Well at least now we know what was meant by that 2010 Federal Secretariat memo revealed last week : the one in which the Harper government provided $20-million for the opening ceremony of the Winter Games and $25-million grant for the torch relay to "ensure that the event adequately reflects the priorities of the Government and helps to achieve its domestic and international branding goals."
"Ottawa is urging the Vancouver Winter Olympics organizing committee to put the Afghanistan war at the heart of the symbolically laden torch relay, saying that the first torch carriers could be veterans of the seven-year-old conflict."
There's no reason the veterans shouldn't be part of the relay if they want to; it's the part about "international branding goals" that's going to piss off those of us who don't support Operation Enduring Freedom delivered as a Really Big Red Friday Event.
The memo from the 2010 Federal Secretariat also urges the Vancouver Olympics organizers to have two torch bearers, presumably the final torch bearers -- one French, one English.
What, no First Nations?
This bit amused me, though : there will be a total of 12,ooo relay torch bearers and "VANOC says it will select each torch bearer based on their articulation of Olympic ideals...."
Now why does that sound like the Miss America Pageant?
"Well, I want to be an actress or a neurosurgeon and have a pony and um, work for world peace."
Fun Fact : The tradition of the Olympic torch relay originated at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Summer Games as a propaganda exercise.
Cross-posted at Creekside