Crockatt competes for CRAP crown.

Calgary Centre Member of Parliament Joan Crockatt has taken an early lead in this year’s CRAP Awards. In an award category usually dominated by party leaders and cabinet ministers, this year’s winner could easily be the Conservative backbencher from Calgary.

Fondly referred to as Crappies, CRAP awards are named for the political penchant for speeches and news releases that are nothing more than Consolidated Reports on Approved Policies (CRAP). These are the pre-approved positions taken by political parties to expedite the production of speeches and news releases. This provides material to fill the gaps between anything that might be meant to be meaningful. All parties participate in this as it facilitates rapid response to requests for speeches and information.

Crockatt’s entry in the March sweepstakes is on behalf of TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed Energy-East pipeline. It came as a news release to blogs identified as discussing pipelines. The distribution list would likely be provided by TransCanada Pipelines. It gives the imprimatur of the Canadian government to the information contained.

And the information contained is CRAP at its best. Despite the obvious error in the first paragraph describing the whining of New Brunswick Mayor Mel Norton, he is actually Mayor of Saint John, New Brunswick. Nowhere in the release did it explain how the proposed West-to-East pipeline to Saint-John could do anything for the economy of the entire province.

A pipeline to the new bitumen loading port that Irving Oil has offered to build at Saint John might contribute a few dollars to the provincial economy but it is certainly no game changer. It is hardly going to bring New Brunswick into the “new” oil and gas economy.

It is the broad range of hyperbole and direct falsehoods that make Crockatt’s release eligible for the top crappie. The release was supposedly based on a hearing by the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources. It is hard to imagine the reaction of opposition members of the committee to such ridiculous statements as she reports in the news release.

Crockatt has set a new standard in news releases that will be hard to match in the months to come. She might have a lock on the best CRAP of the year.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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