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Vanoc Scandal: Callaghan Valley Nordic Venue


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RED ALERT! - Just read in my Business in Vancouver paper this breaking scandal by Bob Mackin - It is easy to connect the dots on this shocker:

Powder Mountain ski resort controversy exhumed in lead-up to 2010 Olympics

West Vancouver mother/daughter duo hoping RCMP investigation will get to bottom of Callaghan Valley dispute

2010 Gold Rush

130 weeks until opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

An Expo 86-era scandal may live again on the road to 2010.

The RCMP is reviewing new evidence surrounding the aborted Powder Mountain ski resort in the Callaghan Valley near Whistler.

Proponents Nan and Dianne Hartwick, a mother-daughter West Vancouver duo, hope RCMP will investigate how and why the Callaghan is becoming a $120 million, taxpayer-funded Nordic sports venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

RCMP Commercial Crimes Insp. Kevin deBruyckere confirmed that a review is underway to determine whether to launch an investigation.

“We’re going to the wall on this,” said Dianne Hartwick, “because we know that project was stolen from us.”

Hartwick-owned Powder Mountain Resorts won a 1985 public call for proposals and gained approval in principle from government. Forests and Lands Minister Jack Kempf claimed Premier Bill Vander Zalm told him in 1987 to “cease and desist” with the Hartwicks and favour Callaghan Resorts Inc., which was backed by ex-Social Credit attorney general Les Peterson.

The B.C. Court of Appeal refused to overturn the B.C. Supreme Court’s 1999 dismissal of the Hartwicks’ breach of contract and abuse of office lawsuit. A special prosecutor’s criminal investigation was halted in 2003, just three weeks before Vancouver was elected 2010 host at the International Olympic Committee session in Prague. Because of insufficient evidence, no charges were laid.

The Hartwicks had visions of the Callaghan Valley becoming the sequel to Whistler. It’s remained an under-promoted playground for cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. Brad Sills’ Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures opened a Nordic lodge there in 1998, just in time for the Canadian Olympic Committee’s selection of the Vancouver-Whistler bid over proposals from Calgary and Quebec City. Sills was an early campaigner for Olympic ski jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon and Nordic combined to be held in the Callaghan.

Critics said West Vancouver’s Cypress Bowl could’ve been 2010’s temporary Nordic site for much less. The Callaghan won’t displace Calgary as the national training centre, but it could someday be what Cypress can’t be: a four-season destination resort with all the amenities enjoyed up the road in Whistler. The Hartwicks haven’t given up their dream. They claim backing from 75 private investors. Former Olympic downhill skier Todd Brooker is their vice-president of resort development.

“We’re not against the Olympics; we’re against what has happened,” Dianne Hartwick said.

Where are they now

Who were the players in the Powder Mountain saga in the 1980s and where are they now?

Nan and Dianne Hartwick: Then: mother and daughter duo active in real estate with Social Credit party connections. Had provincial government approval to turn Powder Mountain in the Callaghan Valley into a ski resort until Premier Bill Vander Zalm intervened on behalf of a former attorney general. Now: still trying.

Bill Vander Zalm: Then: Social Credit B.C. premier from 1986 to 1991. Resigned after Fantasy Gardens conflict of interest affair. Now: retired.

Jack Kempf: Then: maverick Social Credit MLA for Omineca. Appointed lands minister by then-premier Bill Bennett in 1986 and assumed the same role in Vander Zalm’s cabinet until he was fired in 1987 over a travel expenses scandal. Died July 1, 2003.

David Emerson: Then: Vander Zalm’s deputy minister. Now: federal Conservative minister responsible for the 2010 Games.

Colin McIver: Then: attorney general’s ministry lawyer. Now: partner with Fraser Milner Casgrain. Represented VANOC in Callaghan Valley Nordic venue development.

Jack Hall: Then: Burnaby regional land office director. Later became vice-president of development and marketing for Land and Water B.C., the lead agency providing Crown land and water resources to VANOC. Now: director of Property Assessment Appeal Board and Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

George McKay: Then: was alpine ski development project manager for LWBC predecessor B.C. Assets and Lands Corporation in 1990s. Became director of the Callaghan Valley Master Plan during 2010 bid stage. Now: VANOC's director of environmental approvals. Also listed in B.C. Government Directory as tourism ministry's manager of special projects.

