Whistlerites will be hearing more about the 2010 Olympic bid in the next few months, and will have more opportunities for input into the whole process.
Whistler council this week outlined its role on behalf of the community in the bid process, including a draft set of principles to guide their decisions. The principles will be presented at a community forum Sept. 20, but they are also printed in a newsletter now available at municipal hall and on the municipalitys website: www.gotowhistler.com/rmow
Administrator Jim Godfrey Monday outlined the status of the bid, councils role, a timeline for the next three years and the "lasting legacies" Whistler hopes to achieve through the Games. Godfrey said determining community support will be an important part of the process. Whistler independent of the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation will hire a firm to conduct a statistically accurate base survey in the fall to determine community support for the bid. Follow-up surveys will be conducted semi-annually thereafter.
The municipality will also establish focus groups to further monitor community support and will host a community forum in September.
Council has identified several legacies it hopes to achieve through hosting the Games: an improved transportation system throughout the corridor, a world-class recreation and sports venue in the Callaghan Valley, an international sports centre program, lasting partnerships with the global community, strengthened community spirit and increased international exposure. The sports centre program will lead to national and international training centres for a variety of sports.
The draft guiding principles identified are:
The bid corporation must recognize the resort community as an equal partner
The bid must be consistent with and guided by the resort community vision
The bid must respect the Official Community Plan and the Comprehensive Development Plan
The bid must respect the character of the resort
The bid corporation must recognize that the resort community is an equal partner in the planning and decision-making process
The Olympic Games must be used as the vehicle to create lasting legacies
All partners must engage in open and timely communication
The financial exposure of the resort community partners must be limited (Olympic expenditures match Olympic revenues)
The bid corporation must engage the resort community in the planning, preparation and operation of the Olympics
The planning and staging of the Olympics must add value to the resort community
The bid corporation must be proactive in environmental stewardship throughout the planning and staging of the Olympics
The bid process must be ethical and transparent
The bid corporation must strive for the best ever Olympic Games
The bid must demonstrate commitment to the Olympic movement
The bid corporation must conduct the bid process and the Games within a balanced budget, with sufficient provision for the development and maintenance of lasting legacies
Advisory groups and committees will be used to ensure broad-based representation from all groups
The bid corporation must demonstrate strong fiscal accountability.
Godfrey said the principles identified to date by council can be modified according to the communitys wishes.
"We will ask our bid corporation representatives to be vigilante in heeding to the final principles, and the representatives will be asked to appear before council every four months," Godfrey said.
Whistler representatives on the bid corporation are Mayor Hugh OReilly, Godfrey, Tourism Whistler President Suzanne Denbak, Senior Vice-president of Whistler-Blackcomb Doug Forseth, and former Olympian Steve Podborski.
The bid corporation has also outlined a tentative plan for the next three years, which will be finalized at a board meeting in September. That plan breaks the bid down into three one-year phases. Phase I includes completing a business plan, completing a "delivery plan" and public consultation. The second phase, roughly from July 2001 to July 2002, will include confirming legacies, venues, a cultural plan and submission of an official application to the IOC in January 2002. Phase III, from July 2002 to July 2003, will include producing the actual bid book and marketing the bid.
The bid corporation may have a better idea of where it stands by September, as the IOC will release its short list of candidates to host the 2008 Summer Olympics at the end of August. Toronto is bidding for the 2008 Summer Games and the Vancouver-Whistler bid group has agreed to keep a low profile until Torontos bid either wins or fails.
Following release of a short list of 2008 candidates in August, the IOC will announce next summer which city is awarded the 2008 Games.