A family vacation

Gordon Campbell's brother-in-law Les Vertesi, a noted physician and advocate of parallel private healthcare, will be joining the premier when he tours Europe to "explore new approaches to improve" how medical services are delivered in British Columbia. The premier's office issued an information bulletin at 4:00 today notifying reporters Dr. Vertesi, British Columbia's representative to the Health Council of Canada, would be joining the first minister on that tour. Others accompanying him include Health Minister George Abbott, chief of staff Martyn Brown, deputy chief of staff and executive assistant Lara Dauphinee and health strategic policy and intergovernmental relations assistant deputy minister Craig Knight. It goes without saying most wags would have been too busy covering the budget to pay attention to that bulletin. And it's unlikely they'll get a chance to ask Premier Campbell about his controversial travelling companion, given that the Liberal leader willl be in Vancouver tomorrow morning before he jets off across the pond in the afternoon. Dr. Vertesi will reportedly be paying his own way to the Old World. The following is a complete copy of that bulletin.

For Immediate Release
Feb. 21, 2006

Office of the Premier


VICTORIA - Premier Gordon Campbell leaves Wednesday to represent British Columbia at events leading up to the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. The Premier will then visit Norway, Sweden, France and England to review health strategies.

In Torino Feb. 23-27, Campbell will promote B.C. investment and tourism opportunities at a series of events hosted at B.C.-Canada Place, including a forum to introduce European customers to B.C. wood products. He will also participate in a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding between B.C. and other Olympic host cities to establish a new partnership for sharing of best practices to maximize the economic opportunities of hosting the Games. The Premier will attend the closing ceremonies when the Olympic flag is passed on to Vancouver.

From Feb. 28-Mar. 6, Campbell will visit Norway, Sweden, France and England to explore new approaches to improve B.C.'s health-care system. All four of these nations' health-care systems are ranked above Canada's by the World Health Organization and are noted as leaders in health-care transformation.

The B.C. delegation will be examining what innovations these countries have made that are possible under the Canada Health Act and what aspects of their health-care systems are not consistent with the Canada Health

In England, the B.C. delegation will learn how the U.K. is addressing issues such as wait times, quality of care and access to care, including the use of Personal Health Plans. Sweden is recognized for its extensive primary care system with over 1,000 interdisciplinary health-care centres. Norway is regarded as a leader in health promotion policy and France's health-care system is ranked number one internationally by the World Health Organization.

Accompanying Campbell in Norway, Sweden, France and England will be Health Minister George Abbott; Dr. Les Vertesi, B.C. government representative to the Health Council of Canada; Martyn Brown, chief of staff to the Premier; Lara Dauphinee, deputy chief of staff and executive assistant; and Craig Knight, assistant deputy minister,
strategic policy and intergovernmental relations in the Ministry of Health.


1 backgrounder attached.


Mike Morton
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier

Feb. 21, 2006

Office of the Premier

2006 Winter Olympic Games Itinerary
February 23 - February 27, 2006

February 23
* Speak at Prince George Promotional Event
* Speak at PetroCanada Coaches Appreciation Reception

February 24
* Keynote address to major national sponsors for 2010
* Keynote address at BC Wood Promotional Event
* Live on NBC Today Show
* Meet with President Mercedes Bresso, Piemonte Region
* Speak at City of Vancouver/Torino Reception

February 25
* Meet with President Rogge, International Olympic Committee President
* Host "Fellowship of the Rings" and MOU Signing
* Tour Athletes Village with Jack Poole and John Furlong
* Host B.C. Government Countdown Event with Governor-General attending

February 26
* Attend Official Closing Ceremonies for 2006 Winter Olympics

Health Fact Finding Mission and 2010 Business Promotion Itinerary
February 28 - March 6, 2006

February 28: Stockholm, Sweden
* Health facility tours
* Meet with health-care professionals

March 1-2: Lillehammer, Norway
* Meet with Gerhard Heiberg, IOC member and Chairman of the 1994
Lillehammer Winter Games
* Overview of Lillehammer Olympic Park
* Visit the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, Lillehammer University
College, and the Olympic speed skating oval
* Visit Lillehammer Hospital
* Meet with the chair of National Physical Activity Council and
health-care representatives

March 3-4: Paris, France
* Meet with Canadian Ambassador Claude Laverdure
* Meet with Minister of Health, Xavier Bertrand, and health officials
* Tour health facilities
* 2010 Winter Olympics: Doing Business in British Columbia event at the
Canadian Embassy

March 5-6: London, England
* Tour health facilities
* Meet with Partnerships Health UK
* Meet with Canadian High Commissioner Mel Cappe
* Meet with UK Minister of State for Health Services and government
health officials
* 2010 Winter Olympics: Doing Business in British Columbia Event at the Canadian High Commission



The guy is an ERP. I guess that makes him an expert on all things health related and the best person BC has to offer an opinion on the comparison of various health sytems throughout the Olympics ... I mean Europe.

Then again, I guess if Gordo can make a bimbo with Gucci's Finance Minister then perhaps his sister's husband is not too far off the mark.

Interesting how petty this regime's document dumps can be sometimes.

Of course, given the trouble that Mr. Campbell's in-laws have given him in the past, well....

Why do both Chief of Staff Martyn Brown and Lara Dauphinee, deputy chief of staff and executive assistant have to accompany the Premier?

Oh, Budd, don't be cute.

I would have thought that Gordo would have invited his new DM instead. She is much prettier than Martyn :-)

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