At a press conference on Sunday, three federal ministers will unveil a slickly produced, 44-page report - Canada's Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future - and announce the creation of an official website dedicated to tracking the government's Arctic investments and policy initiatives.Of course, for any government concerned with actually getting anything accomplished, it should be a source of embarrassment that the best even a Con-friendly media chain can say about the report to be unveiled is that it's "slickly produced" rather than actually containing any significant ideas. And it should be all the more shameful that multiple departments apparently have nothing better to do than to unveil self-promotional materials. But the Cons long ago made it clear that they're only concerned with appearances rather than accomplishing anything of substance - making this just one more step down the road they've been travelling all along.
The publicity blitz follows a similar spotlighting of the Conservative government's Arctic agenda last summer, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several top ministers made visits to the North and announced a series of projects to strengthen northern military capability, improve social and scientific infrastructure, expand mineral exploration and prevent pollution in Arctic waters.
The government's continued, high-profile promotion of its Arctic file suggests Harper and his cabinet colleagues see polar politics as a key part of a winning election strategy, despite concerns among some critics about delays in delivering on promises, the government's commitment to environmental protection in the North and its handling of occasional clashes with Russia over jurisdictional issues.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Unworthy of promotion
In case we were lacking for reminders of the Cons' tendency to put self-promotion ahead of any interest in actually accomplishing anything useful while in office, CanWest reports that their latest consists of three cabinet ministers using public funds to unveil two new forms of Con cheerleading on Arctic issues: