“We can confirm this message was not issued by Shared Services Canada and it does not reflect departmental policy”
The Trudeau government says a memo circulating on social media telling public servants to stop using a code phrase for telling off Joe Biden is fake.
An image of the hoax memo, dated Oct. 14, 2021, warns employees not to use unapproved and offensive wording in email signatures — specifically warning not to use the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon.”
“Let’s Go Brandon” burst onto the American political scene two weeks ago when NASCAR fans began chanting, “F*** Joe Biden” as race winner Brandon Brown was being interviewed. The interviewer stated that the crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” and the phrase was born.
Since then, the phrase has popped up on T-shirts and other paraphernalia, been used as code for telling off the president, and found in a rap song showing up at the top of the iTunes charts, according to some sites.
One thing the phrase has not resulted in is a memo from Canada’s federal government to its workers.
“We can confirm this message was not issued by Shared Services Canada and it does not reflect departmental policy,” a spokesperson for the department said via email.
The image has been shared, liked and retweeted thousands of times on social media platforms, but there were some signs that the memo was indeed fake.
The text shared online, claiming to be from the government, said that there would be “zero tolerance” for violating this policy and that the policy is “fully supported by the leadership of PSAC.” The Public Service Alliance of Canada, commonly known as PSAC, is the largest public sector union in the federal government but far from the only one. It would be strange for a memo, allegedly sent to all employees, to cite the support of PSAC in explaining a government directive.
“Violation of this policy will be grounds for immediate dismissal without recourse or labour representation,” the fake memo stated in closing.
Getting fired from the federal public service is, in fact, a very difficult thing to do and unions have been known to fight dismissals or even disciplinary action for years over more serious issues than a funny, if offensive, email signature line.