The new policy
Manitoba Crown corporations have traditionally sponsored sports and culture in the province through grants and advertising. Typically, the Crowns receive complimentary tickets as part of a 'corporate sponsors package' and distribute these tickets as they see fit -- to charities, clients, employees, board members and ministers.
In many cases, ministers also receive complimentary tickets to events directly supported by the province, such as performances of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Past policy has allowed ministers, board members and government officials to accept complimentary tickets. In fact, attendance at events like the ballet, the symphony or Folklorama has been encouraged. For the most part, this policy will remain.
The return of NHL hockey, however, has prompted a revision to the policy. Tickets to Jets games have a higher face value and (due to perpetual sell-outs) are harder to obtain than tickets to almost any other event.
Ministers, MLAs and government officials shall not accept complimentary tickets to professional sports events.
Crown corporations will adopt similar policies with respect to their appointed board members. The Crowns Corporation Council will draft a common policy. If Crowns receive sports tickets in return for advertising support, they will be encouraged to distribute them through charities or community groups. In some cases Crown employees may also receive complimentary tickets, as part of a fairly administered employee recognition policy.
Ministers, MLAs, government officials and appointees may continue to accept complimentary tickets to other events, such as arts and cultural events, charity dinners and community fundraisers, when acting in an official capacity.
Source: Stan Struthers, minister of finance and minister responsible for the Crowns Corporation Council, which oversees the province's Crown corporations