Several people have written to note the curious timing of the introduction Bill C-47, the Olympics marks bill (perhaps better referred to as the Olympic Corporate Sponsor Protection Act). The approach was unusual on several counts. First, the bill was introduced toward the end of the day on Friday after many MPs had already headed home for the start of a two-week break. When they return, the Finance Minister will introduce the budget followed by a week of debate. In other words, the bill won't attract any attention for weeks.
Second, consider who introduced the bill. The government press release comes from Industry Minister Maxime Bernier, but he did not introduce the bill in the House of Commons. Nor did David Emerson, the Minister for the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics or Helena Guergis, the Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport). Instead, it was left to Jay Hill, the Chief Government Whip. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from cabinet.
So why the rush to introduce the bill? In what is surely a coincidence, the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission visits Vancouver this week to look closely at the progress for the 2010 games.