• Courtesy pm.gc.ca
  • PM on the scene

Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A runaway train rolls into town and derails; tankers brimming with crude oil explode. The town is all but wiped from the map. The number of dead and missing is in the dozens.

The next day the head of the Canadian government arrives to look around. His office announces his schedule:

Lac-Mégantic, Québec
3:15 p.m. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity…
(Cameras and photographers only)

Afterward, two dozen photos are posted on the prime minister’s own website as “PM Harper surveys the damage in Lac-Mégantic.”

Harper wasn’t running from reporters. He had a meeting scheduled with them an hour later at the local high school. But the damage was done when his office called a photo op a photo op. Presumably someone on Harper’s staff is paid nicely to keep this sort of thing from happening.