Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

How Canada Controls The Border Message

Obviously a Government wants to speak with one voice. It makes no sense to have different members of the Government saying different things about the same issue.

However, Canada's Government has taken control to the nth degree as these excerpts from a news story suggest. The important points to understand are that not only is the message controlled but everything is scripted in great detail including whether something can be said or not.

Moreover, the Government wants to deliver a certain message and has target audiences. In the DRIC/P3 case, the objective is to have the Bill passed to endrun the Michigan Senate. However, that cannot be publicly disclosed for obvious reasons.

Therefore, the propaganda message being delivered is how generous Canada is with its $550 million offer so the deal is "riskless" to Michigan and all the jobs that will be created. The reality is much different. Canada is offering nothing but a 2-page letter and will have a P3 investor put up the money months from now when one is finally selected. If an operator is ever selected. Moreover, the Bill itself specifically allows for "availability payments" that have to be paid by taxpayers so one can guess what the end result will be when the proponents have already tolled errrr told us.

In the end, Canada's whole approach is a phony one with respect to DRIC because the Prime Minister has issued to his Transport Minister a secret mandate letter to buy the Ambassador Bridge. But that has to be hidden because it would raise embarrassing questions and answers so that people would finally understand that Canada wants to destroy the Bridge Company and to force its owner to sell cheaply.

Now at last, Michigan Senators will understand the propaganda techniques that are being used against them by Canada when reading this story. Note especially how an event is to be played in Canada and the section of the story relating to the border. Now you will understand why the Transport Minister's position about what the $550 million represents seems contradictory considering what he said in Michigan and what he said in the Transport Committee hearing in Canada the day after he returned from Lansing:
  • Tory message control reaches around the globe

    The long arm of Tory message control has reached around the world in an attempt to orchestrate virtually every public utterance by seasoned diplomats, from Britain to Bangladesh, an investigation by The Canadian Press concludes.

    The secret to this unprecedented attempt to stage-manage Canada's most experienced high commissioners, ambassadors and diplomats is the Message Event Proposal — a finely developed information tool aimed at giving the Prime Minister's Office total control over communication.

    MEPs obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal how Stephen Harper's office has employed the device to micromanage Canadian diplomacy in the United States, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Asia and Africa.

    Even the most able and trusted of Canada's foreign service officers have been subjected to strict controls — not by their bosses at the Foreign Affairs Department — but by the PMO through its public service arm, the Privy Council Office...

    The central direction of foreign service officers is unparalleled, says retired diplomat Gordon Smith, who served Conservative and Liberal prime ministers as Canada's ambassador to NATO and the European Union, was a former deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and a senior official at PCO...

    The MEPs have been used widely in embassies and diplomatic missions across the world. In some cases, the government has weighed so-called diaspora politics — how the handling of an event in a far-off land will play with a particular ethnic group in Canada.

    Closer to home, a three-day December 2007 tour of the Canada-U.S. border organized by the Canadian consulate in Seattle was scripted to circumvent Canadian media and "dispel myths and negative perceptions" among American media outlets.

    "No media invited," said the MEP for a visit by state legislators and staffers from Washington State, Idaho and Alaska for what was billed as "an extensive tour" of the border.

    News releases would be issued after the tour "targeting local state media" in Washington, Idaho and Alaska, stated the MEP, which specified this coveted soundbite: "U.S. Legislators get a first-hand look at how co-operation, partnership and dedication to security is making the Canada-U.S. border work."

A suggestion to Michigan Legislators, next time that the Canadian Consul from Detroit comes knocking on your door about DRIC and P3s, cut the time spent speaking with him by asking for a copy of the Canadian Government's Message Event Proposal. You may as well learn directly how you are being tricked.