Six federal bureaucrats were drafted to pose as new Canadians for a citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast on the Sun News network, an event requested by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office.
The bureaucrats smiled and held Canadian flags as the TV hosts referred to a group of 10 people as “new Canadians” that had “finally” received their citizenship.
Documents released under Access to Information legislation show that just a few weeks before Canada’s Citizenship Week last October, Mr. Kenney’s staff directed departmental officials to add a last-minute citizenship ceremony at the network to their list of scheduled events.
Bureaucrats scrambled to work out the logistics, suggesting to the minister’s office that Sun News could cover one of the 13 scheduled ceremonies in Ontario – four of them in Toronto, including one at the Air Canada Centre.
One senior bureaucrat at the registrar of Canadian citizenship expressed concern to Mr. Kenney’s office that Sun News seemed to want to feature “only” the oath, which might short-change new Canadians from the full ceremony experience.
“We have to keep in mind that the ceremony should first and foremost be a special (sic) for the new citizen, most of whom will want family and friends (sic) attend this very special day in their lives,” the bureaucrat wrote.
When a bureaucrat sent Sun News a list of possible citizenship ceremonies to cover in Ontario, a network employee suggested another scenario.
“Let’s do it. We can fake the Oath,” reads an email from a sunmedia.ca email address, the name blacked out of the document.
A Facebook friend puts it nicely:
Absolutely incredible… the disrespect and disdain for the meaning of Canadian citizenship, credible journalism, the independence of the bureaucracy and seperation of media from state control… this one is really too much and really shows the CPC hasn’t formed a government, its formed a propaganda machine with a majority of seats.
Sun News? Get out of the business! You are a shame to all honest media outlets! You are the Canadian version of Pravda! Cons complain about CBC bias but Sun Media is nothing but a propaganda machine – pure and simple.
Kenney? He should apologise! But we all know that the CPC folks NEVER apologise for anything… ever. (183)
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