Russian consulate claimed red, white and blue lighting of Niagara Falls for Canadians
There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the lighting of things in Ontario in the colors of the Montreal Canadiens; The Canadians are the last Canada-based team in the NHL playoffs, but they’re also a longtime rival to the Toronto Maple Leafs (and just beat them in the first round). So that leads to push back when the federally owned and operated CN Tower was lit in the colors of Canadians, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, who declared that the city of Toronto sign would remain in white and blue (Leafs colors). The fun new take on this controversy comes from the fact that Niagara Falls was lit up in the Habs’ colors on Saturday and Sunday, which didn’t see as much of the Leafs retreat, but saw a surprising request from the Russian consulate in Toronto that it was really about them (Saturday was also Russia Day):
Shaping like a tradition on #RussiaDay majestic #Niagara Fallswere illuminated 🟥🟦⬜️ to honor the colors of the @Russia‘n Flag🇷🇺.# RussiaDay2021 #Russia1Love #WeAreRussia # ДеньРоссии # ДеньРоссии2021 # МыРоссия pic.twitter.com/w3Tt0g1biP
– Russian Consulate General in Toronto (@Russia_Toronto) June 13, 2021
This is the official account of the Russian Consulate, and it was retweeted by the official account of the Russian Embassy in Canada, so it’s not just a low level thing. However, Russia Day was not the reason at all, with Niagara Falls Tourism’s account confirming on Sunday that they did it for the Canadians (their online schedule also had this listed):
Niagara Falls will be illuminated in red, white and blue tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in support of the Montreal Canadiens. Join us as we encourage them in their pursuit of #Stanley Cup as Canada’s last remaining team in 2021 @LNH playoffs.#hockey #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/JcBQFc9Bfa
– Niagara Falls Tourism (@NFallsTourism) June 13, 2021
And Janice Dickson from The Globe and Mail I had comments about it:
Asked about the tweet from Russia, Irene Knight, public relations manager for Niagara Falls Tourism, said in an email that the falls were lit up in support of the Montreal Canadiens, highlighting the post shared on social media and also listed on falls. calendar of illuminations.
So either the Russian consulate didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be about them or they didn’t care and just claimed it. Either way, it’s funny enough that controversies over lighting Canadians are now creating international incidents.