Friday, June 21, 2013

Those are the new colours of Stephen Harper's plane.

What's more Canadian than red, white an...ahem blue?

Those are the new colours of Stephen Harper's plane.

As explained by the Toronto Star, the Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris — the plane that transports the prime minister, the governor general, dignitaries and sometimes military personnel — has finally gotten its new paint job.

The new design includes Canadian symbols like the national flag, Canada’s coat of arms, and the RCAF logo.

Phrases from the national anthem — “True North Strong and Free” and “Une épopée des plus brilliants exploits” — appear in italicized script under the cockpit window.

The words, “Government of Canada, Gouvernement du Canada,” separated by a small maple leaf, appear along the fuselage above the passenger windows.

The makeover has been debated for some time.

In 2011, CBC reported that the prime minister and defence minister were involved in a "tug-of-war" about changing the jet's colour from it's traditional military grey. The defence department argued that anything but grey would be too visible "whenever the passenger jet is sent on troop and cargo missions to risky locales."

But alas, the PMO gets what it wants.

The estimated price tag for the repaint was about $50,000.


Some have suggested that this is another example of the Tories trying to re-brand Canada as Conservative.

"The colours of the plane, the whole detailing is clearly patterned on the Conservative Party," NDP leader Thomas Mulcair told reporters on Friday morning.

"I can tell you this, that when we form government in 2015 we will not be painting that plane orange."

Last year, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett suggested that there's been a pattern to this.

"It's the branding of the websites and how blue is everywhere now and all this subliminal messaging," she told the Huffington Post.

"I mean to the point that they have gotten rid of all the red and green lights at Christmas time and we have blue and orange lights. What's with blue and orange Christmas lights all over Parliament Hill? There has been a serious effort in rebranding Canada blue."

And remember, earlier this year when, on a photograph to promote Economic Action Plan 2013, Ontario’s commuter trains was conveniently changed from green to Conservative Party blue.

Could Mulcair and Bennett actually be on to something?

Harper will be on his red, white and blue plane next week, when he travels to Europe for stops in London, Paris, Dublin and to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.