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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
All the lonely houses stand like monuments / To thieves
— Neko Case, Tightly
July 16, 2006
Semantic Hairsplitting

Concern over Olympic costs running amok are legitimate, given the lessons provided by history. Jack Poole’s continual assertion that no additional funding will be required for Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics is almost comical on its face, considering the cost of construction in this city is sprialing out of control

It is, therefore, with little surprise that I greeted this news.

Wood roof to cover Olympic oval in Richmond
When construction of Richmond’s Olympic oval is finished in 2008, one million board feet of pine beetle lumber will cover the roof.
(Black Press) - Richmond will make the biggest statement of B.C.’s number one resource when the Winter Olympics come to town in 2010. The provincial government will announce it’s contributing $1.5 million toward the engineering and design of a wood roof for the Olympic oval.

Richmond’s $178-million oval budget included the cash needed for a steel roof. The province’s ante now gives the city what it really wanted for a community legacy facility.

“The wood design is not only unique, it is also preferable to steel in many ways, including superior acoustics and sustainability,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

The emphasis is mine.

This is semantic hair splitting of the sort that public accounting is full of. Jack Poole and the IOC gets to say that they requested no additional funding, thanks to the fact that this request comes from the City of Richmond. The City of Richmond’s white elephant gets built with an even higher level of provincial investment…an investment which, I still maintain, would better serve the community at Simon Fraser University where the original plan had this facility located.

This won’t be the last of this. and it’s not likely to be the most egregious. It’s important to keep an open mind and an eye on the big picture. Intrawest will, undoubtedly, be a major beneficiary; this is offset by the enormous contribution to Vancouver’s economy Intrawest makes (not to mention the fact that Whistler’s economy is entirely derived from Intrawest.)

I find it hard to imagine a big picture benefit from a wodden roof on a skating rink in the wrong location, and Mr. Brodie’s arguments have not been convincing.

Posted by skooter at 10:31 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.
This entry is tagged: 2010, Olympics, Vancouver Olympics

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