The federal government has officially been renamed.

… a directive went out to public servants late last year that “Government of Canada” in federal communications should be replaced by the words “Harper Government.”

Public servants from four different line departments told The Canadian Press the instruction came from “the centre” – meaning the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office that serves the Prime Minister.



  1. Presumably this in no way effects taxpayer-funded advertising. I note, for instance, that the ubiquitous (/silly / redundant /wasteful) EAP commercials still say "A message from the Government of Canada" and not "A message from the Harper Government". I presume that changing THAT would be a bridge too far even for the Tories.

  2. Shouldn't that be the Crooked Harper Governent? Or the Lyin' Cheatin' Harper Government?

  3. I find it hard to believe this is legal. It is clear partisanship (and, IMO, offensive) and should not be allowed.

    The government consists of many branches, not all political – but ALL belong to the people of Canada, not any one person or party. Even within the two elected Houses, more than one party is represented and – especially in a minority government – more than one party is involved in the decision-making (at least to the degree tha the party in power must garner support from at least one other party in order to pass any legislation).

  4. Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein…….no, better not.

    Sorry! Carry on! Go about your business- nothing to see in this post….

  5. That just reminds us who is paying for EAP ads, i.e. taxpayers.

  6. It is pleasing to Us that the common folk do so entertain themselves hereabouts. You are commanded to continue to offer your pitiful little musings . But be warned. No disparagement of His Highness, Majesty Stephen shall be tolerated.

  7. As the article states, I'm pretty sure that in Ontario, provincially, this would be TOTALLY illegal.

  8. Ah, nostalgia.

    Been a while since I've seen Mr. Godwin around here…

  9. Let me complete it for you…ein fuhrer. Unser letzte hoffnung.

  10. cult, noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
    7. the members of such a religion or sect.
    8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

  11. Let it be known across the land, We shall remain Majesty until such time as young Benjamin is of age to succeed Us. So spake His Highness, Majesty Stephen on this day.

  12. Looks like I work for Service Harper now!

  13. <conbot>Well, at least they aren't calling themselves "Canada's New Government" anymore</conbot>

  14. Wow. That's gotta be a bad job. You deserve a raise.

  15. When I say the Harper government it's usually in a derogatory context, such as, "The Harper government if full of cheap thugs, incompetent ninnies, and small-time crooks." For the record I'd like to make it clear that in all such uses I was referring to Harper and his political cronies, not those employed by the Government of Canada.

    We need a law against the government using this kind of messaging. Also, I think it's high time PM Steve had a psych evaluation. He seems to have some issues.

  16. I was reading somewhere today that Mike Godwin noted that the purpose of his law was to "provoke remembering, not forgetting, and certainly not silence". Mind you, he also mentioned he hoped to eliminate 'glib comparisons' of which I count mine.

    I was thinking of Godwin today watching a conservative group protesting a muslim community dinner in Orange County CA. Sorry no link, but you can Google it.

  17. Let it be know across the land His Highness, Majesty Stephen hath previously decreed 'up' to be as 'down' and 'down' as 'up'. Now in respect of Duchess Oda, His Highness, Majesty Stephen doth hereby decree ' ' to be as 'not'. In respect of Robin of Elections' blaspheming of His Highness, Majesty Stephen's government, be it hereby decreed that 'in' be 'out' and 'out' be 'in'. So spake Him on this day.

  18. This isn't going to lead to another suggestion that we change the words to "O Cana… I mean, "O Harper", is it?

  19. Oh, I don't need to be reminded. Every time I think of my tax dollars going to that monstrosity my blood boils.

  20. http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/03/03/174

    "Government House Leader John Baird admitted Thursday it is wrong to raise partisan funds using Member of Parliament letterhead, and said the government would look into the matter.

    "Obviously you can't solicit political contributions on government letterhead. That's the general rule," Baird said. "We're looking into the matter and we'll report back in short order.""


    Does this name change have anything to do with this?, i mean aside from the cult of personality issue.

    Wish I knew how to make stuff italicized.

  21. Wish I knew how to make stuff italicized.

    It's easy, yo.

    I'll space the charactors so they don't actually work as html tags <.i.> Your message here <./.i.>

    Delete the periods and you're off to the races.

  22. Not illegal, but the Auditor General would kill that phrase in seconds. In Ontario, he can kill an ad because of a shade of red, a design that looks " too political" , or for no reason at all.

  23. Good point. Incorrect use of "illegal" there, but still, NOT PERMITTED.

  24. Enjoy responsibly.

  25. Hey look on the bright side. The Montreal Harpers already have an "H" in the middle of their logo

  26. And unlike the Maple Harpers, they might make the playoffs!

  27. I like that you figured out the b's on your own. ;-)

  28. There's not enough money in the world for me to service Harper.

  29. Oh, I know enough HTML to know that. I just didn't know you could use it in the fields.cartoon life dougsamu.wordpress.com

  30. When does the PMO start distributing the Harper lapel pins?

    Leader worship frightens me.

  31. So, woould it be fair to assume that if a half-dozen e-mails were sent to government ministers, they would put a stop to it, a la Long-Form Census?

