Selina asks Whistler to support Pemberton base camp 

Sturdy doesn't think Whistler bidder exists anymore

Pemberton really wants its Olympic base camp, if a recent letter to Whistler council is anything to go by.

In a letter sent to Whistler council on July 23, Paul Selina, president of the Spirit of B.C. Committee, asks its support for a base camp to house 2,000 Olympic workers to be situated in the Village of Pemberton.

"We foresee Pemberton Base Camp, with VANOC Workforce and the security personnel attached to it, as a vital link between the community of Pemberton, its neighbouring community, Whistler and therefore, the 2010 Games," he wrote. "Thank you, in anticipation of your support."

The location of the base camp has been in limbo since Cam McIvor, head of Pemberton Base Camp Ltd., which is pushing for the temporary accommodation, told a July 21 Committee of the Whole meeting that Contemporary Security Canada, a company that hopes to house security personnel in the camp, had expressed an interest in locating the camp in Whistler rather than Pemberton.

McIvor later told Pique that a bidder had come forward in Whistler to locate the camp there, with confirmation coming later that the new proponent was looking to put it on the Nicklaus North driving range.

McIvor had previously acquired a Temporary Commercial Use Permit to situate the base camp at the Pemberton Industrial Park, where it could benefit from sewers and servicing that already exist there. The permit allowed McIvor to start "setting up camp" starting Sept. 1, but it's not there yet because of the bidder in Whistler.

Once built, it's expected the camp will house 2,000 people in work camp-type buildings including Olympic workers and volunteers, with security personnel to make up the bulk of the people staying in the units.

The decision on where to situate the camp ultimately lies with Contemporary Security Canada, a consortium of three security companies that's been selected by Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to oversee security screening services during the Games.

The companies that make up the consortium include Contemporary International Canada, which develops event services and security programs for major events around the world; Aeroguard, which supplies security personnel for most of Canada's major airports; and United Protection Services Group, which has provided security for three G8 Summits.

Speaking at a Pemberton council meeting last week, Mayor Sturdy said he isn't sure a Whistler bidder even exists anymore.

"I'm not sure that there is a proposal at this point," he said. "I think it's fair to say the proponent is into it for a fair chunk of change and he's beginning to have more confidence that it's going to be successful."

Earlier in last week's meeting council passed a recommendation to support a voluntary community amenity contribution by Pemberton Base Camp Limited instead of having the proponent put up money for landscaping improvements to the Industrial Park gateway - one of the original conditions of having the camp there.

Now both the Village of Pemberton and Pemberton Base Camp will agree on a voluntary amenity contribution, rather than require upgrades to the gateway. A condition of the recommendation is that the contribution be approved no later than Sept. 1, 2010.

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