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Wikileaks: the Canadian files

The shocking truth about John Baird, Harper’s hockey book and those ‘pandas’


 
Wikileaks: the Canadian files

Included in the treasure trove is John Baird’s personal diary, filled mostly with self-help affirmations and drawings of himself | CP; Getty Images; Redux; Illustration by Taylor Shute

So far, WikiLeaks has focused primarily on exposing secrets of the United States. But what if . . .

OTTAWA: The Harper government has been broadsided by the release of thousands of confidential documents, including sensitive diplomatic cables, secret internal emails and the only known reproduction of Peter MacKay’s little black book.

Reaction was swift. “Three stars?” Belinda Stronach asked.

The document dump by WikiLeaks offers a candid glimpse of Canada’s foreign service, whose diplomats work day in and day out to remind the world that Lester Pearson did a bunch of stuff 50 years ago. The cables reveal the lengths to which the current government will go to portray its foreign policy as producing tangible results. An example: those exotic animals we’re getting from China? Tony Clement and Mike Duffy in panda suits.

Furthermore, diplomats across the globe are under direct orders from the Prime Minister to monitor intelligence chatter in search of any reason for him to head overseas—such as progress in the Middle East or, better still, a Tim Hortons’ opening. (In many of the secret cables, Harper is referred to as “Dick”—not because he required a code name, but because people don’t like him.)

Documents revealed that employees of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa tune obsessively to Canadian TV to monitor how Americans are portrayed. WikiLeaks confirms that Canadian diplomats closely monitor American TV as well. They don’t write cables about it or anything. They just think Big Bang Theory is hilarious.

Despite the provocative international content, much of the public’s focus is expected to be on domestic political revelations unearthed by WikiLeaks.

Here we find a treasure trove of information, including Jim Flaherty’s calculations for his 2008 fiscal update—presented on their original cocktail napkin—and John Baird’s personal diary, which took extra time to crack because of the clever locking mechanism just below the Hello Kitty. Historians seeking insight into the minister’s motivations are likely to be disappointed: the diary consists mostly of self-help affirmations and what appear to be Baird’s drawings of himself, without a shirt, defeating Batman.

WikiLeaks even managed to uncover documents that weren’t thought to exist, including a draft of the Prime Minister’s much-talked-about book on hockey. The first 400 pages consist in their entirety of claims that Michael Ignatieff skates “like a girl.”

The documents also offer rare insight into the Conservative government’s strict message-control machine. Consider the text of the holiday greeting card sent out last year by the PM. The greeting originated in the Privy Council Office, where a three-day retreat for a dozen speech writers resulted in the draft message: “Happy Holidays.”

The card then went downstairs to be reviewed by a working group, edited by a press secretary, tweaked by a senior adviser (who added an exclamation mark and a fundraising request) and sent for final sign-off to chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas, who rewrote the whole thing himself. This helps solve the mystery of why the PMO’s holiday card read “Happy Please For the Love of God Someone Offer Me a Job in the Private Sector.”

Other revelations in the WikiLeaks files:

• Vic Toews’ collection of TV Guide covers is missing only the May 3, 1980, shot of Mork and Mindy.

• Harper doesn’t actually care how many stimulus signs have been erected—but having them counted one by one was a great way to keep Pierre Poilievre out of his hair for three months.

• Before the PMO went to work on it, Don Cherry’s endorsement of by-election winner Julian Fantino featured nine incorrectly conjugated verbs and six mentions of Cold-FX.

• A high-level cable sent last December indicated concern in Africa about tyranny and the short-circuiting of democratic process. “But,” it said, “the people here will eventually get over Harper’s decision to prorogue.”

Any partisan advantage for Liberals was undermined by the simultaneous release of internal party documents that reveal low morale, dismal fundraising results and the fact that Michael Ignatieff is a traveller from a distant future where humans have evolved beyond the need for charisma.


 

Wikileaks: the Canadian files

  1. "Michael Ignatieff is a traveller from a distant future where humans have evolved beyond the need for charisma."

