The following quotes were taken from various media sources regarding the Conservative government’s decision on not lowering the flag to half-staff during an active military engagement, and the banning media from base upon the return of fallen soldiers to Canada.
“This is yet another example of Harper’s fascination with all things Republican. Instead of openness, another deliberate move to keep a negative hidden from the public. You would think Harper would have learned something from Bush’s tactics which have earned the disdain of most Canadians and the lowest approval ratings of any President in U.S. history but it’s obvious he hasn’t.” — Pat Walters, CTV selected viewer feedback
“I guess that’s the face of transparency. Maybe I’ll check the White House home page to answer my original question as to what’s next.” — Marcel Massie, CTV selected viewer feedback
“I think it should be a concern of Canadians that Mr. Harper seems to be, in many ways, following the example and policies of the Bush Administration” — Donalda Williams Clogg, CTV selected viewer feedback
“Let us not fall into this horrible fate that the US and the UK have. We need to continue to be fully aware of the constant sacrifices and dangers our excellent troops make every day.” — Diane Bradford, CTV selected viewer feedback
“It echoes a policy attempted by the Bush administration. The White House tried and failed to prevent publication of pictures of caskets covered by the Stars and Stripes out of concern for diminishing support for the Iraq mission.” — Global TV, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Sun, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun, 680 News
“The Harper government has decided to ban the Canadian public from viewing today’s repatriation ceremony of the remains of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan on the weekend, evoking parallels with the Bush administration’s controversial policy of barring photographs of the coffins of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.” — Mike Blanchfield, Canwest
“All media outlets are quick to note that the media ban parallels a similar decision taken by US President George W. Bush not long after American casualties in Iraq began to mount.” — Jonathan Monpetit, maisonneuve
“The Conservative government is refusing to all media to cover tonight’s return of four Canadian soliers killed in Afghanistan, a surprise decision that has critics accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of adopting American-style tactics to limit public exposure to Canada’s casualties” — Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star
“In the United States, the Bush administration has been criticized for banning images of the arrival of flag-draped coffins containing the remains of soldiers killed in Iraq. White House officials imposed the ban out of worry that such photographs would lower public support for the military campaign.” — CBC News
“In the U.S., the Bush administration’s concern that a stream of images of coffins draped in the Stars and Stripes would diminish public support for the Iraq war prompted the White House to impose a publication ban in 2003.” — CTV News
“I agree with (Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s) decision to not lower the flag at Parliament. But banning the media? Seems unnecessary, not to mention a little George Bush-ish …” — Toronto Star, selected reader feedback
“He has lifted a page from the Bush book and borrowed the Bush modus operandi .. “Dare I say president Harper is following in the footsteps of President Bush?” — Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh.
If George W. Bush is an unpopular figure in Canada, does the media’s invocation of the U.S. President when commenting on Stephen Harper’s government’s policy on not lowering the flag after every military death (and the restriction of media on Canadian bases when fallen soldiers arrive home) merely allow them to offer negative commentary when they are supposed to be filing so-called unbiased reports?