Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport, takes questions from reporters after QP this afternoon. Or perhaps this a scene from The Thick of It with all the swears removed.
Question: So are you suing the Canadian Olympic Association for trademark infringement?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: No. I don’t think we’ll be doing that. I mean, this, this was designed by the Hudson’s Bay company with consultations with the Canadian Olympic Committee and also an athlete’s panel. In fact, it was one of your colleagues who showed it to me yesterday on his Blackberry, but we have no input, there’s nobody in the Government of Canada that’s involved in that in any way, shape or form.
Question: But it, it, do you not admit it looks a lot like your party logo?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Oh there’s no question there’s some similarities. And in fact, I talked to the CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee yesterday and he said you know, and asked him that and he said you know, that would never have crossed our mind. Of course, they’re not involved in the political world and he said the first that he even acknowledged that was when they read it in the press today.
Question: Well do you think you should stop it? Do you think you should stop it so your party is not accused
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Listen, this is, this is
Question: of partisanship?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Well no, it’s not,
Question: For politicizing the Olympics?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Just to be really clear, there’s no politicization of the Olympics. We’ve got athletes training across the country. They’re doing fantastic, they won 28 medals in podiums last winter, voting Canada number one in the world first time, ahead of Norway, ahead of United States. They’re going to win gold, we’re proud of them in every corner of the country. There’s absolutely nothing political. Every Canadian, every corner of Canada should be out there cheering our athletes and we will be as well. This is not a Government of Canada
Question: So just to get rid of this stench, or the alleged stench, why don’t you stop this or suggest they change it?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Listen, we had no involvement in this at all and this is already, this is, was done, as I say, by the Hudson’s Bay Company in full consultations with an athletes panel and the Canadian Olympic Committee which is, you know, we weren’t even not consulted, we weren’t talked to. We learned about it the same time as you and they’re very proud of these uniforms and they got a lot of feedback. So I think it’s time that we really focus on cheering for our athletes. That’s what this is all about. These Games, these Games are going to be the most exciting Games. We’re going to win gold at home and athletes in, you know, our team, if you were out there seeing them last year, you know, see their determination and their passion, that’s what we should be focusing on.
Question: So is the Conservative Party going to sue for improper use of its logo? I mean, we’ve seen that in the past.
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Well, that’s, that’s not our logo, so no.
Question: But if a company did it, if a business company took that, wouldn’t you be suing them?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Listen, I, you guys are all focusing on this. I’m telling you right now, there was absolutely 100% no involvement. One of your colleagues, in fact it was Bob Fife who showed it to me.
Question: But why would you let anyone steal your trademark and use it?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: Listen, we’re here to support our athletes. This was completely done at arm’s, not, not involvement of the government at all. And we’re, we’re here, we’re here, we’re here, we’re here to cheer on our athletes. We’re here to keep their eye on the ball, to focus on winning gold at the most amazing Olympics that we’ve ever had and the best performance.
Question: So you sort of like the design eh? You think that’s a pretty good design?
The Hon. Gary Lunn: I’m telling you I’m going to be cheering on our athletes in every sport, in every venue and I hope you will be too.
Question: Will this get you an extra seat in the Lower Mainland sir?