Municipal staff

Bernie Sanders makes an appearance at municipal staff meeting in British Columbia – Surrey Now-Leader

It might have been the award-winning climate action plan draw, the large deer population, or the much-debated farm stalls, but US Senator Bernie Sanders was spotted in Saanich – sort of.

After the inauguration of US President Joe Biden on January 20, an image of Sanders attending the ceremony with a beige ski jacket, medical mask and large mittens went viral. In the photo, the Senator is sitting with his legs and hands crossed and looks very cold and a little bored. It wasn’t long before people started photographing Sanders sitting in comedic situations, famous artwork, and stills from TV shows and movies.

Saanich, on Vancouver Island, jumped on the bandwagon and photoshopped the senator into an innocuous photo of city staff at a meeting. The image was posted to the district’s social media accounts with an unassuming caption reminding residents to follow COVID-19 safety protocols set by the provincial health officer and noting that anyone visiting or working at town hall must wear a mask. Those browsing their news feeds may have missed the appearance of Sanders in the photo, but eagle-eyed followers have noticed.

The Campbell River Mirror press team had fun and photoshopped US Senator Bernie Sanders in a photo from their office. (Photo Black Press Media)

Communications manager Kelsie McLeod said the photo was a nod to the viral trend and was part of the communications team’s efforts to keep things up to date on the town’s social media. Staff understand the importance of finding exciting new ways to keep municipal social media interesting, she said. And with the one-year mark of the pandemic quickly approaching, many have also started to experience ‘communication fatigue’.

Sanders has also been edited into photos from other parts of Vancouver Island. The senator was “spotted” sitting outside the office of the Campbell River Mirror newspaper and was also participating in a pandemic fire driver training in a ladder truck at the Sydney Volunteer Fire Department. Firefighters joked that they “question the safety of these mitts when it comes to leading.”


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