Niagara Falls Light Show Mix Up Not A Reflection Of Attitudes Towards Russia - Envoy

Niagara Falls Light Show Mix Up Not a Reflection of Attitudes Towards Russia - Envoy

TORONTO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th June, 2021) The light show mix up at the world-famous Niagara Falls was not a reflection of Canadians' attitude towards Russia and those celebrating the country's national holiday, Kirill Mikhaylov, Consul General at the Russian Consulate in Toronto, told Sputnik.

The controversy began on Monday when Canadian outlet The Globe and Mail published an article in which it alleged that the Russian Consulate in Toronto misrepresented a light show intended to celebrate the Montreal Canadiens on its Twitter page, passing it off as a tribute to Russia's national holiday.

However, a day later, Niagara Parks confirmed to Sputnik that the natural landmark, which straddles the Canada-US border, was lit in red, white and blue to celebrate Russia's national holiday on June 12 and Canada's remaining hockey team competing in the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs on June 13.

"The public reaction to [the Russia Day illumination] was mostly positive. The statements of individual detractors have so far been only a manifestation of private opinions," Mikhaylov said.

Mikhaylov emphasized that he does not believe the episode should be viewed through the prism of turbulent bilateral relations and that Russia's diplomats received acknowledgment from the heads of the chambers of the Canadian Parliament, Global Affairs Canada, the government of the province of Quebec, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Russia's consul general in Canada's largest city, however, warned that the situation is a cautionary tale for journalists.

"We consider the fact that among those who were 'confused' and accused the Consulate of acting in bad faith was a reputable Canadian outlet, such as the Globe and Mail," Mikhaylov said, noting that the flagship national newspaper should have done a better job in corroborating the facts.

The Globe and Mail's report sparked a debate online with Russia and its diplomatic mission in Toronto being subject to abuse by passionate hockey fans and elements known for their Russophobia. To this end, Mikhaylov said that publication should do more to straighten the record considering the uproar it caused.

The Globe and Mail has since issued a correction to the article and issue and expressed their regret.

"Our apologies for the error in this article. It has been corrected. We were given incorrect information by the Niagara Falls authorities," The Globe's Public Editor, Sylvia Stead, told Sputnik.

Russia Day is one of the country's youngest and most important holidays. It is celebrated since 1992 to commemorate the events of June 12, 1990, when the First Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialistic Republic (RSFSR) adopted a declaration of RSFSR's state sovereignty.