In the art of political obfuscation, the latest video from the prime minister pulls attention away from Canada's budget brouhaha to the overseas threat of Islamic militants.
The latest episode of 24 Seven, uploaded on Wednesday, has clear militaristic overtones carried by Stephen Harper’s rougher talking points and an action montage of Canadian Forces on land, sea, and in air.
After a 17-second martial music introduction, ISIL is identified as a terrorist danger. Harper reminds viewers this is a group that threatens Canadians that they “should not feel secure in [their] homes.”
“For all of us who are blessed to live in a country like this, it is hard to appreciate, understand, fathom how we can have people who ... are involved in a movement who so want violence, who so despise modernity, who so hate progress that they desire to drive out medical workers from their community, harm them,” Harper says about ISIL in the video.
"They will have no safe haven,” he vows in a clip taken from an Oct. 22 speech.
For politics watchers, the video was received as a dazzling pastiche reminiscent of “Top Gun.” One savvy YouTube user even made a mash up.
“This is not intended to diminish the work of members of the Canadian Armed Forces or those who, like Kevin Vickers, put their lives at risk to protect the lives of others. It is a response to Prime Minister Harper's ridiculous fear mongering,” explained Peter Raaymakers, who uploaded the video.
Others called the video Harper’s “pre-election Churchillian moment.”
But it was Ottawa Citizen national affairs reporter Glen McGregor who perhaps provided the most piercing review of the prime minister’s latest video.
But not everyone was quick to shoot down the video “exclusive.” Calgary Tory MP Michelle Rempel applauded Harper for taking a stand on ISIL.
It’s a dramatic departure from the tone of other recently released videos that included an interview with Laureen Harper, responding to low-ball questions like, "What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?"
Videos are released weekly through the prime minister’s YouTube channel. The initiative was launched last year as a way for the government to showcase its achievements to the public.
As many as four public servants work to shoot and edit the videos, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
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