Archive for May 9th, 2012

MPI staff shouldn’t get free Jets tickets

- May 9th, 2012

MPI staff who supposedly worked above and beyond the call of duty over the past year got free Winnipeg Jets tickets, paid for by motorists through their insurance premiums.
That’s according to the results of a freedom of information request submitted by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation released Wednesday.
My question is, why on earth should anyone at MPI get free Jets tickets paid for by us just for doing their jobs?
This is not the private sector. MPI is a state-owned monopoly that forces us by law to purchase our car insurance through them — whether we like their product or their lack of consumer choice or not.
Nobody at MPI should be getting any bonuses for processing forced insurance premiums on Manitobans.

car crash portage 2

MPI insurance premiums should be used for insurance claims for crashes like this one, not for staff bonuses.

 

According to the FIPPA response, MPI paid $199,548 to True North Sports and Entertainment for 170 pairs of Jets tickets and to advertise road safety messages at MTS Centre during NHL games.

Some of the tickets — 86 pairs — were given to charity. I’m not sure MPI has a mandate to use our car insurance premiums for charitable donations. But we’ll leave that off the table for now.

Four pairs of tickets were given to MPI bigwigs.

And 80 pairs of tickets were earmarked for MPI staff who “demonstrate commitment and dedication to their work by going the ‘extra mile,’” — among other basic job requirements. What a scam.

If a private sector company wants to purchase tickets through whatever marketing or promotional deals it has with sporting teams and gives tickets to their staff for whatever reason, that’s nobody’s business.
You don’t have to buy their product if you don’t want to.
But Manitobans are forced to buy automobile insurance through MPI and any net revenues derived from that should be used to lower insurance premiums, not give bonuses to MPI staff for doing their jobs.
This is ludicrous.

Meanwhile, Manitoba Lotteries Corp. has also been snared in the ticketgate scandal. According to a separate CTF FIPPA response, MLC received tickets as part of a similar advertising deal. They also used some tickets for senior executives, for Gambling Minister Andrew Swan (who supposedly has since paid for those tickets) and for staff awards. Again, was is a Crown corporation doing rewarding staff with public money for doing their jobs? Any net revenues from gambling proceeds are supposed to be  transfered to the provincial government’s general revenues for spending in areas like health care, education and infrastructure?

It’s wrong.