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Green Games or greenwash?

VANOC is going to make 2010 the "greenest" ever Olympic Games. I think VANOC could do a lot more to make 2010 even greener than what they propose so far. I also think one important legacy we need from 2010 is protected areas – like what's proposed for the Soo Valley.

VANOC is building green buildings? That's a step in the right direction. It's a great idea – I feel green buildings should be mandatory everywhere. But just remember some of these green buildings for 2010 are being built in areas that probably weren't going to be touched (or built-up to this degree) in the first place. Ensuring they build green buildings is the least VANOC could do, as far as I'm concerned.

To say the 2010 Games are going to be the greenest games ever is fantastic. One problem: it's easy to say something, and sometimes harder to follow through. Then again, maybe it can be relatively easy to be the greenest Games ever when you're using past Games to measure from.

I am disappointed to hear that VANOC has yet to say whether or not they support the idea of protecting the Soo Valley as a "green legacy" from the 2010 Games. As to whether or not VANOC will support this proposed green legacy/protected area, they're tight-lipped so far.

One thing VANOC did do about the Soo proposal is they recently gave AWARE a very stern warning to drop the name "Olympic" from the proposal, or their lawyer will be talking to our lawyer, etc. etc. There’s our answer right there, as far as I'm concerned. If it's more important to VANOC to have the word "Olympic" removed from the Soo Valley proposal, that says to me that supporting the proposal is not important to VANOC at all, and won't be happening. It's just a matter of time as to when they'll actually admit it.

Up in Whistler, with the Callaghan and Cheakamus valleys being developed for 2010 specifically, legacies or not, it only makes sense to me to support the protection of another close-lying area to try to make-up for the habitat loss.

AWARE spearheaded this idea of protecting the Soo and many people worked hard to develop the plan. From what I understand, the idea was to hand the whole thing over to VANOC for them to use and take credit for.

I remember details of a study done on Olympic cities from the recent past. The conclusion was basically that local land-use planning and environmental rules and regulations were ignored consistently. Nagano and Salt Lake City are two cities I remember from that study.

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