Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is due to announce "an important initiative to support the language industry in Canada" tomorow, across the river in Gatineau Quebec.
Presumably, judging from this article in Embassy magazine, Mr Cannon won't be introducing anything to support the *Liberal* language industry.
DFAIT insiders tell Embassy that since the Conservative government took power in 2006, political staffers have directed rank and file Foreign Affairs bureaucrats to stop using policy language created by the former Liberal government.
"There are phrases you are not supposed to use," said one Canadian diplomat, on condition of anonymity. "Anything that smacks of the previous government is totally verboten.
"There is this tendency, almost like a knee-jerk reaction, to discount or ignore or change whatever it is the Liberals did and let's put a new Conservative face on it," he added. "There's a whole range of words and expressions that are being depopulated out of the documents, and are replaced with ones that are more to the [Conservatives'] liking."
Chief among the forbidden phrases, multiple DFAIT insiders have told Embassy, are "human security," "public diplomacy" and "good governance." Preferred key words include "human rights," the "rule of law," and "democracy" or "democratic development."
Early into his first term as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper mused aloud about how he wished Canadian reporters would stand when he entered the room. I believe the collective reply to this musing had something to do with weather forecasts and the temperature in hell.
But yesterday, on Canada Day, Global TV news showed us how Harper managed to get the military to give him a salute that's normally reserved for the Governor-General. As Heritage Minister James Moore explains in the video, this was something that the Prime Minister apparently wanted.
So if you do run across our Tim Horton's, hockey-dad, regular-guy PM this summer on the barbecue circuit, give him a little salute. Or stand up, or something. He really seems to appreciate deference.