Tourism, Culture and Recreation
February 21, 2007

Minister Refutes Allegations
by Opposition in Summer Games Selection

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, takes great offence to the allegations of political interference in the selection of Corner Brook to host the 2008 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games.

"I find this kind of allegation by the MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace George Sweeney to be completely contemptible," said Minister Hedderson, who is currently en route to Whitehorse to attend the Canada Winter Games. "We have a very thorough process of reviewing selection bids for the summer games. Officials with our sports and recreation division spend months pouring over these bids which were reviewed based on established criteria that included sport facilities, accommodations, budget, transportation and volunteer base.

"While all of the applications were of high quality and I acknowledge the preparation and effort that went into all bids, it was decided that Corner Brook, with its great volunteer base, excellent sporting facilities and outstanding history of hosting sporting events, would be the host for the 2008 games."

The minister noted that all of the communities who submitted bids were informed in writing before the successful bidder was announced.

"I am deeply offended by the allegations made by the MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace," said Minister Hedderson. "The decision to select Corner Brook as the host was made because the city submitted what was the best bid among a total of five very good submissions. It�s worth noting that Corner Brook had not hosted the summer games since 1986, while Harbour Grace hosted the games in 1992."

"It is very upsetting to me that completely unfounded allegations of political interference by the Opposition may have taken some of the good feelings of pride and expectation that the people of Corner Brook and all of the athletes across Newfoundland and Labrador who will be there in 2008 should be feeling right now," said Minister Hedderson. "I urge all involved in the planning and preparation for these games to ignore the senseless innuendo taking place for crass political gain."


Media contact:
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 728-7762

2007 02 21                                                     3:10 p.m.


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