I write to express my disappointment with respect to the negative slant you chose for an article regarding the upcoming homecoming of Olympic and world champion Kaetlyn Osmond. Like many others, I find this media sensationalism unnecessary and unwarranted. Your article gives the impression that the provincial government is paying Kaetlyn Osmond $6,500 for her trip to the province – this is simply not true.
I find it disconcerting that many facts I provided to your reporter last week, upon his request, were omitted from the subsequent article. For example, I explained the funding was split in three ways totaling $6,500; the Town of Marystown received $4,000 to support costs of the events being hosted in Marystown; the Ice Crystals Figure Skating Club received $1,500 to support what will be their largest and most highly attended ice show on her home ice; and SkateNL received $1,000 to help support travel costs. None of this was mentioned in your article. Also not clearly identified is that the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development is responsible for sport, and as such has funding allocations dedicated exclusively to sports development and promotion.
I also provided information to your reporter that the previous post-Olympic celebrations when Kaetlyn returned with a silver medal from Russia received a $5,000 grant to the Town of Marystown from the former MHA and administration. Yet, this was also not mentioned. Governments providing small grants for community celebrations is not a new phenomenon.
In short, Kaetlyn Osmond will not personally benefit from this funding. The countless young girls and boys who look up to Kaetlyn as a role model and inspiration and have the opportunity to meet her and hold an Olympic medal will be the beneficiaries. And I make no apologies for that. She had demonstrated that no matter if you are from Medicine Hat, Montreal or Marystown, you can compete and win on the world stage. This is something to celebrate – which is exactly what we will do.
Mark Browne, MHA