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The Globe and Mail

Liberals blast Tories for skipping Expo 2012 in South Korea

The federal Liberals say the Conservative government is making a mistake by skipping next year's world's fair in South Korea.

Heritage Minister James Moore has said Canada won't participate in Expo 2012 because it would be too expensive when the country is dealing with a budget deficit.

The Liberals say the Conservatives spent $50-million to bring the G8 leaders to Tony Clement's Ontario riding, but don't think it's important to invest $10-million to showcase Canada to millions of visitors at the 2012 fair.

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The Liberals say snubbing South Korea is shortsighted and will hurt the Canadian tourism industry and the economic recovery in general.

Vancouver businessman David Sinclair, who builds pavilions for major events, says some Korean officials are offended Canada has rejected the invitation, adding it doesn't look good when Canada is negotiating a free-trade deal with South Korea.

A Harris-Decima report commissioned for Heritage Canada following Canada's participation in Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China indicated that Canada is not a top draw at world expositions.

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