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Candid Candidates

One incumbent, two hopefuls contend for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky


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Pique: The Olympics will come at a considerable cost, but could deliver considerable benefits over the long term - but to appreciate the benefits in any context we also need to understand the true costs. There has been debate recently about what constitutes an Olympic cost, whether to include the Sea to Sky Highway Upgrades or Canada Line, or the upgrades to the Vancouver Convention Centre because of the timing. How do you define an Olympic cost or Olympic benefit?

JM: It's a difficult question to answer. Our government's commitment... to stage the Games, was the construction of the venues and all those things that we've managed to complete almost two years in advance, and on time, on budget. The other things that you mention, like the Sea to Sky Highway, they have been fully costed. All their costs have been laid out, they've been fully accounted for, and I think the argument is what basket do you put them in.

I think we will debate forever about the definition; there is no real definition. The way I look at it is that the Olympics have been a catalyst for all these other investments, like the safety upgrade on the highway and Canada Line, the convention centre, they're all things that we needed. In fact Sea to Sky Highway was already announced before we got the Games. So these things have been high on the list of infrastructure, and what we've done is we've levered billions, literally billions of federal government investment into these projects.

Pique: Run of River hydro projects have emerged as an issue in this election. How would you resolve conflicts between power companies, the province, and local governments in Sea to Sky?

JM: I think that we have been working very well together on a number of these projects. Let me give you the example that Whistler Blackcomb is making in Fitzsimmons Creek. There is a lovely power project that's going in there that Whistler Blackcomb has invested $30 million in, and they will be able to put their excess power into the grid and the RMOW has been very behind that, mayor and council have been very supportive of that investment. I think that we are working quite well together.