2010goldrush@gmail.com

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Rav3n: no it isn't just you. Almost everyone I speak with agrees with your point of view. The reason being that the whole exercise of Vanoc has been smoke & mirrors by a small circle of corporate pals with secretive agendas, wheeling & dealing behind closed on the backs of the taxpayers of Canada & the athletes, who have to scrape by on very little support. There is stench surrounding Vanoc that people smell & it is growing by the day.

'Games' indeed!!!! The story posted above from Business in Vancouver, a widely read paper by subscription & on the news stands, is an example of how deep the rot goes and any thinking person can easily connect the dots from this article. Check out the 2010 Watch site - it has hit there too.

I would love to to see a new, ethical, province wide, perhaps National, Referendum on whether Canadians support the 2010 Olympics held today. The Bid Referendum was a farce with only Vancouver voting. Why shouldn't everyone have had a vote in the Lower Mainland, the entire Province - all of Canada since it is everyone's tax dollars being siphoned off for the benefit of a very few in the inside track. Actually, I have heard that one is in the works, based on the growing momentum of dissatisfaction over Vanoc's handling of the 'games'

Mr. X: I posted on this site, believing that there were some 'thinkers' participating. I am going to be patient with you with the hope that you will give your head a shake on reflection. Your comment was very emotional and added nothing to the discussion. There, there, calm down. Now let's here some facts from you instead of an outburst void of any meat. As you get older, (your profile says you are 5 yrs old )- one learns to think before one opens one's mouth. So I am waiting with baited breath your facts to substantiate your words. LOL

Now, please go back & reread the article & absorb the facts printed there, although it may be beyond your scope of awareness/experience. Do you see the words: RCMP Commercial Crime & "new evidence"? You too, & Guardian,Miniaturesnickers (this has everything to do with Vanoc linked to Land bureaucrats, a former AG crown lawyer & a Federal Minister in charge of the Olympics).

Be assured that no editor, no writer, particularly of a prestigious paper like BIV is going to print names & make statements (unlike Mr. X) without checking the hard facts. I was grateful to see a paper break this story unlike the sanitized pablum people are sick of being fed in the MSM.

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Thinking doesn't always mean agreeing with what you say. And Business in Vancouver is not prestigious. Its just a local business rag. They are a business like everything else and are trying to make a profit. They've often made mistakes. And this is just the way the world works.

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Kendegra, with all due respect, absolutely everyone is entitled to their opinions. However, opinions are not the same as facts/truth.

Be assured that no editor, no writer, particularly of a prestigious paper like BIV is going to print names & make statements (unlike Mr. X) without checking the hard facts. I was grateful to see a paper break this story unlike the sanitized pablum people are sick of being fed in the MSM
A media outlet cannot afford to make "mistakes" when printing an expose article like this on Vanoc & the Callaghan Valley.

I don't believe the BIV owner, would be pleased to see you call his paper widely subscribed to well outside the borders of BC. . . . called a "rag" - I wonder what he might respond to you if I led him to your comments - gee, I think his brother is lawyer.

However, that is YOUR opinion although clearly thousands would differ with your point of view. - that is what I mean about comments made on this site with no factual base, such as Mr. X's. The comments I referred to above bore no weight, added nothing intelligent to the discussion.

It is also important to remember that ultimately, we are all responsible for ourselves & the fallout that comes from our decisions, ethical or not.

Do you believe the RCMP would be involved at the highest levels on this is this evidence wasn't very serious? - THINK again.

Don't you believe, as the 'thinker' I hope you are, that the public deserves to know the truth surrounding Vanoc as they play with Billions of taxpayers' dollars vs the spin that Vanoc & the BC Govt. choose to dish out. The more factual stories that are printed re: the secret dealings of Vanoc the better. That is MY opinion.

There is an old saying that goes:

There is nothing covered-up that will remain cover-ed.
The cover-up usually proves to be worse the the original crime covered & returns to bite the players.

I agree with you that mistakes are the way the world works - so is wide spread corruption surrounding the Olympics. it just depends upon the motive behind those "mistakes" & who made them.

The 'six degrees of separation' in this cover-up re: the linkages is a red flag, indeed.

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Rav3n: no it isn't just you. Almost everyone I speak with agrees with your point of view. The reason being that the whole exercise of Vanoc has been smoke & mirrors by a small circle of corporate pals with secretive agendas, wheeling & dealing behind closed on the backs of the taxpayers of Canada & the athletes, who have to scrape by on very little support. There is stench surrounding Vanoc that people smell & it is growing by the day.

