POSTED: Oct 3, 2013 5:24 PM ET
TORONTO (AP) — The Ontario government has pitched in $500,000 to help the Toronto Raptors host the 2016 NBA All-Star game.
The Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment company, which owns the Raptors, got the grant through the "Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster" program.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the company was recently valued at $2.25 billion and "doesn't exactly need corporate welfare."
CTF Ontario director Candice Malcolm says the government has "no shame when it comes to wasting taxpayers' money."
The company says it asked for the money because it felt the event qualified for funding under the province's program to boost tourism. The MLSE announced Monday it will host the NBA event, and predicts it will generate around $100 million for Toronto.