'Canadian Prime Minister denies being in toilet during official photo' - Macleans.ca

‘Canadian Prime Minister denies being in toilet during official photo’


Coverage of this terribly important development from the Telegraph, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Independent, Guardian, Financial TimesBloomberg and Reuters.

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‘Canadian Prime Minister denies being in toilet during official photo’

  1. Blame it on the Brits.

    The BBC says its source is an official in the British delegation who indicated that Harper, in the BBC’s words, “was having a comfort break during the photo op.”

    • Perhaps he was being briefed while in the washroom? They *could* both be accurate.

  2. Politicos whereabouts confused with polling data! Film at 11!

  3. It’s a trap!

    • LOL,

      Thank you Admiral!

  4. Hey, Harper wants world coverage of himself in the media.. he’s certainly got it now.

  5. He was thinking like Rodin.

  6. This stinks… I’d be in the dumps (that or quite pissed off) if I were Harper’s PR team. ahhhhzzzzzzzz….

  7. Canada’s back!

    • Backside?

      Anyway, this is rather embarrassing in terms of who was managing the PM’s time. I don’t think this will actually hurt him, politically.

      • This will most definitely hurt personally. Becoming a worldwide laughing stock with your pants down is embarrassing to someone who’s entire MO in politics is staged photo-ops. Harper had to do a photo-op do-over in front of the world and its leaders, not with some hack in maritime TV studio. Harper’s attempt at statesmenship when it mattered skidded right past the mark, and it will not be forgotten. It is too embarrassing, and funny, not to.

        • Those were some skidmarks.

          • A veritable stain on his reputation.

          • It’s circling the bowl anyway …… in Canada.

          • Toilet humour is so damn funny. It’s great to get back to the fundamentals.

          • Our fundamentals are sound.

  8. The BBC claimed Canada’s prime minister was “in the loo” but a spokesman for Mr Harper insisted he was getting briefed by his officials on the finer points of the draft G20 communique.

    Ah .. the good ol’ BBC (Britain’s CBC) .. spreading falsities to support their CBC Harper-hating bretheren-in-arms.

    • Why are so many conbots utterly humourless?

    • Are you saying the British delegation lied?

      The BBC says its source is an official in the British delegation who indicated that Harper, in the BBC’s words, “was having a comfort break during the photo op.”

      Someone needs to pull out the tape from the security camera! Although Harper would just claim it was doctored.

  9. Wow! A Prime Minister of canada on all of these international media publications for any reason is something you don’t often see. Who would have thought. I think judging by the jokes between all the leaders that this will become a useful strategy in the future. Think of the possiblities … spokesperson G20 (1) : another usefull thing we can do with the latest G20 communique – insert leaders name. (2) if we have to put up with a load of crap from … insert leaders name – we now have an option (3) (Nickies wife at dinner after : is that a roll of TP in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

  10. “The BBC claimed Canada’s prime minister was “in the loo” but a spokesman for Mr Harper insisted he was getting briefed by his officials on the finer points of the draft G20 communique”

    How the hell did they get all those officials and PMSH in one cubicle?

    Why on earth he couldn’t he just say $%^* happens and laugh it off? Now this story shall become legend. But at least we woulda been laughing with him, instead of at him.

  11. Now, I’m not, er, privy to what really happened with the PM’s BM, but in trying to get to the, um, bottom of this story, I hope our esteemed media avoid base bathroom humour. Still, the PMO is understandably quite, ahem, pissed and would like to flush this story. Really though you can kind of see their point: Harper was in London to do his business and try to excrete consensus from world leaders on important economic issues. Unfortunately, some economic analysts have been sh**ting on his theory of good buying opportunities for banks (and on that I point you to the John, sorry, to John of the WSJ who tinkles away here: http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/04/02/that-is-a-strange-call/#more-47485).

    Nevertheless, while this other business is certainly more important , it would be a real shame if the storyline were to go to, cough cough, waste.

    That’s all. Thank you. I’m here until Monday. Enjoy the fois gras.

    • Clearly the PM was over stimulated. Hope he didn’t have some curry- in- a hurrry the night before.

      • You would think that the least he could do would be to send his No. 2 to tell the photographer to wait so that the world news wouldn’t crap all over him for this. He’s just pissed away some goodwill.

        But just what was he doing? Baking brownies? Watching Barbarians at the Gate? Laying more infrastructure bricks? It’s not as if anyone will dump on him for telling the truth.

        • He was actually working on a log for the soft wood lumber file

  12. Can we expect an ‘official’ PMO photo of proof for the ‘meeting’, perhaps Harper holding a phone while gazing opaquely into the distance, perhaps trying to read that graffitti on the stall door…

  13. Well, well, well. Look who’s the butt of the joke now.

    • Yes, if a Liberal leader did this, the CPC would have a website where you could make your own attack ads, but when you went to grab a photo of the guy, a pop-up would say, “sorry, he’s in the loo right now, but check back later to see if he is finished”. All approved by the CPC official agent, of course.

  14. In case anyone has forgotten what Mr. Harper said last fall: “When you’re running a trillion-and-a-half-dollar economy you don’t get a chance to have do-overs, over and over again.”

    This is, of course, Mr. Harper’s second epic do-over in the sixth months that followed.

    This is Mr. Harper’s second epic do-over since last fall’s election. You’ll recall that the first sent Parliament on vacation for three months. This one merely made us the laughing stock of the world press.

    • Geez, aren’t you in a dour mood.

      I don’t see how missing a photo makes anyone a laughing stock. It’s not even the slightest bit interesting nor funny nor embarassing.

      Just the fact this made the news shows that the media are grasping at straws for things to write about.