VANOC is a business, and it has a tight budget and short schedule to work on. Things like open meetings and audits left, right and centre affects efficiency. The federal government hired an independent auditor to audit VANOC's books in 2006....and there was no wrong doing in terms of finances.

Stench? You mean the overblown junk we get fed by Canwest? If you think this "stench" is new, think again.....every city that hosted the Olympics had this.....Athens, Torino, Sydney, SLC, Atlanta, especially Beijing, etc.

I would love to to see a new, ethical, province wide, perhaps National, Referendum on whether Canadians support the 2010 Olympics held today. The Bid Referendum was a farce with only Vancouver voting. Why shouldn't everyone have had a vote in the Lower Mainland, the entire Province - all of Canada since it is everyone's tax dollars being siphoned off for the benefit of a very few in the inside track. Actually, I have heard that one is in the works, based on the growing momentum of dissatisfaction over Vanoc's handling of the 'games'

And what good would a referendum do? VANOC has already spent nearly a billion of its $2 billion budget and it could face mounting lawsuits by corporations (sponsors, suppliers, licensing, merchandise) and the IOC who have contributed 74% of the VANOC $2 billion budget if the games are canceled. The public sector is responsible for 26% of VANOC's budget. Most of the venues will be completed in December, with three remaining to be completed in 2008....which will be the earliest venue completion in Olympic history.

Before asking the government for more funding, VANOC had already cut $80 million from its venue designs and asked for $110 million more....which balances out with rising costs in materials and labour. Ask any developer whether or not they were surprised about the rising costs in construction.

VANOC has done an incredible job with its finances. It has by far the lowest venue cost inflations (compared to: the billions in Athens, 4 times more already in London, half-a billion more in Torino). At this stage of the game, you'd see mounting Olympic bills. Also, domestic sponsorships are up by nearly 100% from $400 million to nearly $800 million and tv rights and IOC sponsorships are together up by more than 50%.

Against from what the media likes to feed you with, VANOC has really done a job well done in keeping its books in order.

If you think cancellation is an option, well would you want to be the laughing stock of the world? The nation that couldn't even host a Winter Olympics? That's what Denver was.

There are two years until the Olympics, and rumours of any second referendum are simply hopes and dreams by those who are against the Games.

So many things overblown by our media and misinformation surroudning these games.....

I posted on this site, believing that there were some 'thinkers' participating. I am going to be patient with you with the hope that you will give your head a shake on reflection. Your comment was very emotional and added nothing to the discussion. There, there, calm down. Now let's here some facts from you instead of an outburst void of any meat. As you get older, (your profile says you are 5 yrs old )- one learns to think before one opens one's mouth. So I am waiting with baited breath your facts to substantiate your words. LOL

FYI, my profile says 5 yrs...which is how long i've been around in Gamesbids. There's hardly any "meat" in that story. Where are the details? It's hardly a VANOC scandal, it's simply an investigation.....at least not at this point.

But of course, you're against these Games.....so obviously you would overblow this as a scandal.

Don't you believe, as the 'thinker' I hope you are, that the public deserves to know the truth surrounding Vanoc as they play with Billions of taxpayers' dollars vs the spin that Vanoc & the BC Govt. choose to dish out. The more factual stories that are printed re: the secret dealings of Vanoc the better. That is MY opinion.

Where'd you get "billions"? The media? VANOC is handling $580 million of taxpayers money.

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I'm sure Mr. Ladner can handle the heat. And it was his late father that was the lawyer...the Ladner in Borden Ladner Gervais LLP as in the firm that is one of the lead legal counsel to VANOC who's former lead partner is now head of VANOC's legal department.

I don't see the scandal here or what this is all about. A deal in the 1980's got quashed. OK. That happens a lot. The Hartwicks lost out. So what?

There are many many people involved in VANOC but they would and could not have known back in 1987 that the city was going to win the Olympics.

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I don't see the scandal here or what this is all about. A deal in the 1980's got quashed. OK. That happens a lot. The Hartwicks lost out. So what?

There are many many people involved in VANOC but they would and could not have known back in 1987 that the city was going to win the Olympics.

precisely.

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Critics said West Vancouver’s Cypress Bowl could’ve been 2010’s temporary Nordic site for much less. The Callaghan won’t displace Calgary as the national training centre, but it could someday be what Cypress can’t be: a four-season destination resort with all the amenities enjoyed up the road in Whistler. The Hartwicks haven’t given up their dream. They claim backing from 75 private investors. Former Olympic downhill skier Todd Brooker is their vice-president of resort development.

It would be nice to have the nordic sports at Cypress, but there are major logistic issues with Cypress being the 2010 Nordic site.

Freestyle skiing and snowboarding will each have 12,000 seat temporary stadiums....that's 24,000 spectators already. And if Cypress were to hold the nordic sports as well - cross country skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined - that would be three more temporary stadiums of 12,000 seats. That means you'd have potentially 60,000 spectators (not including media, volunteers, athletes, officials, etc.) going up and down a narrow two-lane road on the slope of Cypress Mountain. Even Whistler doesn't have that many people during the peak of its winter ski season.

There are also infrastructure issues.....because that's 60,000+ people.

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<H2 style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Live & learn, 'Mr. X' & 'Kendegra' . . . . The firestorm of the Vanoc/Callaghan Valley Nordic Venue scandal has ignited. When truth gets traction it is more powerful than any deceit.

We, the public need to know the 'games' that go on behind the all too secretive closed doors of kissing cousins, Vanoc & the BC Govt.

Tip for today: It is always wiser to question & listen for the facts vs acting like a 'no -it -all' (paid to do so or otherwise) - when in fact, you know nothing about an issue. Looking at the thousands of posts you have made religiously, Mr. X over the past few years, you are either on contract with Vanoc to spin & spew their bath water or you don't have enough to do with your time!! :rolleyes:

With pleasure, here is the post I read today online in the Whistler Pique. Read carefuly & with a little bit of thought & Mr. X & Kendegra, you will 'get "what this is all about". It's time you got up to speed, guys!!

RCMP reviewing Callaghan Valley dispute, again

Powder Mountain Resorts hopes investigation will uncover past conflicts of interest, revive ski resort plans

By Andrew Mitchell</H2>

The proponents of Powder Mountain Resorts got a boost last week with confirmation that the RCMP is reviewing the facts of their case with an eye toward reopening an investigation into how their resort proposal was quashed 20 years ago.

Several other recreation tenures in the Callaghan Valley — site of the Nordic Centre for 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — have since been awarded.

Business in Vancouver magazine reported the newest developments last week, and according to Nan Hartwick — who co-owns Powder Mountain Resorts with daughter Dianne — the possibility of a new investigation was welcome news.

"This is the third time that the RCMP have taken up this investigation, but this time, because of all the terrible conflicts of interest everywhere, we think this is something that should move ahead," she said. "We went through three different public proposal calls until we won the third one clearly. Now our lawyer is joining us for a meeting with the new provincial ombudsman to give him our information, and all the proven details. We haven't spent 20-some-odd years for nothing."

At the heart of the Hartwicks' complaint is the province's decision to award development rights to Callaghan Resorts in 1987, two years after Powder Mountain Resorts was the sole company to answer a request for proposal process to develop the area. According to Nan Hartwick the Forest Minister was about to approve their application when it was quashed by cabinet.

The province said they quashed the Powder Mountain proposal over doubts that the Hartwicks had sufficient financial backing, which Hartwick says was not the case. At the time they had more than 75 investors behind them, all of which continue to back Powder Mountain to this day.

Instead, the Hartwicks allege that cronyism was at play, and that then-Premier Bill Vander Zalm intervened on behalf of a friend who was involved in Callaghan Resorts.

What has followed is more than 20 years of legal wrangling, lawsuits and appeals that have so far been unsuccessful. During that period the province has issued several land use tenures in the Callaghan Valley — including Callaghan Country, Powder Mountain Catskiing and Canadian Snowmobile Adventures — and aided in the establishment of the Whistler Nordic Centre as a venue for the 2010 Games. All of it is illegal, according to Nan Hartwick, who asserts that Powder Mountain had an agreement in principle with the province.

"It's very important to repeat that we are not against the Olympics," she said. "We do think it's important for taxpayers to know that we never did ask for any government money, and we could have saved millions of dollars that were spent illegally in the Lower Callaghan Valley. We had the rights from the government, in documentation, to develop the entire valley, and still hold those rights."

