The first Flack Award of the New Year goes to Stephen Harper and the Prime Minister’s Office. There were no particular howlers among the usual dull propaganda sent out by News.gc.ca for the week, but I was quite stunned to see Stephen I issue the following announcement welcoming the promotion of Toronto archbishop Thomas Collins to the College of Cardinals:
Cardinal-designate Collins becomes the fourth Cardinal in the 110-year history of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the 16th Cardinal in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.
Now, this wouldn’t matter overmuch, except that Stephen I considers himself (among other things) a qualified historian, and rumour has it he is even nearing publication of a book on the history of the professionalization of hockey. So it doesn’t really inspire confidence that such a “scholar” is unable to muster even the research skills necessary to perform a simple Google search:
1870 — March 18: Pope Pius IX raises Toronto to an Archdiocese during Vatican Council I, making Bishop Lynch an Archbishop.
Or perhaps it’s only basic arithmetic that Harper has trouble with, despite the fact that he also fancies himself a credentialed economist. (Our Dear Leader is a man of many talents.)
This is the fourth installment of the Sixth Estate Flack Awards, and the second won by the Prime Minister’s Office. Their first was awarded in early December for a bizarre series of press releases promoting the new border accord. Other recently honoured or nominated ministers include Vic Toews for breathlessly announcing emergency relief for a 2007 storm and Bernard Valcourt for his excessive celebration of the construction of new naval target hulls at an Atlantic Canadian shipyard.Tweet