      • There is a huge untapped market in Canada for toilet humour. The dwindling Canadian media were happy to oblige.

        • I don’t know, with Jim Carrey’s talking arse, Mike Myers and his fat bastard character, and pretty well every episode of South Park, I really wonder if the market has not been tapped.

  15. Can’t we all just agree that Harper is an absolute embarassement on the world stage and that Iggy would be much much better?

    Harvard c. Calgary – is it even a battle?

    • I’d punt in the links but I suspect the post might disappear into limbo.

      The point I’d make is the University of Calgary, as an independent institution, dates from about 1966, Harvard from about 1780.

      Let’s check back in a century or two and see how things have shaken out?
      From Wikipedia:

      Initially called “New College” or “the college at New Towne”, the institution was named Harvard College on March 13, 1639, after a young clergyman named John Harvard, who bequeathed the College his library of four hundred books and £779 (which was half of his estate). The earliest known official reference to Harvard as a “university” occurs in the new Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.
      From The Gauntlet, the U of C student newspaper:

      After years of intense lobbying by students, faculty and university officials, the provincial Universities Act was revised to allow a second autonomous degree-granting university in Alberta. Finally, after delays at the legislature, Grant MacEwan gave Royal Ascent to the revised Universities Act on April 1, 1966, granting the UAC full autonomy from the U of A to become the University of Calgary.
      From Wikipedia:

      Rankings and Reputation
      The School motto on display

      Webometrics University Rankings[7], which ranks universities on their presence on the Internet, ranks the University of Calgary 45th in the USA and Canada category and 50th in the world. It is ranked 3rd in Canada.

      Research Infosource[8] ranks the top 50 research universities in Canada each year. Calgary is currently ranked 7th.

      The Times Higher Education Supplement ranks the school 166th in the world.

      The University of Calgary is ranked in the 203-304 area, but in the 100-200 area last year, in the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It is given a regional rank (encompassing the Americas) of 99-138. Its national rank is in the area of 8-17.

      Calgary’s Haskayne’s School of Business is renowned for strengths in undergraduate business, although this is disputed, such as in Maclean Magazine’s popular ranking system. In 2006, at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition, hosted annually by Queen’s University, Calgary continued to rank at the top in each area. Twenty-eight Canadian Undegraduate Business schools, with three from outside Canada, competed to solve business problems, and complete business cases. Calgary topped the rankings in business policy, debating, finance, labour arbitration, marketing and management information systems. It ranked third in accounting. Calgary came out the most successful school, one of four in the top 3 in more than one category (seven out of eight in Calgary’s case). [9]

      The University of Calgary ranks 7th in the medical-doctoral category of Maclean’s annual university rankings[10]. However, the rankings have been met with criticism.

      The University of Calgary and other universities have argued that Maclean’s Magazine takes data out of context and is an inaccurate reflection of performance . In 2006, 21 Canadian universities along with the University of Calgary, many being part of the leading group of research universities known as the G13, opted out of the rankings.[11] Other universities opting out in 2006 included Dalhousie, McMaster, Simon Fraser, Alberta, British Columbia, Lethbridge, Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa, Carleton, Toronto and Queen’s .

      I have a lot of problems with Harper, as Prime Minister, myself. I don’t think I can blame them all on the U of C.

      However, I think the U of C may have some regrets that Harper has squandered the benefits higher education bestows upon the fortunate.

      Full disclosure: The University of Alberta at Calgary was my first institution of higher learning. At the time first-year engineers built pipe-bombs as a scientific experiment and created the tradition of Bermuda Shorts Day, which is in the Urban Dictionary, that exists to this day. No way can the institution be held [entirely] responsible for the empty suit.

      Full disclosure redux; I am aware citing Wikipedia is flaky. So what. So’s Harper.

      • Personally, I’m glad that Canadians are not so credulous as to think that Harvard grads are automatically superior to U of C grads. After all, Harvard grads have a lot to answer for the way they conducted world affairs during the past century.

  16. I dunno if it’s actually such a bad thing to be in the news like this. It’s not like Harper was, oh, caught giving the Chancellor of Germany a backrub or anything. If it puts the PM of Canada in the news, and Canada’s other claim to fame is being #1 economically, I don’t see how it can hurt. Harper probably doesn’t see it that way himself, of course.

    • Of course, Harper was not actually in the international news about this. It only got airplay in Canada. Sure, Reuters and other wire services picked it up as a 200-word news item, but Reuters generates 6,000 articles per day, and not all of those articles actually get read. I’m sure that international news readers were probably more interested in the fate of the global economy than which of the G20 leader missed a photo shoot.

      • Dammit, another missed opportunity.

        • Life is full of missed opportunities.

          • It’s true, every opportunity is also a problem.

          • Definitely. And the Chinese word for “opportunity” is also… ah, forget it.

          • They do say that when nature calls, opportunity knocks — or is the other way around?

          • Heh. I think you’re confusing Chinese folk wisdom with a toilet paper commercial.

          • Story of my life. The ensuing Confucian is lamentable.

      • Reuters seriously generates 6000 articles per day, btw? Man.

      • Who needed 200 words, the headlines said it all. Like this one from a Scottish newspaper: G20: Loo-break leader misses photo

        • CNN played it for a good laugh.
          This not a photo op. Harper loves photo ops and would never miss one, because they are focussed on him.
          This is the Official Group Portrait of the London 2009 G 20 Summit. Not showing up is a discourteous, self centered insult to the other 19 leaders. Although they were laughing, they learned a lot.
          I guess he will stick with the self righteous lecturing to fellow leaders during NATO? They must be getting sick of it.