January 29, 1999
It seems that Canada can compete with the best
of them at the Olympics - with only one exception.
We'd be lucky to get the bronze when it comes to
bribing Olympic officials.
Bribery just never caught on as a way of life in
Canada. That gives us a real handicap competing
with other countries when it comes to greasing
For example, our own Olympic bribery scandal
just doesn't measure up.
Last week it was revealed that the Ontario
Government gave the Finnish IOC member's husband a
job in 1989.
Now was this a cushy office job with long
lunches and a jet-set lifestyle? No.
According to former Ministry of Natural
Resources managers, Olympic Bid team leader Paul
Henderson recommended Bjarne Haeggman for a job
looking at trees.
Did he at least give him a spectacular penthouse
to live in? No.
The 1996 bid committee rented him a house in
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. A nice town, but not
the sort of place that makes a dazzling bribe.
I almost forgot - we also bought them a couple
thousand dollars worth of furniture. From Ikea no
doubt. With the quality of our bribes, we probably
made them put it together themselves.
That's my point. We Canadians are no good at
Other countries dole out hundreds of thousands
of dollars, lavish gifts and even scholarships for
Jean-Claude Ganga of the Congo is accused of
accepting over $200,000 in goodies and cash.
If the Congo's vote is worth that much, how do
you think our nickel-and-dime efforts stack up
So to help out our Olympic Bid Committee, I
thought I'd make up a list of typically Canadian
bribes we could offer. You know - the kinds of
things that would make our hearts beat a little
faster if someone offered them to us:
- Autographed copies of Anne Murray's album
- A night of bar-hopping with Preston Manning.
- Thirty-seven dollars in Canadian Tire money.
- Two hundred and fifty Airmiles (enough to
get you to Moose Jaw, but you're on your own to
- Copy of the Directors Cut of Anne of Green
Gables, where she drives off the cliff with her
- A frequent user card at The Second Cup with
seven boxes already punched.
- A night of passion with Shiela Copps (cannot
be combined with any other offers from Hustler
- Coupon for a season of complimentary
drycleaning to remove the winter salt stains
from your pant cuffs.
- Alanis Morrisette will ironically sing
"Happy Birthday" at your kid's next birthday
- Free late return of "Titanic", and no extra
charge for not rewinding.
- Contract to model long johns in next year's
- Complimentary car battery boost.
- Tickets to the Glass Tiger reunion concert.
- Any three islands north of the Arctic
- Guest appearance on the Mike Bullard Show.
- Free haircuts by the guy who does the hair
of every separatist politician.
- Gillian Guess' home phone number.
I'd like to see the IOC turn down any of these