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Monday, May 21, 2007

olympic ambassador-extraordinary and pleni-potentiary?

I wouldn't have thought Ed Stelmach would be one to create random patronage positions, but seeing as how the position of Alberta's Ambassador to the United States is already taken...

It was reported last week that former Tory leadership candidate Mark Norris is being touted as Alberta's Ambassador-Extraordinary and Pleni-potentiary to the Olympics.

Norris served as the PC MLA for Edmonton McClung and Economic Development Minister from 2001 until 2004. In the 2004 provincial election, Norris was defeated by Alberta Liberal Mo Elsalhy.

Norris placed 6th in the 2006 Alberta Tory leadership race, garnering 6.9% of the vote and endorsed Ed Stelmach during the second round of voting.

"One of Canada's top experts on the Olympics questioned why Alberta needs a promoter, since enthusiasm for the Winter Games is already high here, and many Albertans are likely to visit the West Coast for the events without the government having to drum up interest.

"I don't think you have to. I think there's some motive going unexplained, to create a whole post for that," said Bob Barney, founding director of International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

He said Olympic host cities routinely name ambassadors, but he's never heard of a position like that in outside jurisdictions."
Indeed...

12 comments:

jonathan said...

Does Alberta need a designated ambassador to the Olympics (for that matter, does any province need such an ambassador)?

I would believe that it would fall under the job description of one Hector Goudreau to be that representative at the Olympic games in 2010 if the Tories are still in power. I don't see a need to appoint an ambassador other than to serve as an overwhelming mechanism to boost Mr. Norris' already burgeoning ego.

Maybe he'll drive his hummer to Vancouver?

Go Alberta!

torycrust said...

Mark Norris is a dedicated public servant and one of the best MLAs that Edmonton's had in recent years. His defeat was a travesty and reflected very poorly on the voters of McClung. I'm sure that Mark will represent us PROUDLY at the Olympics and help boost our province's profile.

Congratulations Mark!

ken chapman said...

Dave !!! Pleni-potentiary???
The only other time I have seen or heard that word used is on the West Wing.

Have you been watching too much of the West Wing DVDs where the English twit Ambassador gets his credentials accepted by the President and spends his time ticking off Leo?

There is only touting of this position as far as I know and I can't see it happening. That has nothing to do with Mark's abilities but rather do we need this as a role and function???

Anonymous said...

Dave:

A word to the wise. Don't always believe what you read in a newspaper on watch on television. The media is in the business of selling papers, not reporting the news. If I was to believe everything Jason Fekete, Jason Markusoff, Graham Thomson, Rick Bell and Neil Waugh reported,Jim Dinning, or should I say Rod Love, would be Premier of Alberta today. Take it from someone who has been in the business for nearly twenty years, you will learn never to take the media too seriously.

daveberta said...

Ken: Yes, I've been enjoying the West Wing lately. :-)

And I agree, the story has nothing to do with Mark Norris' abilities but the question of do we need this as a role and function?

I would suggest: no.

BR said...

Thanks for this item, Dave. Its stuff like this i'd miss if I didn't keep reading my blogging friends back in Alberta.

Ken and Anonymous' comments would be a little easier to swallow if it were a newspaper columnist and not the Tourism Minister doing the speculating.

If I had any influence in the new Government, I would suggest that they drop this idea faster than the $5k fundraiser.

If Alberta REALLY wants an Ambassador to the 2010 Olympics, they can have me. I'm already out here and would cost a great deal less ;)

Anonymous said...

Mark Norris is a bumbling idiot. People that worked under him in the Economic Development ministry he headed had no respect for the man or his methods.

Ed Stelmach could hammer another nail in the PC coffin quite nicely if he went ahead with this juicy appointment.

ken chapman said...

We definitely do not need this role or function.

I would rather see us concentrating on finding alternative uses and markets for all the wood we are going to have to cut due to mountain pine beetle.

Jonah said...

Ed is a straight shooter and I trust his judgment. If he feels that we need an ex-Cabinet Minister to represent our province at the Vancouver Olympic games, then by all means, he's the right man.

Ed Stelmach's ethics are unimpeachable. We have no business creating controversies where none exist.

Typical Liberal screeching over nothing.

Anonymous said...

I vote Blake for Olympic Ambassador!

Anonymous said...

Norris has time becuase "The Family Guy" is now finished for the season!

Anonymous said...

torycrust said...
Mark Norris is a dedicated public servant and one of the best MLAs that Edmonton's had in recent years. His defeat was a travesty and reflected very poorly on the voters of McClung. I'm sure that Mark will represent us PROUDLY at the Olympics and help boost our province's profile.

Congratulations Mark!


10,000.00 dollars said Mark Norris wrote this himself.