The government pulled together a press conference Thursday morning to share with the media all the great work they’re doing, helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
International Development Minister Christian Paradis explained in his deeply broken English that Canada has shown “compassion” and “leadership” when it comes to its humanitarian aid to the ravished Pacific country.
“Our soldiers are helping these people,” he said.
Interestingly, reporters on the ground in the Philippines are being told by the military all questions about what they’re doing have to go through Ottawa. The reporters don’t understand why – isn’t it in the military’s interest to explain all the great work they’re doing?
Military personnel are not known for their opposition to authority, but these directives not to talk came down from on high – the government – and are leaving many wondering whether the government’s “compassion” and “leadership” in the Philippines don’t have more to do with optics than actually caring about helping Filipinos.
Asked at the press conference why military had been given this directive, a military official only said his personnel follow orders, they don’t dictate them. Paradis had left the building by then and couldn’t answer the question himself.
Political staffers involved in the press conference said only that they were amused by the question of why military would be directed by the government not to talk to reporters on the ground.
“Everyone had a good chuckle at your questions,” was the way one put it.