It seems to be silly season in Canada today.
The country is going gaga over panda bears while anti-Conservatives are using it as an excuse to chide Stephen Harper.
On Monday morning, the PMO made a huge spectacle of the prime minister and his wife welcoming the delivery of two panda bears on loan to Canada from China in an apparent show of diplomacy.
Some, took to Twitter to somehow connect 'panda day' with Harper not meeting with the premiers since 2009 — despite requests from the first ministers.
It's simply illogical.
Imagine, PM Harper won't meet with Premier's but will meet with 2 Pandas in TO, is there a lesson here? Should Premiers dress as Pandas?
— joan jessome (@prezjoan) March 25, 2013
Leave to our glorious Prime Minister Harper to inspire and prioritize. Won't meet with the Premiers, but will meet with the 2 new Pandas!! — Mr Mojo Risin (@PeaboTrambull) March 25, 2013
Then there were others who complained that Harper had time for pandas but not the First Nations:
Shame on you ,@pmharper ...You'll meet 2 pandas at the zoo,but hum and hah for weeks over meeting with First Nations People?
— Forager Cottage (@ForagerCottage) March 25, 2013
It costs DC's Nat'l Zoo ~$250K/year to care for a pair of pandas. I spend less than $7,200 for each First Nations child's education. Meh.
— TheHarperGovernment (@TheHarperGov) March 25, 2013
Yes, Harper should probably meet with the premiers to talk about health care, the economy and about a little thing called the constitution?
And, he should make good on his promise to meet with First Nations.
But it wasn't a case of Harper's schedulers having to choose between pandas or premiers for Monday morning.
[ Related: Why are we fascinated with pandas? ]
The Harper gang seems to think panda diplomacy is important in that it helps to build relations with one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
And, I'd like to think that the prime minister of Canada can take an hour out of his day for a photo-op while still managing the affairs of the country.
Sorry folks, the panda-mania has gotten a little silly but it has nothing to do with meeting with premiers.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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