Hartwick believes that her resort could have hosted some of the Nordic events on privately funded facilities, or that the events could have been hosted far more easily at Cypress Mountain.

She says the review will reveal that some of the same people who were involved in quashing her proposal in the 1980s are currently involved in the development of the Callaghan. If they can prove that conflict of interest as well as allegations of cronyism, Hartwick believes it will be a short leap to have the Powder Mountain Resorts' proposal for the area reinstated.

"We don't need another lawsuit, it's the commercial crime group of the RCMP that's working on this investigation," said Hartwick. "They're going over everything, the entire history and everything that has happened. We're counting on them to be able to prove what we know and have known for many, many years."

A previous criminal investigation by the RCMP was closed in 2000, shortly after the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed a lawsuit for $5 million against Callaghan Resorts and others the Hartwicks allege were behind the decision to quash their resort proposal. Following the lost appeal, they applied to have their case heard at the Supreme Court of Canada — a process that is still ongoing.

Hartwick said the RCMP's decision to re-open the case is based on new evidence of conflict of interest.

P.S. Kendegra re: your quote:

I'm sure Mr. Ladner can handle the heat
. . . . . . . but can you? Calling BIV "a rag" is not smart - trust me.
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All I read here is the Hartwicks are trying to get a piece of the Olympic action. The Callaghan Valley had been a proposed venue since 2002. Why all of sudden did they realize this only 2.5 years away from the Olympics? Because the closer to the big deadline, the more attention is focused on the area and the more the opportunists will come out.

I love juicy gossip about VANOC, but please, come back when you find a real scandal.

And again, Business in Vancouver is not as prestigious as you make it out to be. It is just a local business newspaper and sometimes they make mistakes but mostly they are just trying to find stuff to fill the pages and sell ad space.

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You own words speak volumes - carry on, Kendegra - ignorance is bliss :rolleyes:

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You own words speak volumes - carry on, Kendegra - ignorance is bliss :rolleyes:

The vast majority of the people here are fans of the Olympics. Are their views seen through rose coloured glasses? Somewhat. But generally speaking, most have an intimate knowledge of everything related to the 2010 Games good and bad. We can see a controversy where one exists. Likewise, we can identify when someone is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

And in response to your question, none of the names implicated in the article you posted are members of VANOC, serve on their board of directors, or are otherwise work within the organization. VANOC goes to the government and says "we need land for the Nordic venue", the government gives them what they deem appropriate. Now, there may be any number of back room deals or money exchanging hands in order to secure that land on the governments part, but VANOC does not have the means or the resources to sway much of anything themselves. Sure, they may choose to look the other way on certain things but... they're more concerned with getting the Games done and getting them done right than the interests of someone who has a bone to pick with the government. I'm sure we all have our respective complaints about the political process and our elected leaders and it is not VANOC's responsibility to concern themselves with all of them.

VANOC seems to have, and rightly so, an almost paranoid mentality about their image. These are smart business people, and would not connect a project as big as the Games to any REAL controversy.

Earseyeswideopen, you are the internet equivalent of a homeless man, preaching on the corner about how the end is 'nigh. Your cries are falling on deaf ears, thankfully.

And ultimately, you're arguing about an article in a small, rather insignificant publication with people on the internet. What are you clinging to?

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You own words speak volumes - carry on, miniaturesnickers - ignorance is bliss

. . . . . & stay tuned LOL!!!

P.S. FYI Both papers: Business in Vancouver & the Whistler Pique are in hard copy on a newsstand near you!! Both papers have a huge circulation, as well as the Internet. Please get informed, my friend. I am very well acquainted with the key Vanoc players on the Board & otherwise who are pulling the strings. The hundreds of volunteers and low level jobs with Vanoc do not have a clue about what is really going on; perhaps you are amongst that group that really has so much to learn. These articles I was intrigued with, are based on concrete facts. The information you have posted is factually, incorrect . I'm not "arguing" with anyone - I believe that the facts are critical as do most British Columbians/Canadians whose taxpayer dollars are being played with by a small circle. Don't you want to take your rose coloured glasses off & find out about the truth rather than reacting emotionally?

