Welcome to the second in our new series of Mystery Wrapped In A Riddle Though Otherwise Completely Arbitrary Narrative Framing Devices. Guess the over-arching theme and win a completely imaginary prize. Why?
It’s been A Year, Possums. It’s been a year.
The series will be ongoing till it’s over, which, who knows? There is some chaos in scheduling briefings lately, what with them getting shunted aside for Any Old Meeting, and there is some chaos in communicating the schedules, what with the Prime Minister’s website, where he usually broadcasts his schedule a day in advance, looking like it’s hidden behind a lead shield inside a faraday cage recently:
Still looks like that on Chrome, too. What’s he got against Google, I wonder? Whoever designed this website is clearly involved in this product launch. We are unsure if the underwear is, like the car, made of an assortment of metals, heavy and otherwise, and composites. And that reminds me, or I mean us, wht ARE composites composed of?
Anyhoodle, here we are and here we go, with the video:
And our cards, and NO I didn’t get you a new one yet. Sorry! I should bang my head against a wall or something.
- First Generation
- Second Generation
- Third Generation
- Fourth Generation
- Fifth Generation
- Sixth Generation
- Seventh Generation
- Eighth Generation card at last!
- and all of our other Covid Briefing Bingos are on the category page.
Let’s go, possums. First few observations live-tweeted, but then interrupted by the possibly-aforementioned power tools, phonecalls, and pre-existing medical appointment. Power tools are metal, are they not? They’re just really hard to liveblog over.
Know what else is metal? Speaking moistly.
Mark Grey suit, maple leaf accessory, mask, starts more than ten minutes late squares. Didn’t see the shoes. We’ll get those on the way out and they BETTER NOT BE BROWN. But I’m over that.
This has taken so longer to Laterblog that the PMO has already got the transcript up, and here it is. Mind you, they had it before. They gave it to him, after all.
Mark “Begins in French” even if it’s just a single sentence, because at least he tried, eh? At least he tried. #2021
“Canadians would step up to whatever challenges lay ahead” counts as a “Who we are,” I think, so mark that one. IS it a grey suit? It is a grey-blue suit, methinks. Mark whichever one it looks like on your monitor. And mark your “Mis-speaks” because an Hysteric step forward and an Historic step forward are very different things. This delivery is rough, like his mouth is running a split second ahead of his brain, or he was handed an entirely new speech just before stepping out to give the briefing. He’s reading from the pages a lot more than he usually does.
Oh, mark your CBC Cadence square too. CBC Cadence is always a buzzkill. Even more than speaking moistly.
Also mark “I forget my coffee in the kitchen,” and Who We Are, and Building Back. Now Trudeau is outlining his government’s pro-science policies and investments and contrasting them with “the previous government,” so mark your “Shades Tories” and “Shades Harper” squares. “Team Canada” square active. Astrazenica and vaccine squares are active too. As your most Q-fancying elderly relative has doubtless informed you, vaccines can contain heavy metals, and for once, Unca Billy-Bob ain’t wrong.
Yeah, this is about laying the groundwork for an election, passively reminding everyone about Harper ordering scientists to destroy their research. Yeah. Harper actually did that. Under that sweater vest beats the heart of a … well, we’re just not sure there ever was one there.
For a second there I thought we were gonna get “every step of the way” but we only got “every single day.” I wonder if he or his speech writer ever got that idiom intervention? “Into arms” needs to be a square before it, too, gets an intervention. Mark Pfizer and Moderna as well now.
“Specific Canadian mentioned,” hi Luc, and specific business too, hi Régimbal. Gotta have a good anecdote to sell policy. Extending the wage and rent subsidies through June. Mark “roaring back” square square and the wry way he says it, he knows that a thousand pens just marked the hell out of that square. That’s a square, right? One of the very squarest, I’m sure. Mark “First wave” square. I should actually make a square for whenever someone mentions a do-gooder initiative.
This enables him to “continue an old way to give Canadians money” which I don’t THINK is a square, while also forstalling Conservative attacks about welfare queens; as long as the ones suckling at the government teat are corporations, they’re all for it. And I think that is a “Spring is coming” in French. Hot damn, now I feel accomplished! Look at me, translating and transcribing like an actual bilingual person.
And now, the Deputy Prime Minister, with a hat trick: Mark your Freeland square and Somebody Wears Pearls and Someone appears via video too. She basically re-states what Trudeau just said and hey, thanks for that. Justin Trudeau, in the role of Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, just turned Chrystia Freeland into Lt. Tawny Madison.
This part of Freeland’s talk is pure self-congratulatory politics, as she reviews the numbers on rent supports and wage supports in both official languages. Mark your “strenuous nod” square, as she is an inveterate nodder. Interestingly, the extension of benefits for businesses is almost immediately cribbed by Jagmeet Singh for the NDP. You’d think his social media team could have at least changed that one line.
