How many does it take to screw in a light bulb?

by Aaron Wherry

In the process of detailing the government’s confused response to last summer’s earthquake, the Citizen’s Tom Spears explains what it takes to issue a news release in this town.

Even though the announcement was 75 words long (not including phone numbers), it needed: Approval in principle from an assistant deputy minister — but still subject to approval of “media lines,” a sort of script outlining the department’s central message;  Approval from the office of minister Christian Paradis; Translating the announcement of the conference call; Approving the translation; Approval from the Privy Council Office; Posting the announcement on the Natural Resources website — and immediately pulling it off again, because media lines were not yet approved by the assistant deputy minister; Approving the media lines; Last-minute copy editing, literally. One minute before the call, someone felt the French copy should list the time as 18 h, not 18h00.

Finally, at 6:24 p.m., sending out the conference call invitation on a commercial wire service — 24 minutes after the call began.




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