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Free Olympic tickets a hot potato for politicians, government employees

January 27th, 2010 · 13 Comments

We media types had a field day yesterday, phoning up everyone in the world with any kind of public position who might be guilty of accepting free Olympics tickets. Here’s the Globe’s take on it, which I helped out with.

I can hardly wait until we start printing the lists of business people getting free tickets. Have you noticed how many of the tickets are being used to schmooze business types? Apparently Vancouver is going to put out a list after the Games with the names of every person who got a free ticket. Should be fun reading.

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  • gmgw

    And all this smug largesse and mutual backscratching comes as… (cough) excuse me… (barely controlled shriek) a *surprise*??? Exactly how naive *are* the media in this town?

  • Higgins

    after reading your post & Globe’s I’ve got hungry. For pork. Subliminal message…
    Very hungry now.
    Am I the only one?

  • At a time this city government is cutting library and rec centre hours, why are we paying $377,000 for the same politicians and their backers to attend Olympic events most residents can’t afford?

    I salute Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman for their principled stand in refusing $1100 tickets to the opening ceremonies that won’t even feature our own Grammy-award winning Vancouver Symphony.

  • J R Wares

    It would have been far better if the elected representatives who will be recipients, made a matching cash donation to a worthwhile charity, such as a homeless shelter or shelter for battered women than luxuriate at our expense during the Olympics.

    Then we would know thay actually valued the opportunity to represent their community.

    But I always was an idealist, but I am not sure that applies to all our elected representatives.

  • chuckles

    I guess I must be missing something, but isn’t Vancouver hosting the games and shouldn’t the civic politicians be at some official functions representing the City.

    The real question should be why the City has to pay for tickets to its own event.

  • Patti Bacchus

    I liked your comment on NW Frances that you’d have to be paid to sit through the opening/closing ceremonies.

    VANOC provided the Vancouver School Board with 40 free tickets for the Feb 12 opening ceremonies, and they’re going to be distributed to grade 11 & 12 students via draw at Britannia, Templeton, Van Tech, Tupper and King George. Another 4,000 tickets from VANOC for ceremonies, curling and preliminary hockey are being distributed to students via our Community School Coordinators.

    None of the tickets are being offered to trustees, although we get to go to great events at schools all the time, which is just fine with me.

  • Bill Lee

    @Patti Bacchus. Now that the “Glee” tv show has shown that high school musical are fun, or excruciatingly awful in a nice way, when is VSB going to post monthly (and next monthly) listings of them. You have events but not the plethora of cultural outpourings from our schools.

    These shows are better than the Olympics, less saluting.

    And thank you for the VSB seven (6 + 1) other languages across the top. The Board realizes that the city is not English speaking unlike to obtuse City.Vancouver site.

  • Gassy Jack’s Ghost

    Wish they would do something for the kids’ hockey teams in Vancouver that have had their season hijacked by Olympic ice closures. Last weekend we played a HOME playoff game in Coquitlam! We now have to practice at 6 am on weekdays in Burnaby, before school.

    Vancouver has the lowest ice to population ratio of any small, medium or large city in the country. The upgrades are great. But net, no new sheets have been added as a result of the Olympics. And the likelihood of any of the east side kids seeing an Olympic game live are virtually nil.

    The Giants offer subsidized group tickets to local teams that help us fundraise. The Canucks give disadvanted and sick kids the opportunity to attend games, and minor players warm up with the big club before games.

    What is VANOC doing to involve these kids in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

  • Denis

    Stay home pull down the blinds and this whole mess of a circus will soon be over. Can’t say the same for the bills

  • grumbelschmoll

    1. The City of Vancouver is the host of the Olympic Games, and it should be self-understood that we are represented by our political leadership at the opening and closing. Every time a kid burps there is a councillor shaking hands, so yes, they should certainly be at these most important events.
    2. It is beyond ridiculous that the City of Vancouver has to buy tickets for their Council from Vanoc. Hasn’t the City paid enough to deserve that most minimal of courtesies?
    3. It drives me to insanity that we are buying tickets at great expense for guests. There is no good reason for that. Guests should pay their own way, and yes, they could have reserved a pool of tickets to be bought by guests of the City.

  • david hadaway

    I constantly try to convince myself that there is more good than bad in these games but every time I’m just about there, something knocks me back, be it gigantic waste such as the security budget or petty greed such as these freebie tickets.

    At the first modern games even the athletes paid their own way to the venues, now they have become a display of insane largesse. When a third world dictator wastes aid money on his palace or cronies while his people starve we rightly despise him. The difference here is only one of degree.

    Certainly let’s now enjoy the facilities we paid for, welcome visitors and celebrate athletes’ achievements. However the best thing that can come out of these games is an understanding of the corruption at their heart.

  • R T Sukbar

    Thanks Councillors – 8,000 City of Vancouver employees can now be even more ashamed of working for the City.

  • Bill Lee

    Note that in the past week the Mayor of Chilliwack, Sharon Gaetz, publicly refused free tickets from: the B.C. Lottery Corporation, as well as a similar invitation from BC Transmission Corporation.
    These tickets included Olympics tickets, meals and accommodations.

    Vision is running to the trough. Oink, Oink.