Harper presented Bieber, 18, with a Diamond Jubilee medal, the QMI news agency reported. The medal is not particularly exclusive since the government is handing out 60,000 this year to honor Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne and Canadians who have made contributions to the country.
The encounter in Ottawa occurred just before a Bieber stage performance, which might account for his getup. Twitter was deluged with comments, including many from people outraged by what they saw as a lack of respect for the prime minister.
Bieber grew up in Stratford, Ontario. Although he bought a house in a Los Angeles suburb this year, he has said he plans to remain a Canadian citizen.