, but they suspect habitual bias. Data from this study is supported by the propaganda model. Stating political bias at the outset is therefore seen as being more honest.
    [my bolding]

    And using a press release from a political party, an individual MP, the OLO, the PMO or whomever to illustrate a point is part of a blogger's arsenal.

  • justinling

    1. I suggested that Stephen had a habit for posting the PM's press releases. He does. He usually just throws them into a post. He uses Liberal and NDP ones, too, but he usually just mocks them. I said I took an issue with him posting press releases, and I still do.

    2. I'm not non-partisan, however, I don't feel the need to wait around the internet until I find someone of a different party and just disagree with every single world they say.

    3. I know there are partisan blogs; I write one. However, I certainly don't reproduce party rhetoric, I actually think for myself now and again. Having a right wing blog is fine, having a Conservative Party circlejerk is just stupid.

  • Gabby in QC

    “ I said I took an issue with him posting press releases, and I still do.”
    • And that is your prerogative, of course.
    However, the fact he uses them for whatever purpose does not make Stephen a “mouthpiece” of the PMO. Those press releases are available to the general public.
    As I have indicated, journalists use them on their own blogs as well. That does not mean they have been directed by the PMO to use them, as you suggested by saying in your initial post “this blog is an official outlet for the PM's press releases.”

    “… I don't feel the need to wait around the internet until I find someone of a different party and just disagree with every single world [sic] they say.”
    • Sorry, but I hope you do not expect to go unchallenged when you make a provocative statement on a blog that does not share your POV.
    Surely you must get some comments on your blog that disagree with you … unless, of course, you do not allow comments on yours.

    “ I know there are partisan blogs; I write one. However, I certainly don't reproduce party rhetoric, I actually think for myself now and again.”
    • I’m surprised you write one. You seem to be so thin-skinned that you cannot even accept a divergent POV, making such a big deal out of a press release.
    • You say you “don’t reproduce party rhetoric.”
    Why should I accept that on your say-so? I’d rather see for myself. Like you, I prefer to think for myself, and not just “now and again.”
    However, the fact you use expressions like “a Conservative Party circlejerk” is already a sure indication that, far from thinking for yourself, you just repeat the same tired put-downs.

    So long. It's been a slice.

  • Omanator

    If you dislike Stephen and this blog so much why bother participating.?

  • justinling

    I never said I disliked the blog. I read it because occasionally I like an article or it points to an issue that I was unaware of. I do like to read material from all sides of the debate. I do, however, take issue with re-publishing press releases, regardless of political stripe.

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

    It's noted as a press release. It's cited as content under discussion.

    It's rare that I'll post a press release and when I do, it is because it sets up the topic (ie. the PM's position — which is to contrast with the Liberal position).

    I posted some PMO text the other day (clearly labeled) the other day as an update to a blog post because it itself was part of the story's evolution.

    If Ignatieff put out a release reacting to something I was talking about it I would post it because it is part of the evolution of a story.

    I should note that Susan Delacourt posted the same release that I do in this post because she found it interesting and because it helps our readers understand the PM's direction as Canada's approach to foreign policy changes from that of previous administrations.

  • justinling

    But see, the issue is that you posted it verbatim and let it stand alone.

    If there was a press release pertaining to something I was writing about, I would;
    A. Paraphrase it
    B. Post or link to it and properly explain it.

    Press releases are, for lack of less inflammatory word, propaganda. They contain highly loaded words that should be filtered out when delivering news or opinion. By leaving in Harper's rhetoric and letting it stand, you are effectively just promoting his exact position which would make one wonder why you have a blog at all. Why not just post Harper's opinions? If one in a position such as your's does not think for oneself, then it's a sad state of affairs in the national dialog.

    It is one thing to put your opinion in, which may or may not correspond to that of Mr. Harper's, but it's quite another to put Harper's in himself. We, the reader, trust your judgment because you have nothing to gain from using flowery rhetoric to deceive us. This is true and necessary of the political structure, but not in journalism.

    Perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I find it is a rather serious issue.

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

    I post it as a press release and mark it as such. If I paraphrased it, it wouldn't be transparent. I quoted from it. I am not “promoting” his position as you say just as Susan Delacourt did not “promote” the PM's words as she republished it too.

    I am essentially putting it in a big quote bubble and saying “this is what he said”.

  • justinling

    Well in essence, you are advocating his position. Whenever I have seen you post a Liberal or NDP press release, you usually accompany it with a mocking caption or the like. In other words; you qualify it.

    Also, there's nothing secretive or sneaky about paraphrasing a press release. That's what most of journalism is based on.

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

    Susan and I thank you for your opinions on journalism.

    This is also commentary. And thankfully, still unregulated opinion.

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