Sunday, February 20, 2011

We call him "Loose" Cannon for good reason

Cannon at work in the Arctic, spring 2010.

Canadian Press has done some...research! Yes! On the funny incident in the Arctic in the spring when Cannon seemed to go off on the Russians in a highly dramatic fashion. The Russians, you see, were planning a sovereignty exercise of their own, a paratrooper drop that had historical significance for them. Apparently, we learn, the talking points from Canadian officialdom were quite restrained, actually, and Cannon went off script with his "stunt" talk.
"The landing of Russian paratroopers on the frozen surface around the North Pole does not affect Canadian sovereignty," says one of the prepared talking points in an April 16 briefing note.

"Canada co-operates closely with Russia on a bilateral basis in multilateral forums such as the Arctic Council."
But Cannon took leave, referring to to it as a stunt and propaganda:
“It’s another stunt like the flag planting some years ago. It doesn’t affect Canada’s sovereignty,” Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Tuesday, referring to the planting of a flag on the North Pole seabed by a Russian submarine in 2007.
...
“Obviously, I’ll talk about it and I’ll brush it off. People have been going to Mount Everest and planting flags on Mount Everest since Jesus wore short pants,” Cannon said from the remote Canadian research station about 1,100 kilometres from the North Pole.
Maybe we can forgive a minister for being confused about what line to toe. What with all the posturing from the top that's been the order of the day when it comes to the Arctic.

For more recent confusion of the Cannon variety, this blog has been following the Tunisian issue this week as well. The Cannon Foreign Affairs adventure rolls on...