Further, I am a professional that is high on ETHICS in society, including Vanoc & our Govts conducting the people's business. I travel with a wide group of associates/ friends representative of a cross section of our population here in Canada - I reflect their views, too. Some of my friends are athletes who are sickened by what they see evolving with Vanoc in all respects. We are deeply concerned about the neglect of essential services in British Columbia that are suffering due to the funnelling of dollars into Vanoc. We are ALL deeply concerned with the way Vanoc conducts business & what is becoming British Columbians worst nightmare. We ALL deserve better. It didn't have to be this way.

It is great to be a cheerleader for the Olympics but please, get your facts right. Most people are NOT against the Olympics, they ARE against dirty deals & massive cost overruns created by Vanoc who misled the public from the outset.

Don't you think it is important to balance your enthusiasm with a reality check?

I have to go back to work now, so please think about your own perspective & chill out for the weekend!

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. . . . . & stay tuned LOL!!!

P.S. FYI Both papers: Business in Vancouver & the Whistler Pique are in hard copy on a newsstand near you!! Both papers have a huge circulation, as well as the Internet. Please get informed, my friend. I am very well acquainted with the key Vanoc players on the Board & otherwise who are pulling the strings. The hundreds of volunteers and low level jobs with Vanoc do not have a clue about what is really going on; perhaps you are amongst that group that really has so much to learn. These articles I was intrigued with, are based on concrete facts. The information you have posted is factually, incorrect . I'm not "arguing" with anyone - I believe that the facts are critical as do most British Columbians/Canadians whose taxpayer dollars are being played with by a small circle. Don't you want to take your rose coloured glasses off & find out about the truth rather than reacting emotionally?

Further, I am a professional that is high on ETHICS in society, including Vanoc & our Govts conducting the people's business. I travel with a wide group of associates/ friends representative of a cross section of our population here in Canada - I reflect their views, too. Some of my friends are athletes who are sickened by what they see evolving with Vanoc in all respects. We are deeply concerned about the neglect of essential services in British Columbia that are suffering due to the funnelling of dollars into Vanoc. We are ALL deeply concerned with the way Vanoc conducts business & what is becoming British Columbians worst nightmare. We ALL deserve better. It didn't have to be this way.

It is great to be a cheerleader for the Olympics but please, get your facts right. Most people are NOT against the Olympics, they ARE against dirty deals & massive cost overruns created by Vanoc who misled the public from the outset.

Don't you think it is important to balance your enthusiasm with a reality check?

I have to go back to work now, so please think about your own perspective & chill out for the weekend!

Huge circulation? It's not the New York Times, bud. If Business in Vancouver applies to your definition of huge circulation then feel free to point out my error, but I think you will find the majority wouldn't consider it huge. In the Lower Mainland? Fine. I bet more people read TV Week.

FYI, I am a member of the Broadcast Media and therefore extremely concerned with, you know, getting facts right. That's sort of my job, and therefore probably more concerned with a "professional concerned with ethics" bitching with people on the internet. As such, nothing I have posted is factually incorrect.

I respect your views and understand that all might not be in favour of the Olympics. I get that, and in many ways I sympathize. VANOC is by no means a perfect organization, nor is it run by perfect people.

However, following the initial article you posted, you have done nothing but tell the posters on this board how wrong they are for feeling the way the do. I can appreciate your views regarding Callaghan Valley and the Nordic Venue, though I believe them to be exaggerated. You say VANOC has become British Columbia's worst nightmare. Care to back that up a little?

Every Olympic decision is not made by VANOC. In fact, very little decision making about funding itself is made by VANOC at all. They merely take government and sponsor money and allocate it. If you think that essential services are being ignored, the blame lies with the GOVERNMENT, not with VANOC. VANOC has a mandate to put on the best games they possibly can. They go to the government and ask for it. It is up to the government to say yes or no. If you think the government should be spending that money elsewhere, then complain about the government, not VANOC. VANOC cannot be blamed for asking.

Explain it to me: what is so wrong with the way VANOC itself conducts business? The only issue that I believe has been mishandled from the start is the cost of security. I do believe the estimates they made in the Bid Book were in good faith. Were they wrong to hide the real costs once they escalated? Absolutely. But their hands are tied in this regard. The same people bemoaning the cost of security currently will be the same ones asking why we weren't prepared if something does in fact happen in 2010.

So yes, I'll give you that one. Care to explain what else you quarrel with, despite the fact I fear that might be opening a can of worms?

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You own words speak volumes - carry on, Kendegra - ignorance is bliss :rolleyes:

Guess I could copy and paste something that I saw in a news article and call myself the eyes and ears of the world.

