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2010 Winter Games will cost the taxpayer millions



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"I don’t believe they have proved that the numbers are accurate.

"And secondly, is this justifiable. Maybe if we were the richest country in the universe it would be justifiable, but we are not.

"So is this where we want to be spending tax dollars?"

It should be noted that the 460-page bid book is produced in response to a set of detailed questions by the International Olympic Committee and only covers a limited amount of financial information.

Whistler’s Mayor Hugh O’Reilly believes the bid book does a good job of outlining the plan and conveying the important themes of the Games.

"It is very concise," he said.

"For everything I read I know there is such a body of knowledge behind all of that and they have had to condense it down."

O’Reilly, while a little disappointed by the fact that rail service for the Games will be restricted to a shuttle between the Callaghan and Creekside, believes any focus on rail service is useful.

"Our goal is to see train service to Whistler and I don’t know that we care how we get it," said O’Reilly.

"If the Olympics stimulate discussion and awareness about it but didn’t deliver it, but somebody else does in the long run, I am just as satisfied."

Most of the information in the bid book has been public for some time. But it has never been available in such a condensed manner before.

The book outlines everything form the costs and revenues to cultural programs.

For example, there is a search on to come up with a great Olympic Icon for the Games in the Lower Mainland.

Under consideration is the placement of huge Olympic rings on Grouse Mountain or the Lions Gate Bridge.

We also know the Olympic torch will come from Greece by plane over the pole to the northern most part of B.C. before criss-crossing the country to arrive in Vancouver.

"The torch relay will be a people’s event covering 15,000 km on foot, dog sled, snowmobile, horse, plane and most other means of transport known to Canadians," states volume three of the bid book.

"Over a period of 114 days – one for each year of the modern Olympic era – more than seven thousand Canadian of all ages and diverse cultures will carry the Torch.

"Millions more along the route will be touched by the flame as the Olympic spirit is kindled from coast to coast to coast."

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