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Well done, Mme. Jean

Governor General Michaëlle Jean discussed the plight of her native Haiti with U.S. President Barack Obama, who invited her to come to Washington – an invitation that was not extended to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

I’m not writing that to take a shot at Harper, by the way.. but to applaud the Governor-General for being more then just a smiling figurehead… and impressing the President with her concerns and knowledge of her native Haiti and the region to earn an invite.

Best article on the Obama visit…

.. in my admittedly Liberal-slanted POV comes from Richard Gwyn of the Star, commenting on the Obama/Ignatieff meeting, titled, Ignatieff has what it takes to be a first-tier leader:

Unless all my instincts are dulled and my antennae have rusted (most certainly possible), I’m pretty sure Ignatieff is going to become our next prime minister…This thought, which has been percolating in my head for a while, went crystalline in mid-week when I read a piece by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, based on a recent conversation he and some other journalists had with Obama aboard Air Force One.. Obama then remarked to Herbert that occasionally in history, real change […]

Obama and Ignatieff dicuss Omar Khadr.

True to his word, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and (presumably) Bob Rae discussed Omar Khadr with the President today. Here’s part of the discussion President Obama had with Iggy over the Khadr file, as made public by the Liberal leader:

The leader of the official Opposition said Obama told him that the detainees are being classified at different levels. But he did not indicate in which category Khadr was being placed. The president indicated he “was glad to know that the Canadian party is concerned about Mr. Khadr,” Ignatieff said. Ignatieff (also) said he told Obama if the Liberals form a government in the future that “we would be helpful […]

A study in differing media public relations.

From the Toronto Star’s Bruce Campion-Smith blogging over at the Star’s Political Notebook, we see how one administration makes sure the message gets out, and how the other reacts like it’s getting their teeth pulled:

White House officials have promised American journalists a full briefing this afternoon after the President meets with the Prime Minister and together they hold a news conference. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s office has just alerted Canadian journalists that the briefing they had planned for 4 p.m. has been cancelled. It will now be held Friday afternoon. It’s a curious move that gives the Americans a leg up on the public relations front in trying to […]

History made

Barack Obama meets Governor-General Michaelle Jean.

An interesting study in contrasts for Obama’s visit

As Air Force One touches down, CBC and other networks are doing live coverage and commentary.

As I turn it to CNN at the exact same moment, the stories right now? “Octuplets mother faces foreclosure” and then “Wanting longer eyelashes”.

Yea, Canadians are more interested in a 7 hr layover trip then their American counterparts.

UPDATE: Then again, when you have CNN commentators saying that Michaelle Jean is the Prime Minister as she greets President Obama, maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t covering this as closely.

21 957 Canadians help AVAAZ ad appear in Washington Post.

I haven’t confirmed that yet, but that’s what Emily Murgatroyd of Desmogblog said today in a blogpost. You might remember I mentioned this ad; it was to do with Avaaz warning President Obama to take Stephen Harper’s climate change plans with a grain of salt. Well, if what Emily says is correct, enough Canadians (21 957 of them) donated to the ad in time, and it appeared on page A3 as a full-page ad in the Washington Post.

Not bad for a 36 hr campaign. One thing I will say though; I do think Avaaz would have been better served giving more notice about this type of fundraising ad campaign […]

Is Governor-General Jean politely telling Harper and the PMO to get over their insecurity?

Look at this announcement released by Rideau Hall today (H/T Kady O’Malley):

Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.. will welcome The Honourable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, on Thursday, February 19, 2009, at 10:30 a.m., at the Ottawa International Airport. The Governor General will then meet with President Obama.

For information on media accreditation, please contact 613-995-xxxx.

Remember, the PMO said yesterday there would be no TV cameras or other audio equipment or even reporters present at Jean and Obama’s meeting. Perhaps her Excellency the GG – the formal head of state of Canada – doesn’t appreciate the secretive […]

Ignatieff to raise the issue of Omar Khadr with Obama

I posted an item a couple of days ago saying that I hoped if Harper wasnt going to raise the issue of Omar Khadr with Obama, (and with his public relations hack Kory Teneycke claiming that Obama was unlikely to raise it either) that Ignatieff would do so in the 10 minutes meeting he gets to have with the President.

Good news on that front today:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will raise the fate of Omar Khadr — the only Canadian imprisoned in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay — when he meets Thursday with U.S. President Barack Obama. The Liberal leader has taken on a campaign, along with […]

Canadians can lobby Obama to not exempt tarsands from environmental regulations

I saw this link mentioned by a prominent left-wing columnist at Facebook, and was very interested in it.

This is a picture of a proposed ad Avaaz.org wishes to run in the Wednesday version of the Washington Post a day before Obama is scheduled to visit Canada (to prevent eye injury from squinting, click on ad to enlarge and read in full):

Their mission statement on this ad reads as follows:

When Barack Obama visits Canada on Thursday, Harper will desperately try to push him to agree to exempt dirty tar sands oil from global regulation – effectively undermining the global deal we need to stop catastrophic climate change. […]

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