Our Provincial and Federal Government’s have been warning Canadians for months to avoid travel unless it’s essential. They don’t want people getting caught in foreign countries, catching the virus and needing million dollar medevac trips home, or worse (as I’m sure you can imagine what some of those outcomes might be).
It’s not mandatory. They’re not stopping people from getting on planes. But it’s strongly encouraged that people don’t leave the country unless it’s required.
One would think that those who work in public office would be smart enough to… use their influence for good, right? One would think that those who worked for the very government telling people to not travel and to stay home and to flatten the curve would be smart enough to… not go and stay home and flatten the curve, right? I mean, those who work in public office are all going to get the vaccine sooner than us anyway. They can’t wait another month or two?
Well, starting with a special kind of stupid here in Alberta, two press secretaries who work as a part of the Alberta UCP Government decided to go to Hawaii for Christmas. As someone with a decade of experience working in PR, my question to them is ‘how fucking stupid are you’? But, it gets better. Not only did they decide to go to Hawaii for Christmas vacation, they decided to post pictures of their Hawaiian vacation all over their public Instagram accounts. Again, how fucking stupid are you people? Your literal job is to talk to the press and tell the press to tell people to stay home and you board a flight for Pacific Island life as soon as the cameras turn off? That’s not a good look.
When these Instagram posts started making their rounds across social media, local discord servers and even wound up on the news, the response of these two press secretaries was to delete all of their social media accounts. Again, HOW FUCKING STUPID ARE YOU? The internet is forever. You work in PR. You know this. HOW STUPID ARE YOU?
Listen, I know people are travelling right now. I’m not an idiot. People all over this world have decided that since the virus hasn’t yet affected them, it’s fine for them to travel and pretend as though life is normal. I’m not naïve to that fact. However, if you work in public office, you’re held to a higher standard then the general public. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s always going to be. People who work in public office are supposed to lead by example. If the example they’re setting is to ignore the guidelines they’re putting in place for the general public, what exactly do they think they’re going to accomplish? Trust in leadership?
Also, quite frankly, as someone with a decade of PR experience, I’m ashamed of these two idiots. If you’re going to flout the rules and travel for a Hawaiian Christmas, don’t fucking post it all over Instagram, only to delete your social media profiles after getting caught. If you get busted for your shitty actions, own it. You work in PR, you know this. Or do you? Clearly these people are morons so maybe they don’t understand how Public Relations works.
Next, let us discuss Rod Phillips. Rod Phillips is, or rather he was, Ontario’s Finance Minister until today. Rod Phillips, holding what is basically the second highest position of public office in the province of Ontario, decided to flout the rules about non-essential travel from both the Canadian and Ontario government’s and head to St. Barthelemy for Christmas.
What is surprising about Rod Phillips is that he is perhaps the opposite of Michael Forian and Eliza Snyder, is that Phillips executed a well thought out, deeply organized plan to make it look as though he was still in the country when he was not. This plan included having his own press secretary sharing social media posts to his profiles to make it look as though he was making regular appearances to support small businesses and Ontario infrastructure projects. He actually was busted early on in his trip after one of his posts exclaimed that he was visiting small businesses the particular day he posted it, Dec 15th, whilst the TV he was standing in front of read that the date was December 11th. Even still, he continued the charade going on to post a Christmas eve video from in front of his fireplace at his home, that was clearly filmed before he left for the Carribean, and encouraging people to stay home and host Christmas over zoom calls because too many people have made too many sacrifices this year for us to throw it all away.
He was busted on his lies on December 15th and continued to keep up the façade until Christmas day, when he announced he would be returning because he needed to rebuild the trust he broke with the people of Ontario.
That’s commitment to lying right there. That’s real commitment.
Phillips resigned today.
I can’t say that I’m sad about it. I don’t think too many people in Ontario are either. Part of me wishes his ass could’ve got kicked to the curb. But hey, the UCP is still ignoring Michael Forian and Eliza Snyder, so maybe we’ll here in coming days about how their asses are being kicked to the curb.
If you work in Public Office you are, and always should be, held to a higher standard than the general public. If you work for a government that is telling people to not travel, if you work for a government that is telling people to not even see their families for Christmas, meanwhile you’re jetting off to Hawaii or St. Barthelemy for a holiday in the sun, yeah, you deserve every criticism you get and probably then even more than that.
Welcome back to the ranks of the general public Mr. Phillips. The great news is now, you can take as many trips to the Carribean as you want! Perhaps you can get together with Michael Forian and Eliza Snyder and go together, since none of you seem to give a damn about the pandemic. Eh?