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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stephane Dion's statement to Canadians

Now we've heard from Stephen Harper tonight, as well as Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton.

But there's one important man missing: Stephane Dion, who wants to lead a coalition government composed of the Liberals and the NDP with the support of the Bloc Quebecois, also made his appeal to Canadians tonight.

Dion's staff failed to get his prerecorded tape to the television networks until 25 minutes after it was scheduled to air, causing confusion for anchors and show producers who struggled to fill the time.

When it arrived viewers were treated to something that looked like, in the words of the Globe and Mail's Adam Radwanski, "the leader of some sort of third-rate coup, being filmed in his hideout with one of his accomplices sticking a cheap video camera in his face."

CBC aired the tape with the first few seconds lopped off. Here's what's missing:

Canada is facing the impacts of the global economic crisis. Our economy is on the verge of a recession. Canadians are worried about losing their jobs, their homes, their savings. Every economist in the country is predicting increased job losses and deficits for the next few years.

You can watch Dion's statement in French and read the transcripts here.

Update: CTV.ca has an apology from the Liberals with an explanation of the many things that went wrong. Look below the break for the comedy-of-errors timeline:

Alphée Moreau, a senior Liberal communication staffer, explained how the series of technical mistakes on their part resulted in an embarrassing snafu.

The timeline (all times ET):

  • 6:15-6:30 - The Liberals miss their promised deadline to deliver Dion's statement to the television networks.
  • 6:40 - Liberals arrive with a single tape at the press gallery in Ottawa. They were supposed to deliver two tapes: one in French, one in English. They arrived with a single tape in DVD-minicam format, which is not broadcast quality.
  • Shortly after 6:40 - The Liberals decide to run back to their offices -- a block away -- because the French portion of the tape needs another edit.
  • 7:05 - Liberal staffers are still in their offices as the networks go to air with the Harper address.
  • 7:07 - Harper's statement finishes and network anchors are forced to kill time as they wait for Dion's address.
  • 7:10 to 7:15 - Liberal staffers arrive back at the press gallery on Wellington Street with a DVD-minicam player that they had taken from their own offices, along with the associated cables. There is still only one tape, not two. A press gallery official tells the Liberals that the gallery is not the feed point and an argument ensues. The Liberals ask why they weren't told that earlier. The feed point is next door at the CBC building, which is the long-established feed play point for all network pools. The Liberals are informed that they need to be walked into the building by authorized staff.
  • 7:20 - English network anchors are still live on television, wondering where the tape is. CTV has still had no communications from the Liberals about Dion's address.
  • Approximately 7:15 - CBC receives the tape and begins dubbing into French and English versions. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • 7:28 - CTV decides to go off-air and back to regular scheduled programming at 7:30. CTV has still not seen a feed of the tape.
  • 7:28 - CBC incorrectly punches out the finished feed only to their network.
  • 7:30 - CTV signs off broadcast at scheduled time.

"We missed our deadline," Moreau said. "The shot was not all that professional. It was soft-focused."

Posted by Kalim Kassam on December 3, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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>>"I'm told that (Bloc Quebecois Leader) Gilles Duceppe ran into Mr. Dion in the elevator and asked 'What the hell happened?' and Mr. Dion said, 'We're not used to being in opposition," Fife said.<<
is disgusting.

Posted by: Janet Neilson | 2008-12-04 5:57:10 AM

This was amusing.

Posted by: TangLab Corporation | 2008-12-05 11:40:54 AM

This article was not very bad. I think the Frenchies need to be more responsible.

Posted by: TangLab Corporates | 2008-12-05 11:43:29 AM

I'm sure the "elevator story" is as believable as the Easter Bunny story.

Posted by: francine | 2008-12-27 7:01:16 PM

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