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Canada's Olympic Athletes to Wear 'Made in China' Uniforms

By Brett Price
Epoch Times Victoria Staff
May 03, 2008

Flag bearer Nicolas Gill leads team Canada during opening ceremonies for the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. It came to light today in Ottawa that the Canadian team's 2008 uniforms are made in China. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Flag bearer Nicolas Gill leads team Canada during opening ceremonies for the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. It came to light today in Ottawa that the Canadian team's 2008 uniforms are made in China. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)



The Olympic athletes' new 2008 uniforms proudly bear the maple leaf—but that's not all. The uniforms also carry the tag "Made in China," a fact NDP MP Paul Dewar criticized in a media scrum Friday morning on Parliament Hill.

Dewar said the Canadian Olympics Committee and the Canadian government—not the Hudson's Bay Company which was commissioned to create the uniforms—were responsible for looking after a detail as important as whether Canada is capable of producing its own Olympics clothing.

Dewar called this a "no-brainer" and cited the 2004 Athens Olympics when Roots took pains to ensure that the uniforms they created were made in Canada.

"Why is it that our government can't make sure that our Olympians are sporting and wearing Canadian-made uniforms? I would say that when you're looking at taxpayers' dollars that are invested—and we support our athletes gladly, perhaps not enough at times—that we have every right to ensure that the uniforms that they're wearing are made in Canada."

Dewar did not connect recent events surrounding Tibet and human rights abuses in China to the dismay he felt over where the Olympic uniforms were made.

"I think this is straightforward and simple. We have the capability to make Canadian-made uniforms here in Canada and we should."

Dewar added that there was "an embarrassment here in Ottawa" a few years ago when it was discovered that Canadian flags were being made in China.

"Charlie Angus was the one who uncovered that and got the government to change its ways. So what we need to do is ask the government what they're willing to do on this and are they going to show leadership and get involved?"

Hon. Denis Coderre, Liberal MP and former Minister of Sports, also felt blame for the oversight lay with the government. He stressed the importance of the symbolism of the uniforms.

"You know, we have our athletes. Our icons will be there. Our role models will be there. And we had an opportunity to say we are proud of what we are accomplishing in our country. We could have seized that opportunity to say we have proud made in Canada clothes. We didn't do that."

The official Team Canada uniforms, which are decorated with Canadian and Chinese symbols, were unveiled Wednesday night in Toronto by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Made from eco-friendly material such as organic cotton and bamboo, the clothing contains a super-light material that will help the athletes stay cool during Beijing's hot summer temperatures.

Epoch Times Ottawa staff contributed to this report.

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