News flash: Canada and Quebec ministers meet, shake hands …

Penashue meets VallieresCall me naive, but I’m inclined to believe that government communications types tend to to do things for a reason.  And so I find myself asking what that reason was upon receiving a news release — issued through a national press release distribution service in both official languages — informing me that Peter Penashure, the federal intergovernmental affairs minister, met this afternoon with his Quebec counterpart Yvon Vallières, Quebec’s Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie, and Minister responsible for the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information. (Don’t know how Vallières fits all that on his business card.) That’s it. The press release has no other content other than “they met.”

“It was a pleasure to host Minister Vallières here in Ottawa, to congratulate him in person on his appointment to this important portfolio” Minister Penashue is quoted as saying in the press release. “Our meeting today was helpful in identifying areas for potential collaboration moving forward and mutual goals.”

Well, there was this handout photo (above) to mark the occasion.

But no indication what they talked about, why they met. Which makes me curious. Why put out such a press release?

Penashue is the fifth intergovernmental affairs minister that Stephen Harper has had since becoming prime minister in 2006. I cannot recall any press release of any note being released by Penashue’s predecessors: Michael Chong, Peter Van Loan, Rona Ambrose, or Josée Verner.

A side note: Montreal Gazette columnist Don MacPherson informs me via Twitter that M. Valliéres does not speak English. I do not know for sure but I believe that Minister Penashue does not speak French. So who provided the translator?


One thought on “News flash: Canada and Quebec ministers meet, shake hands …”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *