Splurging on Olympic tickets while cutting services | National Union of Public and General Employees

Splurging on Olympic tickets while cutting services

$1.4 million being spent by B.C. Hydro, ICBC and the Lottery Corporation.

Vancouver (24 Sept. 2009) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says the province is wrong to be lavishing so much money on Olympic tickets while slashing basic public services.

"News is just out that B.C. Hydro, the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) and the Lottery Corporation are spending $1.4 million on tickets to the 2010 Winter Olympics," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "This includes B.C. Hydro spending $264,000 on a luxury box at GM Place."

The timing could not be worse, Walker argues.

"While the government is cutting sports, library, arts and health programs, it amazes me they wouldn't save some money and let B.C. Hydro's special friends pay for their own tickets," Walker argues.

For the record, he outlines some of the "important services" $1.4 million would cover:

  • 2,000 MRI procedures; or
  • 140 heart bypass surgeries; or
  • 360 childcare spaces; or
  • 400,000 meals for school lunch programs; or
  • 1,000 energy-efficient home rebates; or
  • 45,000 rebates for energy-efficient windows; or
  • 20 more conservation officers to protect B.C.'s environment; or
  • 16 literacy co-ordinators and the program could be maintained; or
  • 11 Fraser Valley agencies helping clients with mental health issues could be funded for half this amount.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE