Canadian Prime Minister To Forego Sydney For China

The Toronto Star reports that Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Chretien will forego IOC meetings in Sydney prior to the Olympics in favour of leading an important Team Canada trade mission to China.

Instead, there are reports that Chretien’s wife Aline will do the honours at the meetings in Sydney to boost Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid. Other government officials going down under are Ontario Premier Mike Harris, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, federal cabinet ministers Sheila Copps and Dennis Coderre and provincial treasurer Ernie Eves.

TO-Bid officials will be paying about $500,000 for the Sydney lobbying effort, most of it to be spent on up to 30 athletes who represent Team 2008. They won’t be paying for the government leaders.