TORONTO (AP) -- Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura signed autographs, posed for photos and talked business Wednesday to kick off a three-day trade mission to Canada.
The former professional wrestler repeatedly stressed the importance of strong relations between his state and Canada, saying both offered lucrative markets for the other.
"This is about building relationships," Ventura said of his trip to Toronto and Winnipeg. "We want to assure Canada that we value them. They're not forgotten to us, and Minnesota is a great place to do business."
At a meeting with tour operators, Ventura announced a special Northwest Airlines promotion offering free stopovers in Minneapolis for passengers traveling between Canada and the United States.
He also displayed his trademark candor, seeking confirmation from an aide before confirming his state offered business incentives, then saying: "Yes, we do. I don't carry an ego that says I know everything about everything -- I believe that I have 2,500 qualified commissioners and I stay out of their way and let them do their job and when they shine, I shine."
Standing at the Minnesota tourism booth at a technology trade show, Ventura remarked that his presence as governor was "not bad for a guy who doesn't even know how to use a computer."
Comments about the struggling technology sector and retraining programs for Minnesota citizens always seemed to come back to Ventura's past.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.