Sunday, February 7, 2010

Accepting political freebies? – by Castanet Staff

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd will not be attending the 2010 Vancouver Olympics on the backs on corporations or anyone else.

Members of the media, including Castanet, have tried to determine whether the mayor has received an invitation from the BC Lottery Corporation to attend events as their guest.

“I have made no plans and will be making no plans to attend the Olympics or Paralympics, except to cheer on our Canadian and Kelowna athletes by watching from home,” Mayor Shepherd says.

Mayor Shepherd says she received an invitation to attend a reception during the Games, but has sent her regrets. She has not received any tickets to Olympic events.

The story came to light over the weekend when Chilliwack mayor Sharon Gaetz announced she had received an invitation from BCLC to be their guest at the Olympic games.

The package included tickets to hockey, figure skating, speed skating and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Gaetz says she refused the offer, saying she believed it to be illegal and unethical.

BCLC has sent invitations to government officials in 20 B.C. communities.

The City of Kelowna was given two pairs of tickets for its participation in the GamesTown2010 online contest and the Olympic Torch Relay, all of which were donated to Kelowna residents who participated in these programs.

“If I was planning on going to the Olympics, I would have requested tickets to purchase,” says Mayor Shepherd, whose policy is to personally pay for tickets or fees unless attending events in an official capacity on behalf of the City of Kelowna.


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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.