The NDP are claiming Rodney MacDonald is trying to get taxpayers to pay for his VIP tickets to the Olympics, but the premier calls the accusation unfair and untrue.

Nova Scotia gave $1.5 million to Vancouver to help host the 2010 Winter Olympics. That doesn’t include tickets, but it does give Nova Scotia first crack at about 200 event tickets, including four VIP seats for the premier and his friends. The tickets will have to be purchased at face value.

The NDP said yesterday the premier is trying to get taxpayers to pay for his free ride to the Winter Games. But MacDonald denied even knowing about the VIP tickets.


“I had no knowledge that there were tickets necessarily for the premier or a particular minister or anything,” he told reporters yesterday.

“My focus is on what’s the right thing to do for Nova Scotia. And for anyone to suggest that we would make or I would make a decision based on that, I think is unfair and it’s not correct.”

Every province has made a donation to the 2010 Olympics. MacDonald said he doesn’t know if he will attend the Games and said the tickets might be given to regular Nova Scotians who otherwise couldn’t make the trip. But no decision has been made.

But NDP MLA Graham Steele wasn’t buying that MacDonald didn’t know about the tickets.

“We have information showing that the issue of Olympics and Olympic tickets went to cabinet on Feb. 3. And not only that, but the recommendation from two of his ministers is dated from Oct. 30. Does the premier not read the documents that are put in front of cabinet? It’s all there,” Steele said.

The NDP member added if MacDonald does go to the Olympics he should pay the way himself.