Monday, March 12, 2007

A timeline of distortion

Friday, March 9: Lorne Calvert highlights the fact that Stephen Harper did not invite him to participate in an agricultural spending announcement:
(T)he Saskatchewan government said it hasn't been told why Harper is visiting Saskatoon, raising questions about the relationship between Ottawa and the province.

"I've been a bit surprised by the arrival of the prime minister (Friday), we had no advance notice of this," said Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert.

"I have no idea what he intends to announce, if he is here to make an announcement. I have no idea whether it's to be on environment or equalization or agriculture or research."
Friday, March 9: Harper explains why Calvert was not invited to the announcement:
When asked yesterday why Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert was not on hand, Mr. Harper pointed out that this was a national, not federal-provincial program.

He also said joint initiatives are being discussed -- and signed -- with a number of provinces, but Ottawa hasn't come to an agreement with Saskatchewan on several issues, including climate change and patient waiting-time guarantees.
Monday, March 12: Macleans rewrites history:
Unlike Ontario's Dalton McGuinty and Alberta's Ed Stelmach, both of whom were at Harper's side when he announced new funding in their provinces, Saskatchewan premier Lorne Calvert declined to attend the event. Calvert and Harper have been nursing a disagreement over the Prime Minister's intention to include a portion of non-renewable natural resource revenues in a revamped equalization formula.
Needless to say, there couldn't be a better result for Harper: not only was he able to exclude Calvert from any PR benefit resulting from the announcement based on his own arbitrary standards, but his fawning media has managed to wrongly put the blame for the exclusion on Calvert - thereby benefitting Harper's provincial lapdogs. And if reality is once again a casualty in Harper's war for political power...well, so much the better for the Cons.

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