My Jan. 7 blog post was about how the B.C. Liberal government was exploiting the upcoming first anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympics for political gain. The ruling party is claiming the Games were the most successful in history.
Maybe they were for Team Canada, but definitely not for Canadian taxpayers who still don’t know the total bill.
I now have further proof. A smoking gun, you might say. Read about it here.
After the Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ministry denied access to all documents — cabinet confidentiality, they claimed — documents from a simultaneous request to the Office of the Premier were released.
Strange that one ministry would say records cannot be released and another one says they can be (albeit in censored form). But, such is life in a government in turmoil led by one Gordon Campbell who declared in 1998 that “government information belongs to the people, not to government”but has instead gone to great lengths to hide information.
Communications plans show that bureaucrats were worried the public would question spending taxpayers’ money on more Olympic hoopla, one year after the party that I estimated was worth at least $6.5 billion (or $190.86 from every Canadian).
Spirit Festivals — to celebrate Olympic anniversaries — are a key component of the $60 million, three-year 2010 Sports and Arts Legacy. Pages 19 and 20 show that the events are intended to “provide Ministers/MLAs with media/photo opportunities and speaking roles” and to “minimize the volume of dissent over use of these funds in this manner”.
This isn’t the first time that “Red Mittens” Campbell has sought to bask in Olympic glory. The You Gotta Be Here Olympic tourism campaign also had political overtones: “voting age” British Columbians were among the targets and the campaign included “special Premier focused promotions”.
Campbell will no longer be Premier on Feb. 26. That’s when his party will vote on a replacement. Two days before the first anniversary of the epic gold medal hockey final on the last day of the Games.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.