Thursday, February 19, 2009

Van Loan called

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan is suddenly easy to contact now that the $900 million gorilla is... well, it's either caged or jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper. Whatever your perspective, it's a heckuva lot of bananas.
He admitted that the 2010 Winter Olympics security budget remains very much subject to change.
"If you had events happen during the Games that dramatically change the circumstances, you'd see a potential for costs to go up to respond to those events," Van Loan said. "If, on the other hand, things went ahead very smoothly, you could even conceivably see the costs come in under those that are in the plan.
“You will not know the final number until after the Games."
A show of hands. How many of you think it won't be under $1 billion?
VANOC CEO John Furlong presided over one of the organization's most disorganized news conferences. It was delayed almost half-an-hour. Technical difficulties meant journalists on the conference call were unable to hear or be heard.
The day started innocently enough with the opening of the $87.85 million Vancouver Olympic Centre curling complex near Nat Bailey Stadium and the announcement of a campaign to encourage Canadians to donate $20.10 to a Canadian athletes' fund.
With Glowing Hearts is the VANOC slogan. The recession-modified version is With Empty Wallets.
Next on the list of big bucks surprises? The VANOC transportation plan. Remember that? Yeah, the one that was due at the end of 2007. It could come as soon as Feb. 26. Drastic measures were recommended by transport engineer Bunt and Associates to keep the traffic moving from the border to Vancouver International Airport to bridges and the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

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