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  • Vancouver View: Security Screeners, BC Pavilion in Beijing, No Protests for First Nations


    Olympic spectators stand in the security screening line outside the alpine skiing venue in Turin. (Getty Images)  
    Security Screeners Needed
    Vancouver 2010 is looking for advice on a plan to hire a single company to supply mag-and-bag screeners for Olympic venues, according to an April 11 notice from the RCMP Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

    No budget was disclosed, but 650,000 to 900,000 hours of service are needed during January to March 2010.

    The president of Genesis Security Group in Vancouver, Camil Dubuc, says there aren’t enough workers to staff the airport-style checkpoints.

    "The government is going to have to come up with a special permit or accept (guard) licenses from another province that they usually do not allow," he said.

    Oval Host City Spends $10 million for Speedskating

    The Richmond city council will spend $10 million on programs to support its hosting of speedskating at the 2010 Games.

    The biggest earmark is $6 million for the so-called O Zone celebration sites throughout the city.
    The Richmond Oval is due for completion later this year. (ATR)  
    The biggest will surround the Richmond Oval speedskating arena, by the banks of the Fraser River.

    The city will also spend $1.734 million on the look of the Games.

    Richmond is hoping to sell hospitality and exhibit space at the O Zones to governments, sponsors and national Olympic committees.

    Water Cannon for Vancouver Celebrations

    Water cannons will create fountains as high as 200 feet into the air above the David Lam Park Live Site during the Games. Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan unveiled the water feature April 16. The water and light show will be the climax of evening celebrations during the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

    The other Live Site is Larwill Park, a parking lot that was Vancouver’s first sporting venue in the late 19th century.

    May Opening for British Columbia Site in Beijing

    May 1 is the soft-opening date for B.C. Canada Pavilion at the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall. The public main floor exhibit is a tourism, trade and foreign investment promotion for the Olympic province. A second floor business-to-business hospitality and networking center is also being constructed as part of the $14.7 million program, which runs through Sept. 18.
    An artist's rendering of the B.C. Canada Pavilion.  

    An artificial outdoor ice rink was dropped from the plans as well as plans to hang large B.C. and Canadian flags on the facade because Chinese authorities disapproved.

    "We had to respect what the local practices and bylaws and regulations were," said B.C. Olympics minister Colin Hansen.

    "We did go through a couple of different plans and ideas as to how we might present that outside and finally arrived at one we’re quite happy with."

    A spiral archway with 13 hoops, representing each Canadian province and territory, is at the forefront of a falling red maple leaf on a blue background.

    The BC Pavilion is located on East Qianmen Avenue, across from Qianmen Gate, at the southeast corner of Tiananmen Square.

    First Nations Leader Rejects Protests

    Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine is backtracking on April 17 comments suggesting he condones native protests that could disrupt the 2010 Games.

    "We support the 2010 Olympics," Fontaine said during a national radio interview three days later.

    "We wouldn't suggest to anyone that people adopt disruptive tactics to bring attention to our issues."

    Fontaine said that Vancouver 2010 could be a lightning rod for natives unhappy with poverty on Indian reserves in the same way that the Beijing torch relay has been targeted by international protesters seeking Tibetan freedom. Canadians are right, he said, to "express outrage with the Chinese government's position against Tibet and the Tibetans, (but) they should be just as outraged, if not more so, about our situation here."

    VANOC Seeks Book Publisher

    VANOC is looking for a book publisher to preserve the memories of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

    The successful publisher will be asked to create two 12-chapter, photograph-heavy volumes with "captions written by a renowned Canadian sports writer/personality" approved by VANOC. It will "capture the raw emotion and excitement of the Games." May 15 is the deadline for bids.

    With reporting from Bob Mackin in Vancouver.

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