Sunday, January 15, 2012

Corraling The Dean With A Confidential Missive


Well, well, well.....

It would appear that Vaughn Palmer got the memo.

The 'secret' memo that is:

...(Conservative Prime Minister Stephen) Harper, far from not having time for (Liberal Premier Christy) Clark, has met with her on non-hockey matters a half-dozen or so times over the past year. Thursday, he not only made the gesture of stopping by her son's hockey game, he stayed for all three periods, suggesting a level of mutual com-fort beyond what is necessary for public relations purposes.

Image-making aside, the week also brought more substantive evidence of the budding relationship between the two leaders and their administrations.

Earlier Thursday, Clark had announced the appointment of a former senior adviser to Harper, Ken Boessenkool, as her chief of staff.

His prime objective, as described by Boessenkool himself in a confidential missive announcing he was joining the upper echelon of the B.C. Liberal administration:

"Keeping the NDP away from the reins of power in B.C.," as a way of "keeping Western Canada strong" and "keeping Canada on course," meaning the one charted by Harper's Conservative government.

"So when Premier Christy Clark recently asked me to play a bigger role in making sure her free-enterprise coalition stays in power, I said yes," he wrote in the letter distributed to friends and supporters....

Mr. Palmer then spent his entire column making the case that Ms. Clark has successfully started to shore up her right side, laying out all kinds of evidence, including the fact that Mr. Harper hung out with Ms. Clark at her son's hockey game so that she could have a pseudo-staffer snap pictures that were then immediately posted on her Facebook page.

But here is what Mr. Palmer did not tell British Columbians about Mr. Harper's visit recent visit to Lotusland:

It's time for some housekeeping about the twin events Prime Minister Stephen Harper held Thursday on both coasts to announce the next steps and promote the winning bidders for the federal government's huge shipbuilding project....

First let's take attendance...

Not invited to the event in Halifax: As reported by CBC Halifax, NDP Premier Darrell Dexter, who lobbied hard for his province to win the larger of the two contracts up for grabs. (Though the government did maintain all along that lobbying would not influence the contract decisions.)

Also not at the event in North Vancouver: B.C. Premier Christy Clark, who also did her best to make the west coast case for their share of the procurement...

Inside Politics, CBC


Some might actually call the fact that Ms. Clark was shut out of a public event that she could have really wurlitzered, based on real news coverage, 'real' news.

Real news that gives us (i.e. British Columbians) real insight into the state of play that actually matters.

Real news that was not 'confidentially' generated for selective release to insiders with special access.

Real news that was not 'manufactured' for dog whistling on the book of faces.


And, for the non-secret, non-conflicty record, the Ceeb's report cited above did NOT come from Stephen Smart. Thus, apropo of nothing at all, it would appear to be safe to assume that no confidential memos from inside the newly retooled and expanded Premier's office were used to generate it.



Anonymous said...

Not only were there facts left out of Vaughn's story, just as phony and sugary sweet this photo-op was, my reading of Vaughn's column was to convey a sickening positive spin on this new found friendship between the PM and Premier. Not that there's anything all that unusual with Vaughn's style of coverage; it usually starts out like it might actually uncover and say something, (or even he could occasionally throw in an opinion or two that isn't always pro-Liberal) but when you read on, typically it's some pro-Liberal piece again. Like I said, it's quite typical of most of the Van Sun & Province reporting (we must not upset business/big-business community in the province). I would say both the premier and PM are using each other.

Anonymous said...

Clark was shut out of the ship thing here to make it possible to shut Dexter out on the east coast, clearly.

All I really want to know is what she's offering up in the deal that got Harper to agree to spend time on a non-shipyard site and be photographed with her. Why can't a media type just ask her that straight out?

Bill said...

Hi Ross

Sheesh, thank goodness for your reality antidote and insight to the Palmer pro media spinerama on Christy C.'s and S. Harper's face-off at the rink.

Nice bleacher shot by the government photographer but personally a more apt pic would have the two of them in the penalty box with the "neutral" Mr Palmer recording their sins to the game records.

RossK said...

Excellent point Anon-At-The-Top--

That there spin sure was positive spin, in a mild and inoffensive non-dogwhistleish "ideological hardline firewalls mean nothing, so don't worry your pretty heads about that" sort of way.



Excellent question...What did she give away, indeed.

I, myself, don't know for sure, but there a couple of things to consider. The first, which Mr. Palmer also didn't tell us, is that Mr. 'Bossanova's 'R Now Cool!' did not suddenly convert to Christydom. Remember, he was riding her way back in the beginning and then was set to join her staff when something harpooned him in the rear end and reeled him in. Second, at that time 'The XL' was still the favoured route of the Firewallers for their crud....Now Enbridge's Northern Route is well in play....And, well, that brings us to the following from Sunny Dhillon in Friday's Globe:

"Mr. Boessenkool has served as senior policy adviser and strategist to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He’s also worked as a lobbyist for several prominent companies, including Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., which is top of mind in British Columbia because of its proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline project....."


I'm not so sure everyone is going to be happy with that particular photo.


Because of the 'lip gloss' factor.

(And to be very clear, we are not talking about the vermillion zone of the Premier here)


Rusty M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty M said...

You know, it really pushes my Nut Button when anybody uses the words "Leader" and "Christy Clarke" in the same sentence ...

North Van's Grumps said...

I may be splitting hairs here but "Nice bleacher shot by the government photographer" but the photographer is a professional who has as his clients the The BC Government and the Vancouver Sun, so why did the BC Government hire a professional when they have staff that do it for ...... less... full time? Answer: The Vancouver Sun couldn't match the money that the Christy Clark was forking over!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid, all I could do is laugh. Harper, Christy and the sun, left a stinky path, 12 feet wide and 3,000 miles long.

I can't believe they are so pathetic and, they think the citizens don't see through them?

Canada is the laughing stock of the world. Harper and his hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. He lobbied the dirty tar sands, at a meeting of the Nations, on climate change. Duh

Harper isn't even a Conservative, he is a Reformer, from his Northern Foundation Party, from 1989 and onto, to this very day.

Christy is BC's answer for, what the hell's the use. That's why Harper wants Boessenkool, to run BC.

Strangely, Harper called Ignatieff, a Russian immigrant and insulted Ignatieffs father. So too, is Boessenkool of Russian decent.

What is even more strange. A Tory M.P. in Edmonton, was caught in a DUI. Harper demeaned the M.P. and of course the M.P. should resign. However, we have Gordon Campbell, so drunk he was driving on the wrong side of the road. He was very fortunate he didn't kill anyone. But, Harper gives this drunk, the High Commissioner to England post. And, the M.P. from Edmonton must resign??? What kind of crap is that????