Mark your “my aunt calls during the briefing” square and I don’t have one for “The Roommate uses power tools and I can’t hear a goddamn thing,” but apparently I need one. Half a billion dollars invested in STEM. I betcha we have at least one active vaccine factory by December. Mark “now more than ever” square.
“Touches hair” is a square and now you can mark it, even if it was not the Prime Ministerial Chevelure, but only the Deputy Prime Ministerial Coiffure. Freeland is pushing back on the Conservative claim that people have “too much” in their savings account. She’s basically saying that the economy is grounded in the citizens, rather than the corporations. And there’s your “Whatever it takes, as long as it takes” so I guess she and Trudeau are sharing speechwriters these days.
And now we’re on to Minister Champagne while Freeland’s hair makes a bid to escape, but is thwarted. He, of course, as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, emphasizes the government’s commitment to science.
I dunno what Trudeau’s mask just did to him but he throws it down like it bit him. And he’s not into that.
And now, the questions.
Ah, it’s Lina Dibb, who always seems to go first. Is she the Helen Thomas of Canuckistan? And mark your “donc” square, yay! Trudeau bunts and hands it over to Freeland, and I’m pretty sure we have a square for “Hands off the question” so mark it, whatever I called it. And mark your “Fails to translate the answer into the other language. My French is in no way good enough to keep up with this, but it’s basically “We have to look after all Canadians and that means looking after the economy too, and Erin O’Toole can suck it.” I may be paraphrasing slightly.
In unrelated news, I literally just chipped a tooth on a pizza crust. Maybe I can sue Galen Weston for the dental bill. Imagine my joy. Pretty sure I don’t have a square for “Dental or medical emergency” but if I do, mark it.
The Heavy Metal Vegan Chef’s pizza would never have done such a thing.
Ryan Tumelty with a question about the US opening up faster than Canada because of the greater speed of vaccination. Trudeau replies that they’re doing well at importing vaccines, and they’re “working well” with provinces to get them out as quickly as possible. And he notes that the much higher death rate in the US has had its own impact on the economy there.
Moderator verbally pokes him and he translates it into French. Mark your “Gesticulates” and “Concerned priest hand clasp” squares. Trudeau just completely ignores the follow-up question, which was “What other than getting more vaccines, are you going to do to bring Canada up to speed?” And talks about getting more vaccines.
Mark your “Sign language interpreter swapped out” square. That was a good long run. And “Drinks water.” Trudeau, not the interpreter. She’s busy.
Speaking of drinking and heavy metal, a) I’m disappointed not to be able to work in a question about safe water supply on reservations like we usually do, and b) behold my newest indulgence. Yes, I took fourteen bucks out of the “animal-based protein” budget and blew it on this gorgeous hunk of metal.
Next is Justin Ling, asking about the end of solitary confinement. Trudeau responds “There remains more to do” so mark your “Passive voice” square. Trudeau promised he would end it. Ling follows up with, “Your own data says you’re torturing fully a quarter of inmates.” And Trudeau says he will “continue to work on” it.
Annie Bergeron-Oliver asks about Biden moving his timeline up to April, and ours is still five months later than that, the end of September. And Trudeau must be feeling defensive, because he falls back to “every step of the way” and “Keeping Canadians safe.” She asks if he’s concerned that some deliveries simply won’t happen or will be delayed, and he responds with the example literally “From the very beginning” so mark those squares.
Tom Parry asks about some provinces separating the first and second dose and how that might impact the timelines, and if the US will kick some extra doses our way once they’ve taken care of their own. Trudeau responds that they’ll announce timelines according to what the scientists say and not get into a race for the sake of a race. And when he says the name “Biden” a kind of glow comes over him. Mark the Biden square. And also the “You don’t get through this pandemic anywhere until you get through it everywhere” square. I fit that on a square? Huh. And mark your “Twinkleface” square. Haven’t seen twinkling in awhile.
The CP reporter, whose name I missed, ahs an almost impenetrable accent, but asks a question about Canadian academic Hassan Diab, who has been ordered to stand trial in France for possible involvement in a 1980 bombing. Trudeau’s response is that it’s a very high priority and that the government engages in negotiations with other governments around the world, “with countries that are challenging but also with our allies.” Do I have a “Shades China” square? Well, mark the “Two Michaels” one, because that’s implied.
Mike LeCouture asks Trudeau to comment on the comment by the Chinese ambassador to Canada that the allegations of genocide against the Uighurs are “The lies of the century.” Mark your “Uighurs” square. And your “Thousand yard stare” square too, as Trudeau hesitates before responding, and uses your “Concerned priest cadence.” He avoids the word “genocide” but he uses every synonym in the thesaurus for it.
Followup question: in the same news conference the ambassador said there’s no connection between The Two Michaels case and the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Would you agree with that? Trudeau gives the most forceful No I’ve ever heard him give.
Meanwhile, I has a sad for BC, which started out this pandemic so well, and then just sort of went off the rails bit by bit until here we are:
Meanwhile, Tronno over here like…
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully the next time we meet at least some of us will have gotten The Jab.
And we will have become truly Invincible.
and in other news: