Taxpayers subsidized 2010 Olympic workers

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government gave organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics at least $4.56 million worth of taxpayer-funded workers.

A government report published Friday said 148 people who earned $3 million in salaries and benefits were seconded from various ministries to work for VANOC. The British Columbia Liquor Distribution Board (39), Finance (24) and Health Services (13) were the biggest sources of workers for VANOC, which pleaded for help in July 2009 because it couldnĺt afford to fill its workforce requirements.

The Integrated Land Management Bureau and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure each paid 10 people to work for VANOC.

The report also said 103 people were seconded from Crown corporations, but it did not include the cost. The May 6 Olympic sponsorship report for ICBC said 34 people from the taxpayer-owned auto insurer and regulator worked for VANOC at a cost of $1 million.

Meanwhile, 376 ministry employees volunteered for the Games. Most were from Children and Family Development (66), Housing and Social Development (62) and Forests and Range (44).

Government workers who volunteered got 7.5 days of paid leave to match any vacation time used. The cost to taxpayers was $560,000 for salaries and benefits.

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