Thursday, April 5, 2007

tory mp questions: New Government slogan

Fisheries Minister Hearn questions use of slogan 'Canada's new government'

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) -
More than a year after Prime Minister Stephen Harper was elected, his government continues to sell itself as "Canada's new government."

But one federal cabinet minister admitted Wednesday he avoids the oft-used partisan slogan and wonders why it's in every government news release.

"I very seldom use the term," Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, Newfoundland's representative in cabinet, said after a military funding announcement.

"I asked that question actually some time ago: why do we still call ourselves the new government? If it happens to be written in the script . . . I skip it, and if I'm doing my own stuff, I don't use it."

Besides news releases and prepared speeches, communications staff for the federal Conservatives use the slogan in e-mails, suggested talking points and on banners.

Harper and many cabinet ministers continue to say they're "Canada's new government" almost 15 months after they were elected.

The government fired B.C. scientist Andrew Okulitch for mocking an order to use the phrase in official correspondence from the Geological Survey of Canada, but he was reinstated two weeks later.