Self before country


After fighting for disclosure, the Canadian Press turns up still more evidence of efforts to rename the Government of Canada in Stephen Harper’s image.

“The directive we have from the (director general’s office) is that if PCO adds the Harper Government reference, then we leave it in,” says an email to communications officials at Industry, dated Oct. 5, 2010. “Please proceed with this approach. Sorry – it is what PCO has instructed.”

An editor responded: “Given this directive, and with mild distress, I have reinstalled the phrasing.” “French release harperized and good to go,” quipped another.


Self before country

  1. Self-servatives led by PM Spinocchio.

  2. What “tubby” has written let no man put asunder or until we get another “directive”Ruling by devine “right”.

  3. Calling the Government of Canada the Harper Government in official documents is as much a violation of the Treasury Board rules as when several Conservative Cabinet ministers and MPs handed out Government of Canada cheques with the Conservative Party logo on them.

    The problem is that Treasury Board rules are enforced by the Treasury Board which is made up of Conservative Cabinet ministers and Conservative-appointed senior government officials.

    The federal Auditor General and Ethics Commissioner must be given the power to enforce Treasury Board rules, and to penalize anyone who violates those rules with significant fines.

    Hope this helps,
    Duff Conacher, Founding Director of http://DemocracyWatch.ca

    • Hey Duff —  I just want to take this time to thank you for your contributions and years of service to the betterment of Canada and its political institutions!

  4. From the CP article: “Industry Canada’s emails and edited releases from autumn 2010 make a
    mockery of Conservative government denials offered when The Canadian
    Press first published reports of the name-change orders last March.”

    It looks like Dimitri Soudas, Stephen Harper’s chief spokesman, blatantly lied about political interference in civil service communications. Interference that was dictated by the PMO itself.

    Stephen Harper is a baldfaced liar.

    • +1000000 to your last sentence. The guy is abhorrent.

  5. Of course, it’s well established that Harper is a modern day Machiavelli. This is all part of a strategy to confirm his suspicion that public servants are out to get him. These journalists have found what Harper wanted them to find – concrete evidence of the vast conspiracy against him.

    This explains why there are so many communications staff in the ‘Harper Government’, of course.

    Can’t get rid of existing staff like the ones quoted above (corrupt unions, you know) but need to ensure there are staff you can depend on to implement the communications strategy without feeling any ‘mild distress’. So for every one distressed staffer, you’ll need at least 2 non-distressed (‘Harperized’) staffers. Basic math there.

  6. I’ve worked at a high level in provincial government communications areas, and under different governing parties.  And I remember a time — not very long ago at all — when department and Crown communications people would delete and refuse to include lines that they deemed political.  In other words, communications directors would call the minister’s office in question and explain that the lines were political and not appropriate in a letter written to a minister and not just an MLA.  And political letters to MLAs were handled by guess what — the appropriate constituency office, not a bureaucrat who’s meant to serve the public.

    Ministerial assistants tried very hard to coerce, but it was normal to stand your ground.  That has all changed now.  Not just with harper, but the more fear that’s thrown around, the easier it is for the pols to force these changes.  Of course, I also remember when communications people had skills, experience and post-secondary education, and were not merely stooges and supporters of government of the day.  Nowadays the typical communications person in government is parachuted into a department by a party and in most cases, cannot write, do not understand strategy and honesty, and are dangerously willing to do whatever they’re told.  After all, with no skills, where else would they get such well-paid jobs?  And they can’t very well parachute their supporters into jobs as engineers or accountants can they? 

    It’s actually fascinating to observe: they will drop any useful idiot into the high-paid jobs because they are just there to carry out orders; the only skill they need is acquiescence.  In truth, government department communications areas may as well shut down, because they really no longer operate as intended: the pols, the MAs, etc, are making the decisions.

  7. The Harperization of Canada… the term itself reeks of something crude and oppressive 

    The vulgarization of power at the very least.

     I imagine this is the way poitics was carried out sometime in the fifthties only now with a considerably more sophisticated arsenal of spin doctors, party bagmen and sychophantic yesmen like Soudas at the govt’s beck and call. All done with the best of intentions of course, as these kind of thing always are no matter what sleazy corner of the globe they happen to take place in.

  8. I also want to remind you that we should all be careful what we wish for: harper wants to attach glory to his name, to have his name on all that is good that rolls out under hime.  However with a huge deficit and now facing economic problems around the world (and is anyone foolish enough to think Canada won’t be affected?) then perhaps he won’t be as excited when we all speak of The Harper Recession, Harper poverty, Harper prisons, Harper guns in criminal hands…
    That’s the hard part about reputations: they are built on actions, not advertising.  No matter how hard he tries, mark my words, harper will not live in history as one of the great ones.  Big meany inferior complex guy, maybe, but nothing great will ever be attached to his name — it’s the wrong time, and his vision is just not compatible with great.

    • “I also want to remind you that we should all be careful what we wish for …. ”

      I was thinking same thing. All well and good to be called Harper Government when times are good times but quite different when bad times occur. Achieving status of Bennett Buggy or somesuch is something pols should actually try to avoid.

