Vancouver media weighs in on City Hall etiquette handbook

Post by Mike Klassen in


GlobalTV BC leads the Monday night broadcast with news about the elusive binder

We Canadians are so polite, who'da thunk we'd need help to impress foreign dignitaries? That's what many are asking after and GlobalTV broke the news of the coveted binder which came into our possession.

Since the story broke last night there has been a bit of a feeding frenzy on the etiquette handbook that even surprised us. The Vancouver Sun's Kelly Sinoski covered it, as did CBC News crediting the source back to us (which we much appreciate!). This morning I joined Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One's Early Edition for a few minutes on the handbook (mp3 interview), and Daniel discussed it on CKNW's Bill Good Show civic affairs panel, and on CBC Radio's Almanac.

The public reaction has been varied and strong. Some are put out at the cost, and consider it a frill. Others wonder why we Canucks need to mind our manners so much. Is it just more Vancouver being No Fun City? Shouldn't we be devoting more energy to fun, and less time on where to place our cutlery?

We suspect that this story might have some resonance for the public, while the City works hard to keep the binder out of other reporters' hands, and change the channel.

- post by Mike

UPDATE: After telling media all day Monday that the handbook was off-limits, City Hall have just sent out a press release stating they've produced a digital version and posted it online. The question is, why didn't they do that in the first place, and just post a digital copy?

Below is the release from the City:

City Protocol Manual Available

The City of Vancouver has released the City’s Protocol Manual, a document that outlines the courtesies and steps protocol officers will take to welcome visiting heads of state and dignitaries from over 80 countries to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The City’s protocol training program marks the first time Games partners have come together to offer a centralized protocol service for visitors to an Olympic Games.

The City of Vancouver led the development of the program and provided training to about 200 Government of Canada (including the RCMP VIP detail), Province of BC, Richmond, Whistler, VANOC and Four Host First Nations protocol staff.

The manual covers the international standards for hosting heads of state, royalty and other dignitaries. It includes appropriate greetings, ways to address elected officials and dignitaries, the placement of flags, speaking order at events, event planning and other etiquette tips.

The City of Vancouver led the development of the training materials and delivered the training to the protocol officers. The City’s protocol team is recognized as one of the most experienced in the country.

More than 50 City of Vancouver staff will support the protocol program aided by another 150 personnel from the federal and provincial governments, venue municipalities of Richmond and Whistler, VANOC and the Four Host First Nations.


In other words, imperfections are not negotiable.

When things get tough in the private sector costs like these get driven out. It doesn't happen in the public sector (look at all the debate over the maybe layoffs of teachers when student enrollment has been declining for years) which is why the only solution is to reduce the size of government.

Wonderful site! is certainly one of the best 2010 Winter Olympic Tickets providers among various online agents! Thanks for offering premium quality Winter Olympic Tickets to be held in Vancouver at competitive prices. I also want to say my sincere thanks to your brilliant customer service!

Oh my goodness! Who's bright idea was it to hire a consultant to write this handbook when there are so many of us, including me out of work because of the Premiere's layoffs!!!!

This is shameful! It just shows people how ignorant the people of British Columbia really are! Matching socks? Give me a break!

I need a job? I have been out of work since September...hire me and pay me the big dollars so I can pay my mortgage and put food on my table! Another waste of tax payers money!

Oh City of Vancouver Counsel, Chill out.

it's Vancouver and they are coming here to see how we live and enjoy life as well as go to the games.
I think Vancouverites know how to 'behave'.

let yur hair down , be ourselves.
that will probably impress the visitors more than being some robot.

who wants to return to a city of uptight ,nofun dressed up conservative robots all looking the same and acting the same?
there's no fun in that .
diversity , the fun of the Games and Vancouver.
let the staff relax and be themselves, thats more impressive.

Check out!

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