Any readers from Calgary or Montreal? I’m interested in your anecdotal take on the net economic benefit or cost when you hosted the Olympics.
Full disclosure: I voted for the olympics to come. I envisioned the many jobs that would be created. I wanted the funding for infrastructure from other levels of government. I wanted the world to visit Vancouver.
Increasingly, I’m regretting my vote. The economics aren’t playing out the way I had thought. For instance:
BC Hydro donated $20,000,000.00 (yes, $20 million) in services. I’m guessing that’s not sitting around in a surplus, so guess who’s footing that bill. You and me, bro.
Vancouver Airport Authority has just signed up as an official sponsor, providing special amenities. It’s anybody’s guess what the dollar amount is. Watch for airport improvement fee hikes.
And MP David Emerson (he’s the one who crossed the floor) has committed $20,000,000.00 of federal funding (yes, $20 million again) to the opening ceremonies. To the opening ceremonies. (that’s some party. I haven’t been invited. Have you been invited?)
And then there’s all the extras which may, or may not, be Olympics linked: $150m to repair BC Place roof. Funding for the streetcar demonstration project. Extra police costs.
I actually don’t mind paying taxes so much, for things like social housing, or help for people with mental illness, or keeping uni education affordable, or re-employment programs.
But $20m on the opening ceremonies alone? When we somehow can’t figure out how to house the homeless lunatic who sleeps next to the vent on the building across the street from me?
I’m losing my enthusiasm.
Photo credit: KK