Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cheque in the mail

Canada Post is the newest VANOC sponsor, pledging $3 million on July 3 to be an official supplier for the 2010 Games.
A week earlier, Canadians learned the federal Crown corporation wanted to increase the price of stamps from 52 cents to 54 cents in 2009 and then by 2 more cents in 2010 and 2011.
Canada Post began preparing for 2010 in July 2003 when it hyped a special edition stamp commemorating Vancouver's bid win. The underwhelming 48-cent domestic envelope-sticker showed Canada Post's Ottawa headquarters with Vancouver 2010 printed below.
In February, Postal Inspector in Charge Jag Sumra prepared a "Confidential Doucment (sic) Executive Briefing Note on 2010 Integrated Security Planning. Before it was made available via Access to Information, the 25-page document was heavily censored.
If it wasn't riddled with blacked-out paragraphs or entire pages blanked, then we might know more about hints from the table of contents, like: general vulnerability/security assessment, internal and external threats, safety and security of the mail, Canada Post facilities and equipment, VIP protection for Canada Post executives, communications and information sharing, airport security, business continuity planning, security and investigation services, and action plan.
A two-page list of 20 Olympic venue sites remains intact. The sites, expected to be behind security fences, will get special delivery arrangements. The Westin Bayshore, the IOC's hotel, is on the list, along with all competition and training venues. VANOC's Graveley Street offices, however, are not.

Surrey's 2010 contract revealed

Does Surrey need to spend $10.5 million on a new 21,000 square foot community centre in the Whalley ghetto for the VANOC Games Preparation Centre? 
That's a question Surrey residents ought to ask Mayor Dianne Watts. 
The May 26 venue city agreement between Surrey and VANOC -- obtained via Freedom of Information -- says VANOC needs just 5,500 square feet, which is slightly less than the floorspace in the Tom Binnie recreation centre that Watts and co. want to replace. The new facility is proposed to be built from scratch on a vacant lot next door. If it's not ready by Feb. 1, 2009, then VANOC can seek "judicial relief" via clause 13 in which Surrey waived the right to a defense. 
Other highlights:
  • Surrey's $2 million payment to VANOC was due June 30.
  • Surrey can buy tickets at face value and in priority to retail, including 50 for each of the opening and closing ceremonies, an average of 10 per day to prime events like hockey playoffs, figure skating, speedskating and gold medal curling and an average of 50 per day to all other sports. Tickets are for internal use only and resale at face value is only allowed via VANOC's ticket exchange program.
  • Surrey may nominate up to five torchbearers (subject to VANOC approval) to carry the flame "within or in close proximity to the venue city."
  • Use of the VANOC photo bank and image archive, street banners and signage, advertising space on billboards near competition venues and space in publications will cost extra.
  • And, despite sponsors of all stripes being called "partners," clause 11 is titled Agreement Not a Partnership.

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