Monday, February 1, 2010


This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

It was this nation's moment in the spotlight. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking to the movers and shakers of the global economy at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Lots to brag about: a resilient economy. The strongest banking system in the world. A commitment to maintaining and growing the financial services industry while remaining true to the conviction that we will not walk down the path of overregulation of financial institutions and free markets and moreover.... Zzzzzz.... Huh? What? Ok, that's unfair. The PM delivered a solid speech, and included some very noble sentiment about the tremendously important issue of making women's and children's health a top priority of Canada's G8 leadership this year. But this country's real moment in the Davos spotlight came courtesy of ex-President Bill Clinton. Speaking to reporters with Harper at his side, Clinton, who's the U.N.’s Special Envoy to Haiti, singled out Canada for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing aid to that earthquake-ravaged country. In doing so, Clinton showed both his understanding of Canada (home to a substantial Haitian diaspora, he noted) and his diplomatic savvy – like when he praised Canadians for donating "probably more per capita" than any other nation, and gave credit for that in part to the Harper government and its policy of matching private donations. TV cameras captured Stephen Harper looking quite pleased and proud, to say the least. Takeaways: 1)Clinton, for all his faults, is still a great communicator. 2)If someone in the PMO set that news bite up, he or she should get a promotion. 3) And finally, one surefire way to get props is this: do something really good. Touchdown, Canada!

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