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In Churchill they trust

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If a Manitoba politician wants to go somewhere fun but still stay within the borders of the keystone province, nine times out of 10 they seem to head to Churchill.

It was Gary Doer's favourite place to take any other politician -- he gave a trip for two to Churchill to former Alberta premier Ralph Klein when Klein left politics, and has been there with numerous other premiers and former Arizona governor, now homeland security head Janet Napolitano. It was actually on a plane to Churchill with Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the idea of Doer's eventual appointment as ambassador to the United States was hatched.

Last week it was Greg Selinger's turn, taking all the premiers to the polar bear/beluga whale hub for the aboriginal leadership component of the annual premier's meeting. It was a visit that won't soon be forgotten since he took the premiers whale watching on Hudson Bay in very choppy waters. They saw very few whales but did get a good Arctic soaking.

Today it's the federal Conservative Caucus who are on the polar bear express. The caucus -- which counts nine members -- are holding a summer caucus retreat in the northern town. The visit includes a session with the Port of Churchill and the municipal government as well as some fun such as a tour of Polar Bear Jail with Conservative candidate for Churchill, Wally Daudrich, who also happens to operate Lazy Bear Lodge and Café, one of the largest tourism operations in Churchill.

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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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