Olympic freebie details withheld: NDP
The B.C. government is being accused of hiding exactly how much it spent on Olympic tickets and which insiders got free tickets to which events.
The Liberals have not honoured a promise to reveal who used the tickets and why, including tickets bought by Crown corporations, NDP Leader Carole James said Thursday.
"The secrecy continues. The confusion is getting worse," James said during question period in the legislature. "Why are taxpayers still being denied information on who used Olympic tickets?"
The B.C. government said in October 2009 that it spent about $900,000 on Olympic tickets for MLAs and cabinet ministers to host visiting politicians, dignitaries and business leaders.
The minister responsible for the Olympics, Mary McNeil, said a full accounting of government use of Olympic tickets would be released in a few weeks, complete with details on which MLAs and ministers went to which events.
Some of the details of how Crown corporations used the tickets are already on their websites, McNeil said.
Crown corporations spent $1.3 million
The NDP said that a freedom of information request to BC Hydro came back with page after page blanked out.
"The public doesn't believe that hiding behind gallons of whiteout is transparent or accountable," said opposition MLA Mike Farnworth.
James demanded the Liberals release all details of who used government-purchased tickets and for which events, and that Crown corporations be forced to do the same.
"Crown corporations have their own reporting requirements," MacNeil said.
It was also revealed in the fall of 2009 that BC Hydro, ICBC and the BC Lottery Corporation had bought thousands of Olympic event tickets worth an estimated $1.3 million to distribute to staff, contractors, business partners and customers in contests.
With files from The Canadian Press