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Canadian Press reports that a few weeks before citizenship week celebrations last fall, Jason Kenney’s office asked his department to organize a ceremony at the Sun News studio in Toronto.

The goal was to find people who had recently taken the real oath. “I have also just confirmed … that all the clients that are calling back are declining the request as they have to attend work and are not able to take the time off to participate in this reaffirmation ceremony,” wrote one civil servant.

Four days before the ceremony, a bureaucrat in downtown Toronto again pleaded whether Sun News could instead go to an already planned event. “Please advise if the alternative would be acceptable since we do not have the resources to call over 3,000 clients to hopefully get 10 clients for this proposed event.”

In the end, only three of the 10 people the department had lined up to appear at the Sun’s studios actually showed up. But the show went on — featuring at least six federal bureaucrats. Three of those who took the oath wore identical T-shirts with a citizenship logo on it.

CP has video here. Justin Trudeau deems this “incredibly stupid.” An official in Mr. Kenney’s office was busy this morning assuring one and all that this was a “well intentioned mistake” made by a civil servant. And Mr. Kenney’s spokeswoman has now apologized to Sun News.


Welcome to the infomercial

  1. absolutely choice commentary on the matter at Mr. Wells’ twitter feed. 

    • My fav – real mmigrants not available because they have jobs…

      • I loved that one too!

  2. I simply don’t understand why this was done.

    Citizenship ceremonies are held all the time.  We’ve all seen them on TV, and many of us have attended one…either to take the oath or watch others do so. They are usually quite large.

    Standard plannable event.

    Sun TV could have filmed any one of them  Or used stock footage of an old one.

    To put on a ‘fake event’  where apparently none of them were new citizens, and the majority were even bureaucrats….is just crazy.

    Why did the govt pander to Sun news in the first place?

    • I think we both know the answer to that question.

      • Well it’s backfired on them spectacularly…..pandering to one network, faking a ceremony with showbiz …..and then it turns out real immigrants have jobs and were too busy working to attend!…. Which kills another anti-immigrant myth about them all coming here for our welfare programs.

        • But it’s the Liberals’ fault :)

          • I’m sure by tomorrow, it will be….gives Jason a whole night to plot. LOL

  3. Sun TV the new state sponsored broadcaster.

    Soon we will know Ezra Levant’s salary.

  4. I don’t really give a crap that the ceremony was faked for TV. I mean, first, it’s TV, second, it’s Sun News. If you go in to that thinking you’re going to get truth you’ve already disengaged your brain.

    No, my concern is what the hell was Kenney’s office doing “picking winners” for who got to have citizenship shoots? I thought this government was against picking winners and losers from private companies.

    • I agree but all I’ve been hearing from Steve’s pompom clan is that they’re “The Winners” and everyone else has to stuff it (they usually finish that claim with their favourite bon mot — “So suck it up, buttercup.”)

    • I thought you were (finally in this thread) going to question why the CIVIL SERVANTS at the Ministry of Immigration were spending so much of their taxpaid time preparing a photo op for the benefit of Sun TV?  Because, I imagine it is cheaper to have a citizenship ceremony come to them, than for Sun TV to take its van, reporter, cameraman, etc. out to an actual citizenship ceremony.

      • Oddly, given that it was citizenship week, I don’t mind the idea of the government promoting citizenship ceremonies.  However, if they’re going to do that, it makes more sense, to me anyway, to do so at the publicly funded station than to pick a single private one.

  5. Orwell ~ Politics and the English Language:

    Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

  6. Those bureaucrats should have refused to take part in presenting a falsehood. I weep for what’s happening to my chosen profession.

    • It was the civil servants idea,
      not the Ministers nor SunTVs.

      Reaffirmation of citizenship is open to the general public,
      it happens all the time, so says the Judge who officiated over this event.

      • Someone from a @sunmedia.ca address said “”Let’s do it. We can fake the Oath.”  It WAS SunTV’s idea (although I believe the hosts when they say they were unaware).

        But nice try wilson.

        • that was an email from the producer (now a CBC employee) and she was refering to the re-affirmation ceremony as a fake oath.
          why would the Ministry apologize to SunNN if it was Sun’s idea?

      • They don’t have just ‘reaffirmation ceremonies’…..they have citizenship oath ceremonies, and others are welcome to attend them, and reaffirm if they wish, along with the new citizens.

        • copy paste, nicely done Em

          • ???  Now yer just being silly.

      • I applaud your creativity in crafting this “unique” take on the matter.

      • wilson, you have to stop making things up.  The Judge has now said that there are two different ceremonies – one for affirmations of new citizens, and one for re-affirmation for existing citizens.  So he was duped into thinking the people were there were all new citizens.  Kenney, has unwittingly just confirmed that there are two different ceremonies.

        • Make up what Jan, read my post again.

          the Judge said it didn’t matter because people reaffirm their citizenship, sometimes 40-50 years later.

          This issue is right up there with ‘did Harper hide the wafer’,
          no mind journalism

    • Wouldn’t this constitute a violation of their rights – having to participate  in something like this?

  7. I think my comment would be best made with a reference to the dictionary:


    Noun: A trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.

    Verb: Provide with a gimmick; alter or tamper with: “restaurants gimmicked up like barns”.

