“Leadership” is one of the buzz words in Canadian Government communications on the subject of climate change. Over the years Government communications officers who wrote (or reviewed) press releases or letters written ostensibly by ministers responding to voters became quite attached to the word.
The word re-assured citizens that all was well with Government policy. The word was so vague that it was hard to refute.
Last December’s COP Conference at Lima saw the most outrageous use of the “leadership” tag. At that time we had this to say:
“A much earlier 4RG blog raised the question that Canadians should be asking themselves: is my country honest? When our Government representatives speak at the Conference of the Parties are they being candid? Or do they evade issues, knowing that what they should say is inconsistent with the image they wish to present?”
Another dishonest tag describing Canada’s program on fighting climate change was “world class.”
The Government’s problem is that now voters no longer regard its press releases as credible. It will be difficult to continue using either “leadership” or “world class” when a large majority of Canadian voters describe Canada’s performance on climate change as “very poor” or “poor”.
After this low point in international honestly, we thought we detected an abandonment of these outrageous claims. But old habits die hard. Once a public relations specialist finds a persuasive word – it is difficult to stop using it.
News Flash: In its Tuesday, March 10th edition, the Globe & Mail questioned the Government’s use of the words “world class” to describe its support of wounded veterans. It is not just the Department of the Environment that uses propaganda tactics.