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Bears vs. Beer

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I just received a call from a radio station in Saskatchewan wanting to talk about why their Olympic pavilion rocks and Manitoba’s is so lame.

They had read my blog posting about CentrePlace Manitoba and wanted to brag about the Saskatchewan pavilion hitting 100,000 in attendance.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger this morning said CentrePlace Manitoba had hit 60,000 visitors.

As I told them I fully believe there is one reason why Saskatchewan is packing the crowds in more than Manitoba.

Beer.

But not to be outdone Manitoba is doing its best to compete with a sought after Olympic souvenir.

According to the CentrePlace Manitoba blog, the "squishy" polar bears from Travel Manitoba are much sought after and people are coming in to the pavilion specifically to ask about them.

The bears have a website address on them to enter a contest to win a trip one of three trips to Manitoba, including one to Churchill to see the real polar bears.

I bet if CentrePlace Manitoba started serving Crown Royal and Imperial Cookies and let visitors pose for photos with Jon Montgomery we’d eat into Saskatchewan’s attendance lead in a hurry.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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