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Ed Stelmach Mark Norris Olympics

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…

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