Weekly Commentary  

All that glitters

Kristi Richards gave it all, but missed the gold with that last fall. This past Thursday night Val and I caught up with her, Gold medalist Alex Bilodeau and Jenn Heil at a reception in Vancouver. All of her home town fans (including us) can be proud.

Kristi is taking her situation in stride and is ready to continue her very demanding World Cup circuit events. Though she naturally would have loved being on the podium, her smile is still golden and her style is still full of grace and warmth. That goes for Alex and Jenn too. They each took time to sign autographs and chat individually with those of us standing in long lines hoping to get a handshake (or hug) and an exchange of well wishing.

Another 'golden' Canadian whose star always shines brightly is Rick Hansen. He was kind enough to give us a tour of the Athlete's Village and Medical Centre. He was telling us that the teams from all around the world have been blown away by the facilities and by the army of volunteers who are helping them feel at home. You might be interested to know we've been told that the brand new condos the athletes are living in at the Village are now over 60% sold.

The incredible vibe that has taken over the streets of Vancouver just continues to build and spill over into the rest of the country. I've only been able to actually attend one event but I can tell you it's every bit as exciting to watch on the big screens at the outside public sites. It's a great feeling to be standing out there with thousands of other cheering Canadians, stomping our feet and pumping the air and letting the world know that Canada is the place to be.

Meanwhile, back in Ottawa... I was there last Monday to Wednesday, for meetings and planning sessions. Thursday, I attended the Okanagan Business Day in Vancouver at the BC Pavilion. There was an outstanding array of Okanagan producers and entrepreneurs marketing their products and services. Friday and Saturday, I had meetings back here in the riding.

Friday, I joined Mayor Findlater for an announcement of funding for an upgrade to the trail system on the Westside. Saturday morning, I helped out with the official opening at the South Okanagan Multi-Cultural Festival.

Saturday afternoon I met with constituents, including a group of young business guys who had ideas and questions on the economy and upcoming budget. It was encouraging to meet with these young entrepreneurs and get their input.

They have been working hard at surviving the global recession and planning for the future. They want assurance that governments, at all levels, will be keeping spending (and taxes) down. That certainly makes sense as we continue our recovery.

Wrapping up the week was a treat at the Annual Summerland Sportsmen’s Association banquet. Elk roast and sweet and sour moose, all locally prepared, were among the highlights…too good.

This week's schedule as follows: Monday A.M. - Vancouver global business leaders’ conference, then a P.M. flight to Ottawa. Tuesday and Wednesday - Meetings in Ottawa. Thursday - meetings, including a visit to Peachland Rotary. Friday to Sunday - Vancouver meetings and events. I don't have tickets to the hockey final or closing ceremonies but I can tell you it will be 'over-the-top' exciting watching outside on the big screens with thousands of proudly cheering fellow Canadians…especially with Canada in the men's hockey final.

We will be in the final, right Sidney?  

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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