Canada’s language law requires all social media activities to be in two languages and all ministers, institutions and embassies have Twitter accounts in English and French. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a personal Twitter account in English (@PMHarper) and an institutional account in French (@PremierMinistre). In late 2014 the government activated the @Canada account which translates as @AuCanada in French.

Tweets from Canada leaders

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Harper was the fourth world leader to sign up to Twitter in July 2007 in the footsteps of @BarackObama, however he only started to tweet in September 2008 asking his followers to “check out the new Conservative Party website.” Although the tweets are written in first person most of the tweeting is done by his staff. He is fairly active tweeting more than once a day, mostly in an informal way, about his vision for the country, his government actions and important days but he also lets followers enter his personal life. His Twitter account is also empathetic when needed, e.g. on the occurrence of natural disasters. During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games Prime Minister Harper got in on a sport rivalry with Barack Obama, betting two cases of beer on the win of Canada’s hockey team over Team USA which led to his most retweeted tweet so far: “Like I said, #teamusa is good but #wearewinter. @BarackObama, I look forward to my two cases of beer. #CANvsUSA #Sochi2014”. Prime Minister Harper is not very conversational, only 1% of his tweets are @replies and he rarely retweets but he is very influential: almost 85% of his tweets get retweeted and he is among the top 40 most followed world leaders. By far his most used hashtag is #cdnpoli. Photos and videos are often shared on his Twitter accounts and the most mentioned users are Canadian Ministry of Industry @JamesMoore_org and his wife @LaureenHarper. @PMHarper is mutually following only the @BritishMonarchy and has unfollowed @MedvedevRussia.

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Twitter unreachable or account doesn't exist...

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 07/11/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.30
Retweets: 9%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.40
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 85%
Most mentioned @LaureenHarper (74), @JamesMoore_org (17), @Cmdr_Hadfield (16), @BarackObama (15), @CDNOlympicTeam (15), @MinStevenBlaney (14), @pmharper (13), @JimFlaherty (13), @CanadianForces (12), @CanadiensMTL (11).
Average of retweets 148

First tweet

Foreign Minister of Canada Rob Nicholson

Canada’s new Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson sent his first tweet on 9 April 2013 when he still was Canada’s Minister of Justice. Not nearly as active as his predecessors John @Baird, Minister Nicholson almost never uses his iPhone to tweet but it is rather his team that manages the account. Since being appointed @HonRobNicholson tweeted about international crisis being sympathetic with the people in Denmark, Ukraine, Middle East, Bangladesh and Tunisia and reported on his institutional meetings with his counterparts. He also tweeted about Canada’s position against ISIL letting his followers know that together with our allies “we can strip ISIL of its power to threaten our security”. Nicholson, who also tweets in French from @LHonRNicholson, has only shared three photos since becoming Foreign Minister. He is not very conversational, uses hashtags in every other tweet and the user who he retweets most is @PMHarper. @HonRobNicholson is not yet well connected to his peers, mutually following only three other foreign minsiters, namely @JohnKerry, @PavloKlimkin, @edgarsrinkevics.

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Rob Nicholson


Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls. Suivez-moi en français à @LHonRNicholson

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 04/09/2013
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.72
Retweets: 25%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.33
Replies/Tweet: 0.02
Tweets retweeted: 68%
Most mentioned @CanadianForces (40), @NATO (8), @pmharper (7), @RCAF_ARC (6), @NoradSanta (4), @tplfoundation (4), @yycCAC (4), @RCN_MRC (3), @NoradNorthcom (3), @CanadaArmyRun (2).
Average of retweets 16

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Canada DFATD Foreign Policy

The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade started its Twitter diplomacy activity on 9 March 2010 and since then it has been one of the most active Foreign Ministers on Twitter with 13 tweets a day from both the English (@CanadaFP) and French (@CanadaPE) accounts. The account updates followers on crisis situations that require Canadian aid, newsworthy events involving the department, government initiatives, Foreign Minister Nicholson’s institutional activity and often linking to relevant information on the department’s website. @CanadaFP fairly engages with other users: almost 60% of the total tweets are retweets but very rarely replies directly to followers. Retweets, as indicated in the Twitter policy on the DFATD web site, “happen especially during crisis situations, when time is of the essence in distributing critical information”. Ottawa is turning more and more to digital diplomacy to directly interact with the public: in June 2013 the Foreign Affairs Departments hosted two days of discussions that were live-streamed on its social media channels, including Twitter, to reach and inspire Iranians during presidential elections. The account maintains seven Twitter lists including one with the 126 Canadian missions abroad and one with 59 Canadian heads of missions both of which are constantly growing. @CanadaFP is very well connected to his peers, mutually following 47 other foreign ministries.

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Foreign Policy CAN


Canada’s Foreign Policy activities are led by Global Affairs Canada - Français :

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 03/09/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 13.46
Retweets: 58%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.30
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 40%
Most mentioned @Baird (130), @HonRobNicholson (104), @pmharper (87), @Lynne_Yelich (41), @GirlsNotBrides (35), @christianparad (33), @deepakobhrai (26), @UN (17), @MabelvanOranje (13), @JohnKerry (12).
Average of retweets 10

First tweet