Since being elected the 23rd Prime Minister of our country, Justin Trudeau has had his share of warm-and-fuzzy moments, but none as warm and fuzzy as today’s.
Trudeau sat with the two new baby pandas in his lap at the Toronto Zoo, shortly after they’d been officially named Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia YueYue (Canadian Joy).
The media loved it. The premier and Toronto mayor also had playtime with the little beasts.
You can see the photos everywhere – social media, newspapers, television.
What you don’t know is that those photos you are seeing were “official” photographs; no media outlet was allowed to use its own photo. The zoo said it was because there was a short period of time to complete the photos, and that the panda-petting moment was initially going to be private.
That’s interesting, but what’s more interesting is that the media don’t seem to be complaining: usually the use of an “official” photograph is shunned.
Aside from the question of the sunny political environment that seems to be colouring all else with smiles, the day was used as a figurative celebration of Canada’s relationship with China. The pandas, along with their mother, Er Shun, are due to return to China in a couple of years, after a short stint at the Calgary Zoo in 2018. (Er Shun has been on loan to the Toronto Zoo from China since 2013.)
And remember the little Chinese toddler who was left to die after being run over twice? That was back in 2011. It was caught on closed-circuit television, and what shocked the world even more was the footage of people walking by her and not helping. She did die. Her name was Yueyue. No official mention of that in the naming of the new panda girl. But not a bad story to remember, as we celebrate Canadian Joy today at the Toronto Zoo.