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10615906_0ca81abb7f_m.jpgAny 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

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

Econ 101: the economics of the Olympics in Vancouver Comment

  1. I am not a fan of the Olympics, not after I found out about what happened in Mexico. The opening ceremony will be attended by 47% of the public, the rest of the space is for dignitaries. Interesting huh? I think it is just a hyped up event that a small powerful group controls and has enough influence to get its way. Not very transparent and we may never know how much some of this stuff really costs.

    [Reply]

    Apr 08, 2008

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