PMO less open than the Kremlin?
The Prime Minister's Office has yet to publicly confirm that Stephen Harper will be travelling to London this month, but the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce has no such inhibitions.
The Chamber confirms that Harper will be its lunch guest on May 29th and promises the he "will be making an important announcement" at the event. In fact, tickets are already on sale!
More interesting to some perhaps, is that the Chamber got permission from the PMO to raise money from the event by offering introductions and photos with the PM to "sponsors."
Sponsorship is a label that might raise an eyebrow here, but apparently carries no freight in the UK.
A top of the line "Gold" sponsor will plunk down $5300 CDN plus taxes for a table of ten, a spot at the head table, an introduction to the PM with photo and access to a VIP reception among other things.
It's not at all unusual for foreign governments and organizations to confirm Stephen Harper's itinerary before the PMO does. Recently, the White House published the details of Harper's bi-lateral meeting with President Bush in New Orleans days before the PMO would confirm that such a meeting was scheduled.
Even the Kremlin can seem more open than the PMO.
Last year President Putin's staff confirmed to Canadian journalists the details of a bi-lateral meeting between Putin and Harper at the G8 while hours later PMO staff were still saying they couldn't confirm anything.
Occasionally, junior staff with foreign heads of government have remarked to Canadian journalists that Stephen Harper's staff has a "different" way of doing things.
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