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Welcome to the infomercial

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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.