Maxed out 

Seeking forgiveness, again


Apology not accepted. Sorry, Bob.

Bob MacPherson, RMOW's director of community - whatever that is - has fallen on his sword. Okay, he's gently stumbled on a very small Swiss army knife... with the blades and corkscrew carefully closed. Bob's issued a mea culpa for being da man who recommended the Cheakamus site as the better alternative for the athletes' village, notwithstanding the presence of a hulking, smoke-belching, carcinogen-spewing asphalt plant so close to the Olympics' Greatest Legacy that all future residents will look like minstrels in blackface and spawn a new generation of sideshow freaks.

I don't know what inspired Bob to shoulder the blame and face the horrible consequences, which consist of... well, let's leave it at shouldering the blame and facing the wrath of the "whiners in the dark corner." But I'm not buying it.

I'm to blame.

Though I'm too lazy and currently too distracted to look them up, I'm pretty certain I remember writing a couple of columns outlining in painstaking detail why situating the athletes' village in the Callaghan was a stupid option. Among them were the massively increased pollution we'd enjoy with 1,200+ residents commuting by car to and from work, school and recreation each day, the need to spend big bucks to expand public transit that far south, the near-future need to build a school in the Callaghan since they'd all be breeding like bunnies and the Worst Practices act of encouraging hopscotch sprawl.

Like Bob, I too was unaware there was an asphalt plant operating part-time in the area. I knew there was a landfill, soon to be decommissioned. I knew there was a poo plant, soon to be expanded to handle the overload of shit accompanying the Olympics. And I knew it made more sense to build the village closer to the village than further away.

Of course, I thought it made most sense to build it where the tennis facility that will never be built won't be built but noooooo, that just wasn't big enough or classy enough for something as big and classy as the Olympics. And since it followed close behind my recommendation to turn the Palmer golf course into a nine-hole executive course and build employee housing on the front nine, well, it's not like I ever enjoyed much credibility.

But credibility notwithstanding - and I'm not suggesting Bob and I lack that in common - I take the blame.

That having been said, blame, and whomever claims it, for building the athletes' village at Cheakamus isn't the issue. It is unimportant. It is unimportant because the Cheakamus site was and still is the best location among the competing sites... not to mention the deed is done. In fact, it is so unimportant the cynic in me wonders whether this belated virtual seppuku isn't really just a smokescreen.


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