It has been three years now since I retired, and I have no updated list of fart-catchers (oops, I mean public relations spokespeople) for the government or public agencies, so I hope my regular blog readers will allow me to use this forum to try to get a free private box seat to the Vancouver 2010 Gold Medal Hockey Game.
The government and its agencies have spent $2.4 MILLION of taxpayers’ money (where’s Michael Campbell on this one!) for Olympic Games seats and private luxury suite boxes to entertain its important customers.
That’s where I fit in!
I have been a loyal, dedicated provincial taxpayer for almost 40 years, contributing far more generously than I should have, thanks to having an honest, damned accountant.
Too bad I didn’t get one of those sleazy ones,who turns an eye to knowingly illegitimate deductions, dinner receipts and even vacation travels posing as business trips. Then I could have rubbed shoulders with that better crowd at the trough, who wallow in publicly-paid partying and rewarding themselves, their relatives, friends and supporters with things like free Olympic seats and invites to watch the Games from luxury private boxes.
I have also been a dedicated BC Hydro customer … going back to 1971, when I moved to B.C. And a great customer too! I used to leave all my lights on in the house, a radio and a couple of tvs blaring … generating great EXTRA revenues for BC Hydro. Surely that makes me deserving of something!
And as for ICBC, I just paid them more than $1,300 for car insurance last Saturday … and not just for basic coverage, but optional coverage as well. And I’m a RoadStar client too!! Where’s my box invite?
I’ve also ridden BC Ferries many times … and not just between the mainland and Vancouver Island, but three trips as well on the northern route to Prince Rupert … including once with a vehicle: that price alone should have included free Olympic tickets as part of the package.
BC Lotteries ..well, where do I begin! I have “donated” enough dough to have sufficient worthless pieces of paper to wallpaper my entire den … and heading towards a living room sized contribution. Doesn’t that deserve something more than just “Sorry .. Not a Winner”, which I find personally quite judgemental!
The province has spent $900,000 for 3,000 tickets/boxes for the Games; the government’s private agencies have also scooped up thousands of tickets, bringing the total public bill for this largess to $2.4 million … and no doubt, there’s more we still haven’t heard about.
And don’t forget … the wining and dining entertainment that will precede and go inside those boxes will probably bring the total PUBLIC cost to about $3 Million.
It was almost hilarious to hear Premier Gordon Campbell on the Bill Good Show Thursday defending such spending … saying it is needed to encourage major new investment in BC by companies like Coca Cola. I’m not kidding …he said that.
Is there some sort of Coca Cola product shortage looming in BC? Should I stock up? Do we need more Coke plants? Are they thinking of building more … and inviting them to our private box could swing the deal?
Of course not. And being an Official Olympic sponsor, Coca Cola probably has its own private luxury box. Maybe they could invite the Premier? Or me?
Or, if the Premier really wants to impress and attract appreciation, maybe he should invite top PEPSI executives to our now-bought-and-paid-for public private box. And then serve them bootlegged Pepsi … since only Coke is legally allowed to be sold/served on site. That could REALLY pay off … not only with a new Pepsi plant, but even the Premier’s own Pepsi ad on television!
The premier also defended Hydro’s generous Olympic ticket/box spending … suggesting ing they would be used to help seal deals with major corporate power buyers. If so, those buyers should be fired by their shareholders. Surely, major industrial Hydro power purchase deals are sealed through tough, long-term negotiations that yield the best prices … not because of free seats to Games. (Hope the premier isn’t confusing private business practices with the public decison making process?)
Of course my fear is MOST of these seats and luxury box invites will go to elected and appointed government and public agency officials themselves, their friends and families, their lawyers, accountants, stockbrokers and campaign managers, fundraisers … and all their families and friends too.
There are always public seat purchases at major events like this … but to spend $3 MILLION when the Premier says THE CUPBOARD IS BARE (have we already forgotten that?) is clearly excessive. Even if they toss a few tickets to public or community or poverty groups just to draw attention away from the major waste and self indulgence taking place out of sight behind all those security lines.
To do so, especially in light of all the school program funding cutbacks, lack of money for even repairs, slashing of kids programs, community and arts group funding and even health and hospital program cuts .. is particularly galling and indefensible.
Unless, of course, I am invited to enjoy the Gold Medal Hockey Game …. in the Special Bloggers’ Box. 🙂