When it comes to making something out of nothing, the Government of Canada is a clear winner.
After an August post from the @Canada Twitter account was deemed to be “insensitive,” the tweet was deleted—and 21 pages worth of emails between government staffers across numerous departments were written to deal with the fallout, which was measured at 52 “negative mentions.”
The tweet published on World Lion Day said, “We think the lion is Canada’s spirit animal,” citing the majestic animal’s presence in the country’s Coat of Arms.
Before the tweet was deleted, an email, obtained by The Rebel under Access to Information, was sent from Aboriginal Affairs Communications Director Carolyn Campbell to three communications staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office—Kate Purchase, Zita Astravas and Annie St-Onge, asking for the tweet to be “changed/taken down” because of “concern of appropriation of Indigenous spirituality.”
The @Canada Twitter account is not a PMO-driven account, but rather one managed by public servants in the Global Affairs department.
Not long after the email, the tweet was gone.
One communications staffer in Global Affairs Canada—a bureaucrat, not a political aide—said that the @Canada account “continues to serve as an irritant” and that he is “not entirely convinced” that the account even serves a purpose. That same man also expressed exasperation at having to spend a day dealing with fallout from a single tweet.
Another line he emailed to colleagues reinforces the idea that the PMO is taking too hands-on an approach with the public service.
“I’m certainly not going to go to bat at PMO on this one,” he wrote.
So much for an independent public service, right?