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City hall won't release names of invitees to Olympic bash

Vancouver city hall is refusing to release the names of people invited to the city's Olympic pavilion at David Lam Park. and 24 hours' columnist Michael Klassen received 32 pages of guest lists for Vancouver House via Freedom of Information. Names of city staff and politicians were included. Affiliations, but not names, of guests were blacked-out. City corporate information and privacy manager Paul Hancock claims it would be an invasion of privacy to provide such information.

See the guest lists.

"It cuts against all of their election promises to be more open and transparent than any previous government," Klassen said. A civic news release issued before the Games said Vancouver House would "play host to a number of international business leaders at events coordinated through the Vancouver Economic Development Commission. . . to encourage new investment."

Representatives of local businesses, the Olympic movement and various Olympic host and bid cities and countries were invited throughout the Games. But many events were locally focussed, such as labour night (Feb. 16), Filipino-Canadian night (Feb. 18) and Indo-Canadian night (Feb. 22). “Political campaign outreach on the taxpayer dime, that’s really what this was all about,” Klassen said. “These guys were using a public facility to hold things that were to benefit Vision Vancouver and their supporters in the next election.”

Bob Mackin reports for 24 Hours Vancouver.

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