    While he lived in that distant future, he MUST have run into Harper a few times. He must have. There has to be footage of those two exchanging long protein strings someplace.

  2. The American people need a way to find out about what goes on with their government, because the politicians sure as heck aren't telling us the truth.

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  3. Yawn!!

  4. TERRORIST COLLABORATING SITE MUST BE ERADICTED

    Obviously the wacko UK judges are as far to the extreme left as our own.

    Why hasn't the Defense Department or The Central Intelligent Agency employed its technology or agents to eradicate this terrorists sustaining web site from the face of the earth? Some security “experts” advise that they believe that the capability exist; all that is necessary is an order from a commander in chief who is dedicated enough, and who loves America enough to give the command. We are told that, the government recently disabled sites that were providing free movies and music.

    Removing this pervert and terrorist sympathizer who is a menace to society was the first step, however, removing his web site is crucial if we hope to effectively expedite the war on terrorism. His irresponsibility is also impair international relations for many countries, and also makes Obama and other leaders of other countries who are trying to shut him down look incompetent.

    • Great satire, machi, you've really nailed the old and angry reaction.

    • Dude there not terrorists but giving us the information we need to hear and see. What? you don't want to know what the Gov and big business is doing behind our backs… F no I want to know when we are being screwed and having our rights messed with and the other new wont tell us this for their own buy those governments and businesses. So you want to be a sheep go hid and kiss ass to those in power but I'll continue to fight for my freedoms. Peace out and be well.

  5. Nice bit of humour (btw: way to read the article, machiavelli *coughdouchebagcough*).
    lol line:" …John Baird's personal diary, which took extra time to crack because of the clever locking mechanism just below the Hello Kitty."

  6. Not your best work, Scott.

  7. How long will it take to get the notes on these Border Security talks? I'm sure the notes will be welcome here if Wiki isn't around.

  8. UFO's are next for Wiki, so stay tuned. Besides I still believe in free speech, The american soldier that stole the latest batch of leaks should be charged and anything that dams canadians should be dealt with during the next election. People in government need to be able to communicate frankly regarding anything relevant to the security of canadians but the should also remember that every word written and sent over the web become fodder for public consumption.

  9. Hey Canada, heard of the Canada-EU "free trade" agreement? (CETA) It's being negotiated behind the backs of Canadians & will effectively completely destroy our sovereignty – right down to municipalities! Hitler – oops, Harper – wants to sign it before anyone has a chance to debate it. EVERY PUBLIC SERVICE would be up for grabs & European private companies could sue our gov't.,, pd for by your taxes. Deregulation & Privatization threaten public services, JOBS, food, culture, water & natural resources, our democratic rights! Get out there & inform people. We have to get rid of this gov't before it's too late. It's national referendum time again.

    • You have just invoked Godwin, I'm afraid. But never mind that. Given the choice, would you rather see the implementation of this CETA, or Canada-US integration? I like to think we have more in common with European interests than American, and such a union could give us greater strength to resist being absorbed and subsequently digested by our all-too-friendly Southern neighbour. I very much doubt your claim that Canada would lose its sovereignty and be forced to sign its public services over to private European business, and I politely request that you cite your sources for this information. Clearly any trade agreement must be handled with great care, but I wonder if perhaps you're being a little bit alarmist?

  10. While he lived in that distant future, he MUST have run into Harper a few times. Nonsense.

    Harper was never accepted at Harvard nor acedemically qualifed to attend such a pretigeous University. Likely is grades did not come nearly come closely in qualifying him.

    • While he lived in that distant future, he MUST have run into Harper a few times. Nonsense.

      Harper was never accepted at Harvard nor academically qualified to attend such a prestigious University. Likely is grades did not come nearly come close enough for him to qualify,

      • While he lived in that distant future, he MUST have run into Harper a few times. Nonsense.

        Harper was never accepted at Harvard nor academically qualified to attend such a prestigious University. Likely is grades did not come nearly close enough for him to qualify,

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