  32. Wherry:

    Where, exactly, were you and the rest of the Maclean's political gallery while, for seven long, Duplessis-like years, one of the national political chattering class's pet Premiers spent a lot of government time, energy, and treasure, doing the exact same personality-cult thing?

  33. Mind you, having an entire CFL with the same team names would be nothing new

    The Ottawa Harperiders
    The Saskatchewan Harperiders

    and so on…

  34. The Power!

    Now look what you've done.

  35. Oh, do let's try it and find out.

  36. This is going to get out of hand fast.

  37. Worse yet their cheerleaders are both called the Harpies.

  38. I hope the other parties band together to make rules similar to those in Ontario.

    And that STockwell Day still has to change his name to Doris.

  39. We have a law.

  40. It may be the devil, and it may be the Lord,

    but you know you're gonna have ta sevrice somebody…

    (apologies to Mr. Dylan)

  41. What the article doesn't mention is that the current Ontario government brought in the Auditor General as a result of the intense partisan advertising done all through the Harris years.

    The Harris years. It's almost as it there's some connection there, somewhere.

  42. The difference is that Williams has a personality.

  43. Yes. A vile and tempermental one at that.

  44. "Great possibilities: Harper goose, Air Harper, Harper Post, HPP premiums, ships named HMHS, Harper bacon, HFL football, Vancouver Hucks, the Harper Rockies. He could even re-brand quintessential things that aren't specifically labeled as Canadian: Harper Tails, Tim Harper's, the Harper Leafs, and the Great White Harper." from Chuck Gordon.

  45. If it's "the Harper Government" then HST really is the "Harper Sales Tax".

  46. Next step: prominent photos of Beloved Leader to be placed in all government offices and all schoolrooms. All computer wallpaper to include a photo of Beloved Leader (no, not the crumpled cowboy hat one).

  47. "Let it be know across the land His Highness, Majesty Stephen hath previously decreed 'up' to be as 'down' and 'down' as 'up'."

    Isn't that a campaign promise from the Rhino Party?

  48. I find the whole thing pretty funny. You Conservative bashers rant and rave and gnash your teeth endlessly about the bloody "Harper Government" I'd think you'd be pleased to see it differentiated from that warm cuddly Chretien or (God forbid) Trudeau Government you remember so fondly. The Big G government of the wam embrace of conforming to the collective. Following the dictates of the wise men in the Ivory Towers who know so much more about how I should be happy and content than I could ever conceive in my "unsophisticated little brain"

    Double funny that a former jerk of the privy council, who runs a Liberal think tank is miffed; " The Government of Canada is a gift from we wise ones to you peons. A glorious institution, sufficient unto itself that deigns to sully its dignity by mixing with elected mortals who are not of, we the chosen ones, secular-humainist-fabian faith." 43% eh?

  49. I'm a Conservative who is generally pleased with "The Harper Government" and would like to see it succeed, and this is the sort of thing that really ticks me off. I know what the rationale was. An election is maybe coming in which the Tories' greatest advantage is leadership, and so some smart people with well paying jobs in the branding and advertising business have decided that in all things the Conservatives should be branding by leader, and naturally that would include departmental press releases, the actual text of which will be read by precisely zero swing voters, and so the whole thing risks this problem with no potential gain at all.

    And I can't resist making a little fun of the Iggster, who has released ads on the subject that contain the line "Like you, I am profoundly shocked". Really? I was profoundly shocked on 9/11. This just kind of irks me. I've always felt like an opposition politician who understands the difference would find more of an audience for his profound outrage when it was actually warranted.

  50. A childish, petulant, vindictive and angry one.

  51. What about the one in the Malaysian moomoo?

  52. I'm sure it is legal even if barely within the letter of the law. That is all you need to pass the Harper Government © smell test.

    I'd like to know what we have paid over the years for rebranding of the Government website and documents from Canada's New Government, through changeing the predominant colour from red/white to mainly blue and now this.

  53. I only hope that isn't Lip Service.

  54. Some smart people with well paying jobs in the branding and advertising business have decided that in all things the Conservatives should be branding by leader — that's all well and good if the CPC is paying for it. This is rebranding the government on the public dime for partisan political purposes.

    You're only "ticked off" because it won't buy them votes?

  55. Not that it won't buy votes but that it buys trouble they don't need. I don't read the verbatim text of department press releases. I don't know how the government brands itself in them. I don't care, and I haven't ever thought of it until now. My preference would be some reference the the Crown, but again, I don't read them, and neither does anyone, really. So yes, the political stupidity of it is my biggest concern here.

  56. It's just tax payers' money wasted buying trouble for the Harper Government ©
    Whatever happened to fiscal conservatives?

  57. The press release/memo etc. will go out anyway so the rebranding is not a waste of money per se (in fact, "Harper Government" saves 3 keystrokes. Multiply that across the entire government and think of the time saved), but I agree that a huge number of the activities touted by these communications are wastes of money and will gladly stand with you in calling for the government to cut them in the upcoming budget.

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