I just received this email from PMO:
June 24, 2008
Public event for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Wednesday, June 25th is:
11:00 a.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend a swearing-in ceremony of new Members of the Ministerial team.
1 Sussex Drive
What can we learn from this?
New cabinet ministers. Backbenchers/PSs/SecStates (more than one) getting promoted. That’s how I read the email.
From Susan Delacourt’s blog:
Yesterday, at the end of CTV’s Question Period broadcast, there was some strong and remarkable evidence of journalists pushing back against the Prime Minister’s Office. Rather than explain the story, why don’t I just put the transcript here? I would imagine we’ll be hearing more about this in the days to come:
JANE TABER: Craig, we’ve got to address a complaint. We received a complaint from the Prime Minister’s director of communications Sandra Buckler about something you said on the show about the fact the Environment Minister or the Finance Minister would not come on to talk about Dion’s green plan.
CRAIG OLIVER: And it was accurate for me to say they had both turned us down. However, they did offer us Jason Kenney, the Minister of Multiculturalism, to attack the government’s green plan, and we said, sorry, we’re not talking about multiculturalism, we’re talking about taxation or we’re talking about environment. And so they’re insisting that we should take their person. And the question really is who’s producing the show? Are we producing the show or is the Prime Minister’s office producing the show? Would somebody tell me?
First Jason Kenney gets rebuffed by CTV and then Craig Oliver mistakes the Liberals for the government (and Stephane Dion as the Prime Minister by extension)
ADDENDUM: Why wouldn’t Jason Kenney be permitted to speak for the government? After all, he was the first one quoted on the Conservative “Will You Be Tricked” ad campaign in Sun Media. He’s been quoted in just about every Conservative Party press release attacking Dion’s Tax Shift plan. Kenney has also been the government point man in QP answering all of the questions put forward by the Liberals on the topic of the environment during this latest Tax Trick/Green Shift arc. Kenney also had a press conference at the National Press Theatre to give the government’s reaction to Dion’s plan. It sets a horrible precedent for journalists to choose who can respond on behalf of the government.
I’ve learned that in a reversal of internal government policy this past week, Conservative ministerial staffers are once again permitted to keep a Facebook profile on the popular social networking website.
Indeed, Facebook has become the latest killer online app and for some, it has replaced email for messaging friends and scheduling events and parties.
Earlier, I opined that the ‘corporate’ Facebook ban implemented by the Conservatives on their political staff was a shrewd move made to prevent a hungry media and opposition from exploiting personal material not intended for “front-page” exposure. A complete ban may have been harsh, yet the careless use of the site would have also been less than ideal. Thus, in policy refinement and compromise, the government has found a new optimum that works for everyone.
I’ve learned that each department has been tasked with implementing a policy on the use of Facebook for their staff, particularly concerning which privacy settings ought to be adjusted to both allow employees the use of the popular social networking tool and to allow a government known for its tight messaging to keep any loose ends from sticking out. The policy might be considered analogous to any other employee code of conduct, but this one is specialized for a website.
Ministerial facebookers will be pleased by the move and their employers will remain conscious of how to maintain the ideal balance.