Who can ignore Google's eyes on Parliament Hill? - Macleans.ca

Who can ignore Google’s eyes on Parliament Hill?

Tease the day: The internet giant visits the halls of power and earns oodles of good press


CP/HO-Google Canada

Google holds so many of us in the palm of its hand. Yesterday, when the company knocked on Parliament’s door, we couldn’t help but fawn over its mission to document the halls of power for the outside world. Google pushed around Trolley, one of its mobile panoramic cameras, to shoot photos of the House of Commons, the Senate chamber—and even the Prime Minister’s office in Centre Block. Open your paper this morning and you’ll more than likely see a photo of a man, dressed casually in a Google T-shirt, surveying the House. Sometimes, good press is so easy.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Ottawa, Grand Elder Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake, Man., ended his hunger strike after just a few days. Robinson had previously demanded a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper over federal changes to funding agreements with First Nations. Predictably, Harper never budged. Yesterday, at a press conference on the steps of Parliament Hill, Robinson told reporters he was giving up the fight (a volunteer live-tweeted Robinson’s statement). “I stopped because I have done enough,” read one tweet. “I need to rest. I have prayed that the First Nations of this country meet on an equal level.”

Robinson’s protest gained some traction: #RayOfHope vigils popped up across Canada, the United States, and even Germany. But, those ceremonies aside, Robinson’s second hunger protest of 2013 will disappear from the public consciousness almost immediately. Reporters scarcely paid attention, save for the occasional small item. That relative lack of attention reminds us of the enormity of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s protest on Victoria Island earlier this year. People may criticize her goals, credibility and even whether her strike was legitimate—but she got our attention, and didn’t have the benefit of a flashy Google camera to win anyone over.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Canada’s prospective role as peace broker in the Middle East. The National Post fronts the Conservatives’ inability to transform their talk about diversified export markets into real trade opportunities. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the unaccredited company that supplied diluted chemotherapy drugs to cancer patients. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the Official Languages Commissioner’s prospective investigation of a federal decision to move thousands of Francophone defence employees to a facility in a predominantly English-speaking part of Ottawa. iPolitics fronts the significant contributions of brewers to Ontario Liberal leadership candidates. CBC.ca leads with Canada’s 10 best hospitals, according to its survey. National Newswatch showcases a Canadian Press story about former Conservative minister Stockwell Day’s support of the B.C. Liberals.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Child well-being. A UNICEF report that analyzes youth mortality, obesity and other measures of child health ranks Canada 17th out of 29 industrialized nations. The Netherlands ranked #1. 2. Euthanasia. Susan Griffiths, a 72-year-old who lives with multiple systems atrophy, is travelling to a Switzerland clinic that will assist her as she intends to end what she calls a very painful life.
3. Public transit. Fort McMurray’s spending $9 million on heated bus stops—complete with doors and timed air vents—that will encourage oil sands workers to take the bus to work. 4. Cancer treatment. Arjun Nair, a Grade 11 student, won a prestigious biotechnology competition thanks to his development of a strategy to combat cancerous cells in tumours.

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Who can ignore Google’s eyes on Parliament Hill?

  1. Since Canada’s msm is 99.2% white and middle class, I guess I should not be surprised our msm is more interested in Google than the apartheid system we subject Natives to.

    • They pay no tax but get all the benefits of being a Canadian citizen, no? How much more can be done for them?

      • (un)reasonable: You are obviously upset that natives were on what you consider is your land before you got here.

        Brief synopsis: Natives were here first. Then settlers like my ancestors from Europe came along and tried to claim the land as their own. War ensued. To stop the fighting, peace and friendship treaties were signed where native tribes got some plots of land and were told they could keep their ways. Things like not being forced to pay taxes and being paid after being kicked off your land were part of later peace agreements after more settlers came, more colonies were established, the United States was formed and later, Canada.

        • Yeah, they were wronged. Severely. Some even very recently, as in the “residential school” debacle. What’s that got to do with the average Native person today? If you or even your parents weren’t personally harmed, you don’t have any right to ask for special treatment or reparations. Native Canadians are born into being free from taxation for life – that alone means having tens or hundreds of thousand more in income over an average lifetime. If they’re not happy with their lot in life, they should do the same as everyone else.

          Polls show even the majority of Native citizens think these sorts of attention-grabbing schemes are a bad thing which hinders their cause rather than helping it.