Taxpayers’ cash spent on Olympic tickets while local sports funding is cut

MLA Norm Macdonald
MLA Norm Macdonald

What does $2.4 million buy you?  For British Columbian taxpayers, it buys you thousands of tickets to Olympic events, many of those tickets in the highest price seats.

Publicly owned corporations like BC Hydro and ICBC have spent $1.5 million on Olympic tickets.  And the government’s own Olympic Ticketing Strategy spent $900,000 to buy tickets so that government MLA’s and cabinet ministers can attend prime events in the best seats.

It is more than ironic that BC Liberals are wasting tax payers’ money to attend sporting events at a time that sports programs across the province are being cut and promised grants to non-profit groups are being cancelled.

My office has heard of dozens of examples, in this constituency alone, where opportunities for sport and fitness have evaporated because of this government’s supposed belt tightening. Whether it is the loss of gaming grant funding for local sports associations or the cuts to sports travel subsidies, each of these cuts makes it more difficult for people in this area to be active in sport.

Clearly the belt tightening does not apply to BC Liberal MLAs.  Unlike the federal government that has stated that no MPs will be attending Olympic events at taxpayers’ expense, the BC Liberals feel no shame about attending the gold medal hockey game in a luxury box while you are footing the bill.

People tell me that they expect government to do what is right for the majority of people instead of focussing the benefits on a select few.
In tough economic times like these, we do need to look at finding cost savings.  When it comes to making choices about what programs should be cut first, I think the majority would say that a program that buys Olympic tickets for government MLAs would likely be at the top of the list.

Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke

You can contact him at:

104, 806 9th Street N
Box 2052
Golden BC V0A 1H0
1 866 870 4188 | 250 344 4816

His e-mail is:

His website is at