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Vancouver Olympics Controversy

Essay by   •  December 17, 2010  •  686 Words (3 Pages)  •  933 Views

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Although the Vancouver Olympics are set to take place in the winter of 2010, opposing response has been occurring since the current development stages which began in early 2006. Taxpayers are extremely upset with the rising budget costs for the games. The estimated input for taxpayers is 1.63 billion. Economical and environmental concerns are expressed by a group called the "Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs" who have spoken against the plan to build a Vancouver to Whistler highway. If the freeway is built it will have a major impact the natural reserves in the area and take away the homes of two endangered species.

The major conflict is the use of $1.63 billion of taxpayers money towards the official budget. People are getting more upset as the construction costs have jumped $470 million from what was initially expected, and more budget overruns are expected to continue to happen. VANOC (the committee responsible for the Olympics) has held a lot of secrecy around the budget, which is reflected by their decision to turn down having the auditor-general monitor Olympic spending. Critics have described that fact as "disturbing". Judging by past experience, there isn't much hope for any type of royalties after the games are complete. The 1976 Montreal Olympics created a $1.5 billion debt to taxpayers that took 20 years to pay off. This is important because so much tax money is going towards the games as opposed to other things that will benefit the taxpayers in return. The secrecy around the budget, construction and spending creates a lot of distrust and suspicion towards VANOC. Statistics from past games are not a good indicator towards the possibility of a profit that can be given back to the people.

Controversy continues in regards to the creation of a Vancouver--Whistler freeway. The area is surrounded by forested nature reserves and wetlands known as Eagleridge Bluffs. The area is home to the endangered Red Legged Frog and the also endangered Alligator lizard. The Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs is especially irked by the fact that the Ministry of Transportation declared the area to be the most sensitive in the Vancouver--Whistler corridor, but are now simply overlooking their claim. Frustration increases by the government turning town alternate options, such as widening the already existing highway, or making a tunnel highway under the proposed area. In response, the Coalition argues that there are other routes

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