Saturday, May 25, 2002

Where the Money is Going...and it's not going for sport
While the Runner's Web has been unable to get an intelligent answer from our federal government as to why we cannot properly fund our athletes, the answer may have arrived this week in a number of newspaper articles.

Greg Westin reported, in the Ottawa Sun of May 24th, that in the first year in which Dennis Coderre was sports minister, Groupe Everest, the Liberals' favourite advertising agency, was given 42 sponsorship contracts worth over $10 million. Another $30 million was spent on other agencies.

Leaving aside the issue of the supposed need for for such advertising, the issue of whether or not due process was followed in contract awards and the game of "who's been sleeping in my bed" being played by Groupe Everest (if you do not understand this reference you have not been reading the newspapers lately), how is it that the government can justify the spending of such outrageous amounts from a department (Heritage Canada the government department responsible for sport) which cannot afford to pay the expenses of athletes attending international championship events where they will represent their country.

Something smells really bad here and it is the athlete's feet.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Funding for Sport in Canada
In the Runner's Web quest to get an answer to the simple question, "Why are the Government's priorities in sport such that while we make athletes pay their own expenses to world championships, the government finds money to pay the expenses of athletes from other countries to meets in Canada which are irrelevant as an athletic competition?", we are posting the latest response from the Minister of Sport's office:

Dear Mr. Parker:

On behalf of the Honourable Paul DeVillers, Secretary of State
(Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of
Commons, thank you for your correspondence of April 5, 2002, regarding
federal government funding for international sport events and amateur
athletes in Canada. Your correspondence to the Honourable Sheila Copps,
Minister of Canadian Heritage, on this matter has also been brought to the
attention of Mr. DeVillers.

The Secretary of State appreciates your further advising him of your
views on this subject. The hosting of international sport events is a
priority for Sport Canada. A successful bid to host a major event requires
that the host country meet certain conditions, such as providing assistance
for athletes from developing nations who could not otherwise attend. In
addition, hosting sport events in Canada allows our high-performance
athletes to compete in major events in their home country.

The Tribute to Olympic and Paralympic Medalists of Salt Lake 2002,
which was held April 15, 2002, was an opportunity to show our athletes
Canada's appreciation for their successes at the 2002 Winter Games.
Canadian Olympic athletes won 6 gold,
3 silver and 8 bronze medals in Salt Lake City and Canadian Paralympic
athletes won 6 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals?a record for both teams.
It should be noted that it is customary for the Government of Canada,
following each Olympic and Paralympic Games, to host an event honouring
Canada's medalists. The budget for the production of this year's televised
noon hour show was approximately $150 000. Other expenses, including
travel and accommodation for the 47 athletes who attended the celebration,
have not yet been calculated.

I trust that this information is useful. Please accept our best

My response to this non-answer was :

"... thanks for your email.
But your office does not seem to want to address the issue..
Why were these choices made? Surely the priority should be the funding of our athletes to world championships in which the entire world competes.