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

Vipers snap Vees’ unbeaten run at 13

Vernon hands Penticton first shutout loss of the season, 4-0 at home Saturday

Holiday bears off to new homes

Annual Morning Star December giveaway draws crowd on cold Saturday morning

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

T-Birds high on Hansma

Armstrong high jump star commits to UBC Thunderbirds track team

Vipers down Silverbacks

Vernon goes into Salmon Arm and wins 3-1 in B.C. Hockey League action Friday

Steve Miller and Peter Frampton headed to Kelowna

Concert announced for Kelowna April 18

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

SAR search for missing skier at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Joseph Stelcasky was reported missing Sunday afternoon

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week.

Acclaimed rockers Shinedown to perform in Penticton

Shinedown kick off their Canadian tour in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Most Read