Friday, February 18, 2011

Inflated numbers, inflated celebration

Colin Hansen has a heavy workload. That may be an understatement.

At this time, he is Deputy Premier, Finance minister, Health Services minister and minister responsible for Small Business. He must have a lot in his brain and his briefcase.

Like many politicians, he is known for being economical with the truth at times. He's one of the gang that has often repeated the myth that 3.5 billion people watched the 2010 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee's revised estimate in July 2010 was 1.8 billion actual viewers.

Fellas, use the real number, why don't ya? Stop bamboozling the people.

On Feb. 17, the Legislative sitting ended with lawmakers speaking in tribute of outgoing Premier Gordon Campbell. Hansen, who is also Olympics minister, stood up and said this:

Colin Hansen: "My colleague earlier referenced the Olympics. When you think back that British Columbia only won the right to host the Olympic Games by three votes.... That would not have happened had it not been for the work that was done by our Premier to make sure that we reached out and made sure that British Columbia put their best foot forward in that campaign. I can remember the elation that I felt sitting in B.C. Place Stadium at six o'clock in the morning B.C. time as we watched on the big screens that Vancouver had been awarded the 2010 Olympic Winter Games."

Well, Mr. Hansen, your memory is faulty. Or you're just trying to inflate the importance of the date.

Vancouverites gathered early July 2, 2003 at General Motors Place (now Rogers Arena) to watch the result of the International Olympic Committee's vote in Prague. GM Place has a scoreboard with four sides. B.C. Place Stadium, until the 2010 Winter Olympics, had only one big screen.

B.C. Place was closed the morning that Vancouver was named the 2010 Games host.

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