But if you have a real scandal to discuss - perhaps some shakey dealings in the Olympic Village area? - then let me know.

And yeah, I do have a few bones to pick about VANOC. The Richmond Oval deal was a bad decision - should have been at SFU. Many of their managers are kids who hire their friends - half of Orca Bay works there. They messed up the branding of the games - contest was a bad idea and the inukshuk was the wrong choice. They are way behind on the Cultural Olympiad - its two years to go and I don't feel like any culture has been Olympiad-ed. They want people to drive around with $30/year plates, yet John Furlong doesn't even have them on his car. And I do wonder what kind of bad deal could be brewing at the Olympic Village. But this Callaghan Valley thing is minor stuff.

Edited by Kendegra
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My words as well minaturesnickers and Kendegra. Everything in my previous post on the first page is also factually correct.....and the fact is, VANOC has done an exceptional job. As Kendegra said, it's not perfect but it certainly is better than what recent organizing committees have accomplished. 1) VANOC has its finances controlled and 2) the venues are being built on time with the earliest venue completion in Olympic history.

VANOC has dealt with its finances fabulously.....domestic sponsorships up nearly 100% and international/IOC sponsorships up by more than 50%. There have been NO MASSIVE COST OVERRUNS (except with security). If you're referring to the sports venue cost overruns of $110 million, that is not VANOC's blame as steel, labour and concrete prices have skyrocketed since being awarded the 2010 Games. It has caught real estate developers off guard everywhere in BC.....take a look at the downtown Shangri-la hotel development as one of many examples, costs are up for that project by more than $100 million on that project because of unexpected increases in materials and labour costs. You can also look up any public sector capital project and you'll see costs have inflated. These inflated prices have taken everybody off-guard.

And the fact still comes down to taxpayers being responsible for only $580 million of VANOC's budget while the private sector is responsible for more than $1.6 billion.

Not only that but compared to other organizing committees, VANOC is a success. Torino 2006's budget nearly doubled and the organizing committee's final budget was $3.6 billion ($1.6 billion more than VANOC). Not only that but the organizing committee nearly went bankrupt. Then there's Athens.....years of political staggering with venue contracts led to having nothing accomplished for the first three years. The first ATHOC was fired and replaced with a new one, led by Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Athens spent billions more on its Olympics as a result of having to speed up construction because of a short construction timeframe (24/7 construction) and increased security costs. And then, there's London: not even two years after it was awarded the Olympic Games, its budget has gone from 4 billion to 16 billion.

With VANOC, it originally proposed a ~$1.3 billion operations budget and a $470 million venue budget. There were some cost increases with the operations budget, from $1.3 billlion to ~$1.6 billion, but that was entirely absorbed by much higher domestic/international sponsorship revenues. Then, there's the $110 million increase in costs for the venues which I have already explained above. In fact, VANOC had already cut more than $80 million from its venue program before asking the governments for $110 million more.

Those are the facts.

The Richmond oval decision was definitely a bad decision, but it still came down to VANOC worrying about its own backyard; its finances. And I too am dissapointed, but still optimistic, about VANOC's cultural plan.

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I think I'm probably the only one who thinks the Oval going to Richmond was a good idea.

I do have reservations regarding its legacy use, but simply put, putting the Oval at SFU would've been an overrun disaster waiting to happen. VANOC was smart in so far as they washed their hands of any expenditures beyond what was budgeted. You might say it was Furlong looking after his bud Malcolm Brodie, and there's probably a degree of truth in that, but I believe all communities had the opportunity to submit bids.

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I remember SFU wasn't going to use the oval as a speed skating facility but as a field house, which would be similar to what Richmond is doing....turning it into a really large community centre. And Richmond is paying off its share of the oval construction through casino revenues from River Rock Casino and a major land sale deal adjacent to the oval with Concord Pacific - no taxpayers money needed.

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Hi Kendegra & pals! Re: your comment:

But this Callaghan Valley thing is minor stuff.
<_<

Golly gee, looks like the hot topic: Vanoc Scandal: Callaghan Valley Nordic Venue is drawing a lot of keen interest, exponentially, as we speak!

Seems that your not operating on the same wavelength as visitors to this site. Looks like it resonates with many people as I was trying to share with you earlier.

Keep re-reading the facts - you might just begin to connect the dots. :rolleyes:

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