Why Lisa Raitt helped unveil Team Canada's Olympic roster

While fans waited impatiently for Canada's men's Olympic hockey team to be announced, a long line of officials addressed the TV cameras. Among them was federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt. Here's why.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt handed out jackets to players

On hand for the unveiling of Canada's Olympic hockey team roster was federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, left, next to assistant chef de mission France St-Louis, second left, president of the Canadian Olympic committee Marcel Aubut, centre, executive director Steve Yzerman, second right, and Olympic hockey team head coach Mike Babcock. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

While fans waited impatiently for Canada's men's Olympic hockey team to be announced, a long line of officials addressed the TV cameras. Among them was federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.

Raitt spoke for a couple of minutes, then returned to the stage to help hand out team jackets to the players named to represent Canada in Sochi at the 2014 Games.

While that may have struck some as odd, Raitt was there on behalf of Bal Gosal, the minister of state for amateur sport, Gosal's spokesman said. Gosal was travelling in India and couldn't be on hand for the announcement, Robert Lynch said, but the government has tried to have someone at all of the Team Canada announcements so far. That's a total of 18.

Another one is planned for tomorrow in Toronto, where the men's alpine team will be announced, Lynch added.

The federal government pledged $31 million a year ago to 11 Olympic sport organizations, and provided $6.9 million in funding for athletes the year before.