Among other things, it was learned that $1.5 million was spent on walkie-talkie sets for security forces, that 33 cranes were rented at a price that was $1 million more than it would have cost to buy them, and that three engineers were hired from a Montreal construction firm for nine months for the staggering sum of $500,000.
Beyond that, the provincial government is thinking of selling the Olympic Village at a loss of more than $30 million. It cost $85 million to build, and last week an official of the Olympic installations board said that $50 million would probably be considered a fair price.
Then there was the money paid for the silent orchestra and chorus. Under probing questioning, Michel Guay, director of operations for the Olympic organizing committee, admitted that the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the choirs present for the closing ceremony neither played nor sang a single note, but instead were "lip-syncing"—pretending to produce music while prerecorded selections were played over the public-address system. Sadly, Guay said, "It was a condition of the contracts the committee had to sign with the musicians' guild. Whether or not they were present, we had to pay the same fee." The fee was $500,000.