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Recession-wrestling Olympic committee wants free labour

A VANOC bid to borrow employees from companies and governments is a "win-win for everyone but the taxpayer," says the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation.

"First taxpayers fund bureaucrats to volunteer at the Olympics and now VANOC wants even more free labour, courtesy of the taxpayer," said CTF B.C. director Maureen Bader.

Organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics announced a recruitment campaign Thursday to fill 1,500 positions in 32 departments for eight weeks to six months. Positions range from delivery driver to broadcast operations coordinator.

"These are all jobs that'll be working in the heart of the Games, they'll be seeing the Olympics from the inside out," said workforce executive vice-president Donna Wilson.

VANOC already has 45 employees seconded from 20 sponsors and governments. Deputy CEO Dave Cobb said borrowing workers would help VANOC save "millions of dollars" during the recession.

"We'll reduce our financial risk going forward if we have these people loaned to us," Cobb said.

Previous Games, including Calgary 1988, had secondment programs.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 Hours

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