Friday, June 20, 2008

The British came, the British came

London 2012 minister Tessa Jowell visited the land of 2010 from June 16-19. 
Like all politicians clutching the Olympics portfolio, she echoed the familiar "on-budget, on-time" refrain -- despite unrest back home where new London mayor Boris Johnson called for more transparency and frugality. 
Unlike Vancouver, which is doing little to resurrect the Downtown Eastside ghetto, the new Olympic Park in East London will be a legacy. 
“It will be an extraordinarily proud legacy for the Olympics to say we created jobs, homes, the largest urban park in Europe for 150 years in what has been an area of dereliction,” Jowell said.
B.C. and U.K. forged an Olympic economic development pact earlier this year. The two jurisdictions are no stranger to each other. Britain colonized Canada’s west coast in 1858. British Columbia became Canada’s sixth province in 1871. Vancouver hosted the 1954 British Empire Games. Victoria, the provincial capital, did the same 40 years later when it was called the Commonwealth Games.
Joining Jowell on the trade mission were: Andrew Bacchus, head of the construction, sports and leisure infrastructure sector for UK Trade and Investment; Andrew Eborn, CEO of Octopus TV; Anita Patel, director of Tania Taipei; Alphus Hinds, senior director of Olympics and major events for Smith's Detection International; Dave Crump and Curt Petty, business development directors of Avesco, and Ian Druce of Steer Davies Gleave.

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