The decision to use the slogan

January 13, 2009

In November of 2007 (yes, 2007) I raised my concern over BC’s slogan with an internal BC government group. That group provided a response to me after consultation with the Corporate Communications office at the Public Affairs Bureau. For the record, the following was the response:

The decision to use the term “The Best Place on Earth” was made by our democratically-elected government. The words “The Best Place on Earth” are intended to underscore a sense of pride in British Columbia and a spirit of achievement. As a resident of B.C., you probably already appreciate such things as our province’s natural beauty, cultural diversity and strong economy. Many British Columbians have gone one step further and believe that B.C. is, in fact, “The Best Place on Earth”. For others, the words can be seen as a kind of challenge to come up with solutions so that we can be the best.

There is some recognition that visitors from other countries may disagree with this term. As a result, most materials distributed to international audiences or used to promote the 2010 Winter Games do not include the words “The Best Place on Earth”. Other terms such as “Beautiful British Columbia” and “Super, Natural British Columbia” are also still in use.

So, to be clear, the reasoning was: to underscore a sense of pride in British Columbia and a spirit of achievement, as well as to present a challenge to come up with solutions so that  [BC] can be the best.

My thoughts on the pride and achievement bit is that there is an important distinction between well founded pride and conceit, and I find the slogan to be at the extreme of egotism — the height of conceit.

As far as the slogan presenting a challenge to be the best — I find that a long stretch — instead the slogan will develop an elitist mentality in the residents of BC, and leave a bad impression with everyone else.

What I find most shocking about this response is that even the government recognizes that international audiences “may disagree with this [slogan]” — so most materials distributed internationally do not include it. As a resident of BC, how do you feel about that?

If you disagree with BC’s slogan, The Best Place on Earth, please sign the petition asking for it to be changed:

Thank you.


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