We knew that Stephen Harper controlled the media and even the New York Times and Time Magazine called it shocking that Canadians had no access to their government.
But this story shows how he reined in the public service ... our public service .. to act as propaganda for his government.
An MP’s Sunday afternoon visit to a seniors’ home. The federal purchase of powerful new military aircraft. A journalism student’s innocuous query about Africa. One thing connects them all — the Conservative government scripted each event using a potent but little-known communication tool called the Message Event Proposal.Everything scripted. Everything.
The MEPs have blurred the time-honoured separation of non-partisan public servants and political staffers and sidelined seasoned government communicators, sapping morale across the civil service. They have become the political tool for literally putting words in the mouths of cabinet ministers, federal bureaucrats, low-profile MPs on the barbecue circuit, and seasoned diplomats abroad.