30 January 2010

Olympic Tickets

There has been a lot in the news lately about Vancouver’s elected officials being given free tickets to the Olympics. As a Park Board Commissioner I was offered two tickets for the Opening and Closing ceremonies. As well, I was offered the opportunity of choosing any amount of events throughout the games, and would somehow ‘compete’ with other elected and city officials to be the city representative at these events.

The controversy arose because the city had to buy these tickets at a cost of over $300,000. Many believe that this is an expense the city can ill afford at a time when services are being cut because of budget constraints. Some suggest that had the tickets been given to the city by VANOC, there would not be such a stir.

While I believe there is a protocol role for city officials, both elected and staff, I don’t believe the city should have spent money on tickets for individual events for elected officials. I understand the Mayor and Council being at the Opening and Closing events, and the Mayor and his designates at as many of the official functions as possible, but I do not see the need for tickets to other events.

I have declined the tickets to the Opening and Closing ceremonies and requested that tickets purchased for me be given to worthy students who would not otherwise be able to attend. Likewise, I have not put my name forward for any other specific events, rather informing the protocol office that if there is an official role they would like me to play at any of the events, I would be happy to represent the city if I am available, and they request my presence.

I hope the Olympics are a great success and I am grateful for all the amenities the Park Board will gain from them. I do not think though, that simply because I was elected to the Park Board, the tax payers should have to buy me tickets to watch the games.


  1. Would be nice if some of those homeless the City of Vancouver and the province say they care so much about were able to view an Olympic event, other than that of tourists ogling the homeless of the DTES.

  2. Stuart, you've done the right thing for the right reasons, just as with your stand regarding the Bloedel & Children's Farmyard. The City [Vision] could save the day & put those tickets back on the market & cover 2/3s of the $400,000 shortfall for Bloedel & the Farmyard. This plus the +/-$40,000 the Friends of Bloedel raised last night would leave just $100,000 to be found by the 30 April deadline. These are opportunities which Vision will ignore @ their peril.