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John Furlong

Vancouver 2010's organizing committee head reflects on the year

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Pique: How do you expect the hot labour market and high construction costs to influence that?

JF: We have been fortunate that the contractors we have, have really adapted to the vision we have and they recognize that these projects are critical to the success of the Games. They are on the team and they are very focused on what it is they have to do and they are meeting the challenge head on.

We have not had challenges with people coming to work and we have not had challenges with small crews. In fact to the contrary, I have been out on the sites in Whistler quite a bit in the last few months and there is a high level of inspiration and a high level of awareness of what they are doing. And it is not just what they are doing, as in pouring concrete, building fences, and cutting trails, these people know that they are working for Canada, that they are building a venue that the world is watching and where their progress is being checked every single day.

There was a lot of talk at the beginning of the project that we would suffer but to be fair I think we have done quite well.

Pique: 2007 will also see the release of the long awaited VANOC business plan. Why is it significant?

JF: (It) is important because it is the lock on the door of the project. It sort of frames everything up. It is the plan to the finish line, with enough flexibility, with enough contingencies in it to protect against eventualities and things that might occur along the way.

For the community it will be a chance to really see the project in all of its scope, and size with all of the elements. I mean, we are talking about plans in 53 distinct functions all of which are integrated, so it will really package it all for everyone and really paint a picture of what the road ahead looks like step by step, mile by mile, minute by minute. That is obviously very important and from then on the community will be able to take the pulse of the project a lot more easily.

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