Politics

VIDEO: Peter MacKay's borderline mix-up

Defence Minister Peter MacKay's remark to former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that British Columbia and California "share a border" was caught on YouTube.

Defence minister's slip of the tongue caught on — what else — YouTube

Was it an embarassing gaffe, a momentarily lapse in geography or just a slip of the tongue among friends?

Defence Minister Peter MacKay inadvertently moved the Canada-U.S. border several hundred kilometres during a chat with former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday when he observed that British Columbia and California "share a border."

MacKay made the remark in a question to Schwarzenegger about Canada-U.S. relations during an on-stage question-and-answer session at Winnipeg's Fairmont Hotel.

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Schwarzenegger, who left the governorship this month after serving the maximum of two terms, is in Canada on a speaking tour.

The video posted on YouTube shows Schwarzenegger barely flinching at the geographic mistep, but later politely pointing out that the states of Oregon and Washington are located between California and B.C.

On Thursday, MacKay joked about his misstatement during a joint press conference with U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates. During his statement, MacKay smiled as he mentioned "the strategic role played by the great states of Oregon and Washington," eliciting laughter from reporters in attendance.