Few Olympic freebies for local politicians

Local politicians have not climbed on board the Winter Olympic bandwagon, unlike their big-city counterparts in Vancouver.

While that city is spending thousands on tickets for its employees and politicians, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are not spending a penny to allow staff or politicians to go at public expense.

“As for the district buying tickets, speaking for one, it’s just not on,” Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said Tuesday.

The topic hasn’t even come up at council, he pointed out.

Daykin is going to a hockey game, though – as a guest of B.C. Lotto Corp.

The same goes for Pitt Meadows staff and council.

Mayor Don MacLean said staff may be buying their own tickets and attending Olympic events, but none have been provided by Vanoc to the city, and the city hasn’t bought any, either.

“It hasn’t been discussed at any level.”

MacLean even doubts he’ll be going to any Olympic events, unless someone offers him a ticket to buy. “I’m not a big fan of crowds.”

Government Liberal MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission Marc Dalton, who’s bilingual, said it’s still possible he could be asked to act as a host to take foreign guests to an Olympic event. He’ll likely be doing that for a least one cultural event.

But it’s unlikely he’ll be doing that for any sports events as the Feb. 12 start of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics approaches.

The B.C. government last fall bought about $900,000 worth of Olympic tickets for hosting purposes to ensure government members had enough tickets to invite guests, such as ambassadors or foreign politicians, for official purposes.

But Dalton has yet to be offered any and he hasn’t asked for any and said last fall most of those will go to cabinet ministers.

However, he is buying two hockey tickets from a friend for about $100 each to see Germany and Latvia face off.

Dalton said hosting makes sense and that the government will give a full accounting of how it used its tickets later.

Opposition MLA Michael Sather isn’t attending any Olympic sports events.

He’s enthusiastic about the Games, but when he sees $1 billion spent on security when there are so many human needs, he’s left feeling ambivalent about the Games.

The B.C. Liberals are cutting back on vital funding for mental health services, children’s sports programs and Special Olympics, and then spending close to a million dollars on Olympic tickets, he said in a news release last fall.

Maple Ridge MP Randy Kamp hasn’t received any freebies either.

He has, however, bought two tickets to curling from his daughter.

Kamp said the federal government bought some tickets and offered them for sale to MPs, but he doesn’t know who is going.

The Olympic Torch relay will pass through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on Day 102 of the relay, Feb. 8.

Just Posted

Court supports Maple Ridge role in tent city

Rejects Pivot application to allow people to return

City video updates Maple Ridge Leisure Centre re-do

Rusty support columns delaying project by a few months

Maple Ridge councillor back at work

Duncan away because of car accident

Seniors conquer the arctic

Pitt Meadows guide led 35-day trek

Moonstruck amateur historian chronicled lunar missions

Maple Ridge man’s 50-year-old scrapbook under the gavel on anniversary of the moon walk

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read