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Letnick’s Olympics to be all work, no play

Friday, February 12th, 2010 | 11:30 am

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Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick holds up the Olympic torch.

By Adrian Nieoczym

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick has ordered a box of 1,000 extra business cards just for the Olympics. That’s because, like many of his Liberal colleagues, Letnick has been asked to go to Vancouver during the Games and press the flesh on behalf of the government.

“It’s work,” said Letnick. “It’s nice work, obviously. It’s a privilege to represent the people of B.C. during the Olympics.”

Letnick has eight days of official duties in Vancouver during the Games, but only one of those days will be spent at a sporting event. On Saturday, Feb. 20, Letnick will be at the Pacific Coliseum as a government host during the short track speed skating competition.

But Letnick said he won’t be there to take in the action; his duty will be to chat up visiting dignitaries, officials and business people.

“My job is to make sure we take every opportunity to build relationships,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to showcase B.C. and our people.”

Most of Letnick’s time in Vancouver will be spent as a host at the B. C.  Canada Pavilion on the fourth floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

But in addition to that, because Letnick is one of the government’s only two french-speaking  MLAs, he will be a host at the Canadian Francophonie Day this Saturday on Granville Island.

“This is a day to celebrate French in B.C.  and Canada,” he said.

On Sunday, Letnick will be joined at the British Columbia Canada Pavilion by Kelowna-Mission MLA and Agriculture Minister Steve Thomson for an event called Taste of B.C. Later that evening, Letnick will be at the medal ceremonies.

“Hopefully we’ll have some Canadians celebrating their successes,” he added.

Other events Letnick will attend on behalf of the government during the Games include an aboriginal showcase, an Okanagan regional showcase and a life sciences reception.

Letnick will have one “open day” in Vancouver when he is free to do what he wants, though he said he won’t be watching sports.

“I’m going to be a tourist and visit as many of the other pavilions as I can… and get a full sense of the Olympic event.”

Otherwise, on the days when he doesn’t have duties in Vancouver, Letnick will be back home in his riding where,  on Feb. 28, he will host a Gold Medal Hockey Family Community Event at Rutland Centennial Hall.

Letnick said the government sees the Olympics as an opportunity to show off B.C. and make connections with people who have the potential to bring future investment to the province.

“That’s the way business works. You have to build these relationships,” he said. “I’ll be expounding on the great virtues of our province, especially our natural resources and our people.”


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One Response to “Letnick’s Olympics to be all work, no play”

  1. GD Star Rating

    I’m pleased to hear Mr. Letnick will be joining British Columbians and people from across the world at the Olympics. Mr. Letnick is right that this is an unprecedented opportunity – like many of my colleagues, I too will be at Olympic events, promoting all that B.C. has to offer to the world.

    However, it’s a shame that Mr. Letnick expects ordinary British Columbians to foot the bill for his trip to the Olympics, when even our Prime Minister is paying his own way.

    New Democrat MLAs and federal MPs of all political stripes will be paying for their own tickets, and we will all be working equally hard to make connections and promote our province.

    The B.C. Liberal Throne Speech, delivered right before the Games, told British Columbians to expect less investment in vital services like health care and education.

    It’s hypocritical for the B.C. Liberals to ask British Columbians to cut back on essential services while spending nearly $1 million on Olympic freebies for themselves and their friends.

    Kathy Corrigan, New Democrat Olympics critic, and the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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