Saturday, August 01, 2009

Helicopter & submarine rides

It's a few weeks away but apparently it's shaping up to be the event of the summer. Mark your calendars for some photo-ops that are being very well-planned. So well-freaking planned that "a senior government official" held a background briefing for reporters yesterday in Ottawa which Kady O'Malley's summary treats best. "Operation Nanook" will be worth watching, for a few choice moments anyway. These ones:
The PM will join the hearty crew — the media contingent thereof, that is — of the Toronto on Wednesday morning, via helicopter; his arrival will include a landing shot, although any sign of a Mission Accomplished banner, and he’s turning that chopper around and going home. (Note: The preceding was entirely extrapolated by ITQ, and should not be attributed to ASGO.)

He then gets on an inflateable boat – really? – and heads off to the Charlottetown — that’s a submarine — before heading back to the Toronto — not loving this tradition of naming all our vessels after provincial capitals, by the way, as it makes for a very confusing itinerary.

The Toronto will sort of sail around, I’m gathering, depending on the weather and the presence of Danish interlopers who need to be shown what’s what... (emphasis added)
That's Wednesday, August 19th people, get your DVRs ready...I'm betting there will even be a commander-in-chief like costume of some sort, probably being made up special for the occasion as you read this. Baseball cap with logo, navy blue jacket of some sort with crest/patch, the PM's name blazoned prominently, that kind of thing. And you can bet that there will be much saluting, but of course...:)

A lot of nice pictures, posturing, captive media. It all sounds like quite a show they'll be putting on for a week, escaping from the more pressing issues of the day for the sake of Arctic sovereignty. Not that we don't support the Canadian position in the Arctic, not at all. But the hype for what really will be bland photo ops, activities and military exercises seems a little, well, overdone. The Conservatives have a record of talking a good game about the Arctic, action not so much.

Mr. Harper could alternatively be doing a week long public educational tour of the facilities and front line workers across the country that will be dealing with H1N1...that might be an idea, timely and of concern to the population. Probably much more important and top of mind to Canadians than the apple pie issue of Arctic sovereignty. Heck, I would go out on a limb and say Arctic sovereignty is not in the top 10 issues of concern to Canadians, probably not even in the top 20. But who are we to criticize media ops by the PMO. I guess we will do our best to enjoy the little show.

More here, here and here (it is just such a big deal).