HASH(0xb6daf8)

Environment minister celebrates World Penguin Day by posting puffin video

Penguin, puffin, what's the difference?

OTTAWA — What, some Canadians are wondering, has the Liberal government’s environment minister been puffin?

Catherine McKenna was trying to mark World Penguin Day with a simple tweet accompanied by a cute video of penguins frolicking in the wild.

Problem is, those weren’t penguins in the video, but puffins — the squat, distinctive-looking seabirds that make their homes on islands and coastlines in the north Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Twitter, predictably, got into a flap.

“You know puffins aren’t penguins, right?” came one response.

“On what are you puffin?” asked another.

Puffins, with their red and black beaks and orange feet and legs, are found primarily in the north, notably Newfoundland and Labrador.

Penguins, on the other hand, live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of the Galapagos penguin and those held captive in zoos.

Within about half an hour of the post, McKenna â€” or someone in her office — caught the error and sent a new tweet, this time with a short video of actual penguins attached.

“Oops! Let’s try this again,” read the tweet.

A spokeswoman in McKenna’s office blamed the mixup on a squinty-eyed staffer.

“It was someone in her office who obviously needs to renew her glasses prescription,” said Marie-Pascale Desrosiers.

It’s not the first time the federal Liberals have run afoul of the industrious little creature.

In 2007, deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who apparently became enamoured of the “noble” puffin during a caucus retreat in St. John’s that year, suggested aloud that it become the party’s official symbol.

“They lay one egg (each year). They put their excrement in one place. They hide their excrement.… They flap their wings very hard and they work like hell,” Ignatieff said at the time.

“This seems to me a symbol for what our party should be.”

The Conservatives tried to capitalize on the comments in a short-lived campaign ad early in the 2008 election campaign: an Internet ad that showed a puffin pooping on the shoulder of then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion.

Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader at the time, apologized for what he considered a “tasteless” and “inappropriate” ad.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Fernie and RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Peanut Butter Campaign supports local food banks

Both Save On Foods in Fernie and Overwaitea in Sparwood participated in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Whiskey Jack golf course stalled

Sparwood council votes to deny golf course and development application

Rock Climbing gains traction in Fernie

It’s a sport that’s gaining a foothold in Fernie. The College of… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Most Read