PC government crosses dangerous line by branding itself Ford Nation - 2018-09-12

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F94.png PC government crosses dangerous line by branding itself Ford Nation September 12, 2018, Lloyd Rang, Toronto Star

When I was a bureaucrat working for the Harris government and, later, a Liberal staffer working in the McGuinty government, there were lines you didn't cross. In government news releases you never called it the "Harris" government or the "Ontario Liberal" government. Releases are handled by Ontario Public Service employees — paid by the taxpayer. Both the Harris/Eves Conservatives and the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals knew it was unacceptable to get political in a government news release.

Occasionally, some overzealous junior political staffer tried to push the envelope. The public service would politely tell them to pound sand. The government — as bureaucrats and staffers all agreed — belongs to the people. An Ontario government news release is owned by the taxpayers who paid for it, not a political party. If you had a partisan axe to grind, you did it on party letterhead on party time using party resources.

Period.


Occasionally, some overzealous junior political staffer tried to push the envelope. The public service would politely tell them to pound sand. The government — as bureaucrats and staffers all agreed — belongs to the people. An Ontario government news release is owned by the taxpayers who paid for it, not a political party. If you had a partisan axe to grind, you did it on party letterhead on party time using party resources. Period. That rule — for longer than the 20 years that I've been working around Ontario politics — also extended to the web and social media. Premier's Office videos, the Twitter handles owned by premiers and ministers, the premier's website were kept clear of political language, criticism of the opposition or anything else with a partisan whiff.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Lloyd | last = Rang | title = PC government crosses dangerous line by branding itself Ford Nation | url = https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/09/12/pc-government-crosses-dangerous-line-by-branding-itself-ford-nation.html | work = Toronto Star | date = September 12, 2018 | accessdate = April 24, 2019 }}