By Dean Beeby, Globe and Mail, September 30, 2011
John Baird has set a new gold standard for business cards.
The Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister demanded – and got – gold embossing on his business cards shortly after being shuffled into the portfolio last May, contrary to government rules.
Mr. Baird then ordered the word “Canada” dropped from the standard design, also against federal policy.
John Baird attacks Israel's opponents And he insisted that “Lester B. Pearson Building” be removed from the standard street address for Foreign Affairs’ headquarters in Ottawa, thereby erasing the name of a former Liberal prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
The controversial changes initially provoked resistance from the senior Foreign Affairs bureaucrats who are responsible for implementing policies on government branding.
But in the end, Mr. Baird won a temporary exemption from the rules – and got his way.
A gold-embossed Canadian coat of arms now glistens from his unilingual English business cards, which lack the wordmark “Canada,” a federal branding design that features a small Canadian flag above the last letter.
With the disappearance of the large “Canada,” the biggest type on the card now is “The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.”
This latest "ego trip" by Baird is nothing more than a thumbing of the nose at the Liberals in Ottawa. To remove "Lester B. Pearson" from the Foreign Affairs building is akin to George W. Bush's removing the name Robert F. Kennedy from the Department of Justice building, and even he would not think of such an arrogant and impertinent move, even when the Democrats were out of power at all three levels of the U.S. government.There is really only one question in all this huffing and puffing of the Baird ego: Who is the hell does he think he is?
Removing "Canada" from his business card is just another transitional move to inserting "the Harper Government" in accord with his master's wish.
And then, who is there to stop this nonsense? No one!
Not the Official Opposition, the NDP, and certainly not the Liberal Party of Canada...it will take a public uprising across the country to even make a small dent in the mind of the Prime Minister who has already, we assume, approved of these latest changes.
Of course, it is another tempest in a teapot, just what the Conservatives wanted...another distraction from the really important business of creating jobs, and cleaning the environment, and ....
When these things happen in African countries, the dictators there are surrounded by their own army and their own personal militia, and politically immune to opposition from ordinary people. Unfortunately, most Canadians believed, (how naive we are!) that such behaviour was beneath twenty-first century Canadian politicians. And oh how wrong we were and are!