      Harper = hubris

      Ben Franklin ~ A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle

  9. So basically this is the exact opposite of the sentiment expressed by Stéphane Dion, who famously said, “My country before my party …”

    From our friend Mr. Wells:

    Dion stepped forward and prepared to make, maybe, three points. He ticked off his forefinger and began: “My country before my party.” The hall erupted in a standing ovation. He looked surprised, shrugged, and went back to his seat.

  10. It’s interesting that he doesn’t insist on it being the ‘Conservative’ govt….or the ‘Tory’ govt….no, it’s the ‘Harper’ govt.

    When we read history, we’re amazed that MacKenzie King was such an odd duck….getting advice from his dog and his dead mother and a crystal ball…and he was the PM that took us through WWII…..yet nobody at the time mentioned it to the public.

    Now we have a PM with his own hairdresser, make-up artist, photographer etc, who all travel with him….and a room hung with photos of himself…and now he’s even naming it as his own personal govt……and yet nobody seems to think that’s odd either.

  11. Does anyone else think that this is dangerously narcissistic? Since when is the Government of Canada the Government of Harper? He may be holding the reins at the moment, but the Government of Canada is much more than this one person. It sounds reminiscent of Chavez. The man and the state are one.

    • “L’etat, c’est moi” is attributed to the original sun god, Louis XIV of France. This one, King Stephen, is a mere wannabe.

  12. Harper calls this “PROGRESS”??? …lets illegally
    re-brand Canada from an international standpoint because there’s nothing else
    more important to do… the Harper regime will NOT being fixing the economy
    or  “crime” (which is at an all
    time low) or the ‘state’ of the military (as in there is nothing wrong with NOT
    having the largest damned military in the world, Harper, talking directly to
    you) He will not fix these things like some magical fairy god mother….

    ….the only outcome under his ‘leadership’ is that of the
    coming tipping point which is also the only solution, everything must collapse
    for the morons in power to lose everything that lets them keep twisting the


    I know it will be painful, but at least we will be getting
    somewhere, I’ll gladly live in hell for 15 years to avoid a marginal and wasted
    lifetime, with no opportunities, limited growth, all because the morons will
    tax their way out, and ensure their own comforts first; as opposed to 70+ years
    of paying back multi-generational bailouts and corporate greed.


    Bring on the hell, i welcome it, and bring about the end of
    moronic political reign.


    Cook out the human poisons, rather than let politicians keep
    pumping everything full of toxicity. I will gladly give my life to see the day
    where this entire sociological experiment called society is kicked to the curb
    and people live radical and experimental lives again, and survive by their own
    competence and wits; Better than our current relentless and slow fall into chaos
    that nobody in power seems to have the wits or competence to do anything about.


    Honestly, changing the name of Canada,
    illegally is going to change anything important for Canadians, Harper you
    squander your purview, you look like a petty child.

  13. Harper is just testing out his “controlled destruction
    of Canadian society” on a small scale first… you see, he creates the
    problems by heavy handed neglect, tests his own agenda and ensures his own
    interests, and then swoops in with peanuts and looks like a hero.


    Harper’s actions demonstrate that his agenda will only serve
    to bring about increased neglect of Canada and Canadians, on an international
    level he doesn’t even want to call the Canadian Government by it’s legally
    mandated name, ‘The Government of Canada’; such contempt, such pettiness, such
    un-intelligence and arrogance.


    Harper created this mess to see if he can control it on a
    larger scale…. he will be the undoing of Canada,
    and he is starting with it’s legally given and accepted name first.



  14. Harper’s regime, the disinformation police are used as
    cannon fodder to choke up communication and lay a smoke screen of conflicting
    disinformation, everyone that is part of the political system is complicit
    either actively, or passively as a bureaucratic cog-in-the-machine that must
    respond with the anticipated response when tapped with the expected stimulus…
    (ie: in the recent Tony Clement “sure” scandal, any NDP ‘apology’,
    the speaker’s acceptance of the findings, and Hansard’s role).


    Harper is deconstructing Canada,
    and lying every step of the way, because what real Canadian would truly allow
    that to occur? You see, the Harper regime thinks of Canadians like frogs in a
    pot of water over a fire… if they just throw us in the boiling water we might
    jump out, and we’ll definitely be angry… BUT if they place us in a pot of
    cold water and bring it up slowly to a boil, we will sit there and get


    Are we gonna let these double talking, deceitful,
    anarchists cook Canada and Canadians? So far Canadians are allowing it….

  15. The Harper gov is doing an excellent job of bashing its own
    future and the future of Canada
    and young Canadians totally to death… all on its own.

    Ideology will paint a target on this regime’s head, as
    history shows it has done to corrupt regime after corrupt regime, time and time
    again. e

    A sane and happy human will ignore the failure of misguided
    ideology because they are sane and happy…. make the same humans angry and
    test our patience and sanity, and we will look for the cause of what went
    wrong, and we will blame that cause and hold it accountable… because we will
    be angry enough to take it that far and crazy enough to not let it drop…


    Harper is ensuring his downfall, by acting on blind
    ideologies and angering EVERYONE to the eventual point of action, with no
    turning back…

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