Friday, October 16, 2009

A fiasco in the offing

I haven't blogged about the Olympics much, and that is going to change significantly as Vancouver is gearing up for the mayhem that is going to ensue.

Be it resolved that: the upcoming Winter Olympics will, inevitably, be a fiscal disaster of monumental proportions for the city of Vancouver.

The city has already lost a big lawsuit to displaced businesses who were harmed by three years of bad planning, dishonesty, and awful decisions relating to a major construction project which tore up a main artery of the city. Many businesses relocated or failed because of the delays ... and the courts quite properly found the city to be at fault. As you might have guessed, the decision is under appeal, but the defendants have had to pay interim damages.

And don't get me started at what the province chose to do in upgrading the Sea to Sky highway. A much more progressive, efficient, and greener option was ignored: build a traditional rail line to Whistler which goes right to downtown Vancouver. As an avid skier, I can swear that the convenience offered by this option would have been embraced by many during the winter months, reduce traffic on the picturesque but dangerous highway in adverse driving conditions, and would not have been more expensive than the final bill for the highway upgrades that BC taxpayers will be responsible for.

All this being said, I'm honest enough to admit that had I won tickets to the men's gold medal hockey game, I would probably feel the pain of future tax bills a little less keenly.