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Hydro spent $46,000 on burgers and beer for Olympics suite

B.C. Hydro spent $46,600 on food and drinks at its General Motors Place luxury suite during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The figure was contained in the Crown corporation’s response to a 24 hours Vancouver Freedom of Information request about expenses for the $264,000 luxury suite.

The taxpayer-owned utility released the names of staff hosts at hockey games, but not the names of invitees and their guests. Hydro claimed it was protecting personal privacy.

Hydro said the suite was used by residential contest winners and corporate clients and only one executive attended games. Guests for the Feb. 25 women’s gold medal game were from Best Buy, Sony Canada, Coast Appliances, Rona, Aragon, Polygon, Solterra, LG and Future Shop.

“There’s lots of potential for abuse; we have a right to know,” said NDP Olympics critic Kathy Corrigan. “If people are accepting tickets from the government, for an Olympic event, they should expect that their names be made public.”

The B.C. Utilities Commission allowed Hydro to hike rates 9.11 per cent on April 1.

A list of suites for the Feb. 28 men’s gold medal hockey game obtained by 24 hours showed Hydro was in suite 247. Suiteholders also included the B.C. government (213), West Vancouver (233), Alberta (276), Port Metro Vancouver (501) and Four Host First Nations (520).

Olympic Village developer Millennium Water Development, which was bailed out by Vancouver taxpayers, was in suite 510.

Bob Mackin is a reporter for 24 Hours Vancouver, where this first appeared.

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