When Stephane Dion took over as foreign affairs minister last year, one of the first things he did was remove a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from the newly renamed Global Affairs Canada offices, replacing it with Canadian art that had been taken down four years earlier by then-minister John Baird.
When Dion ordered the switch, he said it was "entirely appropriate that we take every opportunity to showcase the best of Canadian culture in all of our government installations.”
It appears that memo hasn’t made it to Canadian embassies and missions overseas, where documents obtained by the Rebel show a peculiar fascination with high-resolution photos of Immigration Minister John McCallum.
Canada’s missions in Colombia, Tanzania and Delhi, India requested photos of McCallum. Our embassy in Mexico wanted portraits of McCallum and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Under the ministry’s rules, missions have to display photos of the Queen, the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and the three ministers under the Global Affairs umbrella—foreign affairs, trade and international development.
I realize that McCallum has been around a while, but I’m not sure he qualifies as, to quote Dion, “the best of Canadian culture.”
So why the obsession with his portrait?
This is a classic example of giddy bureaucrats sucking up to their new Liberal leaders—certainly not the post-partisan administration we were promised by Trudeau.