Monday, February 20, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online
We have to ask ourselves the question, Is the average Canadian citizen going to benefit from hosting the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver?

The bid for the games was officially made in 2002 and the games were subsequently awarded to Vancouver. In order to be selected, the bid for the games had to be reflective of that year.

Only a blundering fool would suggest that construction costs could come close to being accurately predicted eight years in advance. We were told at the time, the games would be on time and within projected budget, with no cost overruns requiring a trip to the government trough to bail out construction costs of venues.

Here we are very early into the year 2006. Guess what? The games are still four years away and already the Vancouver Organizing Committee is asking for an additional whopping one hundred and ten million dollars. Only a bigger fool would suggest that they wont be back to ask again at least once before the games begin.

The federal governments financial involvement was to have been in the original bid only, with any additional cost overruns to be supplemented by the province of British Columbia. The provincial government is now ready to cry to Ottawa to help bail it out. In other words, the very agreement that was signed originally to secure the games, is now being broken.

It does not require a whole lot of expertise to put together a bunch of numbers and call it a proposal. It does however, require a whole lot of expertise to put together a bunch of numbers and call it a proposal as a result of factoring in all the variables. Labour costs and material costs will dictate that over the course of eight years.

All one has to do is look at the results of the Montreal Olympics to understand what staggering debts are all about as a result of hosting the Olympic Games. To this day, a true and accurate figure has never been declared.

What are these games about anyway, and why is it so important to host them? Proponents would argue that it is the host country's chance to showcase it's very best, and at the same time, present the host country to the rest of the world.

Have you been entertaining the thoughts of the excitement of attending some of these competitions? If you are, start saving your money. A ticket for one hockey game can cost as much as five hundred dollars, depending on the seat. These games are totally out of reach of most ordinary Canadians. True, some of the less popular sports will cost much less, however, for a couple travelling to Vancouver to see a cross section of Olympic sports, the tickets, coupled with food, lodging, and related expenses will present a very sizable expenditure.

With the cutbacks that we have experienced in British Columbia in regards to health care and services in general, it is disgraceful that we can suddenly find the extra funding to shore up the shortfall of the Olympic construction bid at the expense of those who can afford it the least.


Bill Sanderson said...

I do agree with your comments regarding the Olympics. Do not believe the original concept of the Olympic Games was to plunge cities and countries into debt, but we have chosen to ignore common sense.

Bill Sanderson
Vancouver, B.C.

Sick Of the BS said...

Lew. . you make a very good point regarding the expense of the Olympics and if we can afford to host them.

I say we can't afford the Olympics, when our very own services that Canadians have sacrificed to provide through their hard earned tax dollars.

This is not about young athletes strutting their stuff, rather about an elitest few grabbing and plundering with the host nation's sanction.

Sick of the BS
Nanaimo, B.C.

Thomas Braithwaite said...

No No No! Most definitely we simply cannot afford to host the Olympic Games. Let's be realistic.

Showcase our best amateur athletes, what a laugh. Take the sport of hockey. There is not a single hockey player from North America in the Olympics this year that is not earning a minimum of three million bucks per year, now you want me to help pay for them to lavish in a sea of grandeur.

It is easy to spend someone elses money. The people who set this stuff up for the most part are largely those who have never had the experience of trying to make a company flourish, especially with their own capital.

Time to give our heads a shake.

Thomas Braithwaite
Windsor, Ontario

Julie M said...

You have your way of knocking everything that is good. You are most unfair in a lot of your comments and should practise the fine art of keeping your mouth shut.

Don't knock the athletes. They are only taking advantage of the system that is laid out before them.

A former Olympic athlete
Burnaby, B.C.

Donald H said...

You should be ashamed of yourself. right in the middle of the Turin Olympics you have to try and muddy the waters with your inane comments about the upcoming Vancouver Olympics. You are in the dark ages my friend.

You are obviously a loner in life and you dont want anyone else to look at things in a positive way either.

Get a grip on things.

A Retired Business CEO
Victoria, B.C.

Cyril Rankin said...

I am in total agreement that the Canadian taxpayer should not have to foot the bill for the Olympic games, afterall why should they have to pay.

In business there is an age old tradition, if something doesn't pay it's way, then get rid of it. Total hogwash to use the reasoning that these venues will be left behind for our upcoming athletes.

In my opinion it should be a pay as you go system for our sports and we have not fared too badly so far in this country. We have built venues as they were needed with a few exceptions of course but in the long haul, we look quite good.

Thanks for bringing these things to the forefront. You say it well and keep up the pace.

A Retired Banker
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Never Again said...

I was duped into thinking that if I became a volunteer at the Calgary Olympic Games in 1988, I would be performing a function that would be rewarding and satisfying. I experienced neither.

I had the opportunity to meet several of the so called athletes from other countries as well as from my own country of Canada.

In nearly all instances the athletes were not very cordial. We were trained to be outgoing, friendly, and above all, display ourselves as good ambassadors of Canada, the host country.

We did this with dillegince, however, would have been gratifying to see a reciprocal approach from visiting athletes.

I was disappointed and would never do that again, especially when you consider many of us stood outside in freezing temperatures to make more comfortable a group of what appeared to be ungrateful and selfish.

Bob G.
Prince Rupert, B.C.