    Synonyms: artifice, counterfeit, deceit, device, dodge, fake, feint, gambit, game, imposture, maneuver, ploy, ruse, stratagem, stunt, trick, widget, wile etc etc

    Yup, sounds about right! LOL

  8.  Heh, where’s Macleans post about CBC’s providing Quebecers with taxpayer funded pornography…??

    If SunNN had been told in advance that there were no-shows and stand-ins,
    they could have run something else.
    Like how 3 ‘Friends of CBC’ were on the CBC payroll, there are likely more than 3, but we don’t know because the ATI was pretty much blacked out!

    SunNN was not given that opportunity,
    so the apology from the department was indeed necessary.

    • Maybe youshould  just stick to  ‘the Russians are coming’ – it would make as much sense. 

      • Judging from this foolishness, the Russians are already here.  Pravda is up and running.

    • “…. CBC’s providing Quebecers with taxpayer funded pornography ….”

      How come it’s always the French who get pandered to while the rest of us pay for it? Where is my taxpayer funded porn?! 

      • Well you have internet so you can watch it on TOU-TV.

        Porn?  Well, it’s about a very catholic lady whose husband dies, leaving her alone and penniless to look after her family.  She finds out that he was in the porn business and she decides to continue in his tradition. More soap than porn, and the picture posted by SUN is definitely about as porn as you’ll get on HARD. It reminds me of the series WEEDS, same premisce.  I’ve seen Monty Python and Benny Hill do worse, on BBC and CBC.

        • WEEDS?  That’s not very tantalizing show than. 
          Maybe CBC should ask for refund, sounds like they were ripped off. 

          • The lesson here is to never listen to Brian Lilley on – well, anything.  He has obviously lead a very sheltered life.

          • And for the love of god, don’t look at him for too long. The man was born for radio.

          • I read on wiki that WEEDS earned Showtime their highest ratings  and that the show received numerous awards, including one Golden Globe and an Emmy. 

            Isn’t financial success the measure of the value of art and entertainment to a conservative? 

            I don’t watch these shows by the way.  I am a liberal, urban, limo elite type:  I’m an opera fan.


          • Off topic, I attended my second opera last night. “Moby Dick” playing here in Calgary.  I’ve come to the conclusion I’m *not* an opera fan: great visuals, some amazing voices, and a wonderful orchestra, but I’ve found so far that the music seems mostly to be competing with the voices rather than working with them.  Too much shouting as opposed to singing.  Still, I didn’t mind the first one this season, and as we picked up season tickets we’ve got one more to try out so perhaps I’ll find it was more that particular one, but I expect next year we’ll be doing the Calgary Philharmonic instead.

            So, liberal, urban type (green vs. limo) but not an opera fan.

        • I suspect he will be disapointed. 

    • That show is rated “16+”.  If you consider it “porn”, isn’t your problem less with the CBC than with the people who assign content ratings to T.V. shows?

  9. The Government of Canada is behaving like the crooks at ENRON.

    • Yes, they had a fake trading floor. 

      • Now the fake-lake at the G8 makes sense….it was a sign of things to come.

        • Foreshadowing….

        • Now we have fake pension crises, Russian attacks…

  10. Why on EARTH is Kenney apologizing to Sun TV???

    Sun TV requests help “faking” an oath taking ceremony (Sun email to the bureaucrats: “Let’s do it. We can fake the Oath”).  Immigration officials go OUT OF THEIR WAY to help Sun TV film a “faked” oath taking ceremony at their studios.  And Kenney is apologizing to SUN TV???

    Is Kenney apologizing because he thinks that the bureaucrats should have taken the time to call all 3,000 new citizens on their list in order to truly help the folks at Sun TV out???

    It seems to me that the message sent to bureaucrats by Kenney’s apology to Sun TV is “If Sun TV ever calls and asks you for something, don’t tell them that you don’t have enough staff to arrange a last minute event at their studios just for them, drop whatever you’re doing and help the poor folks out!”

    • Another aspect of this that might be worthy of concern – after  finishing extracting max  enjoyment out of JK’s embarrassment – is how easily the b’crat ponied up to the bar…volunteered to go over the top for the minister and perhaps a private “news” source .The conventional wisdom is that ‘crats spend all their time thwarting the democratic will of their political master, when in fact the opposite is true. Historically some ‘crats have been all too willing to heed the master’s call and throw the rule book out the window…looks like they’re still at it. Hell they’ve even led the charge beforenow!
      Agree with your last point.

    • It certainly raises questions about the relationship between this government and Sun Media.

    • I must confess – I was a little too sanguine about the relationship fears when SunTV was coming around. I bought that it would generally be a friendly organization for the CPC, but this is more than I thought it would be. 

  11. It could have been worse…they could have put a call out for some “ethnic” looking citizens to appear at a party photo op…thank goodness they didn’t go that far. 

    • Didn’t they do that in the last election?

      • :)

  12. This government of the absurd and incompetent is becoming more and more alien every day.  Perhaps we should see if any of them are worthy of citizenship.  I don’t think many of them would make good Canadians as they don’t seem to respect our values or laws.

  13. If we needed proof of the creeping politicization of the federal public service in Harperland, I guess we have it now.

  14. Amateurs. if they were short a few warm bodies of appropriate diversity then make
    a call to Brian Topp’s office and ask them to send a few over. Union scale and all that.
    It’s always better to send the pros in.

  15. Sounds like something straight out of ‘The Thick of It’.

    • Or SCTV, Melonville.

      Apparently, SunTV only has a refurbished chip wagon and a couple of dusty 3:4 ratio betamax cameras. Thus,,they have no capability to go “out in the field”. Much easier to bring ‘the field’ into the safe environs of HQ studios where they keep the old wooden tripods.

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