Well: BIG change. This government looks serious indeed. Contrary to what I wrote, Ablonczy was with Harper in Latin America and in fact spent three days in Toronto talking to stakeholders there right before leaving with the PM, which makes plenty of sense. The very critical post below was written as soon as I got the press release, i.e. right after Harper's return from Latin America, which made me think that she was just back from Toronto. I should have checked the dates. My mistake.
Original post: I was quite happy with Harper's visit to Brazil and the region, but a bit of news kind of disturbs my bliss...
I have just received a funny press release from the Department of foreign affairs. The title is enticing: "Ministry of State [for the Americas] Ablonczy Successfully Concludes Outreach Tour." First thought: WOW!!! These guys are serious: while Harper is working the regions' Presidents, Ablonczy, no doubt with top bureaucrats from the department, works around him, visiting other countries, laying the ground for the next big show.
Well, I should have stopped at the title, because the rest is a sad joke: While the PM is in the region, the Minister responsible for the region has just spent, "successfully," three days IN TORONTO, "to establish a good dialogue with key stakeholders."
In other words, not only was she not in other countries of the region or at the very least with the PM, building links that presumably she could use as the main person charged with the follow up to his visit, but she was instead in Toronto, doing things that she should have done well before. Worst still, the biggest players in Toronto, beginning with Scotia's Rick Waugh were, well, with the PM in South America.