Squamish gets Olympic intermediary 

The District of Squamish has hired a new Olympic coordinator to manage Olympic activities within the community.

Jason Cameron, a VANOC employee, will now report jointly to both VANOC and the district as 2010 Olympic Coordinator, managing Olympic activities as they "affect or benefit the district," according to a news release.

"I am pleased to have Mr. Cameron join our organization as a liaison between the District of Squamish and VANOC," Mayor Greg Gardner said in the news release. "This appointment shows VANOC's commitment to Squamish and that Squamish plays an important role in delivering a successful 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

"We look forward to working more closely with VANOC and having Mr. Cameron onboard helps ensure we move forward together and together put on the best Winter Olympic Games."

Cameron came to VANOC in 2003 and spent his first two years with the organization developing a Master Planning Schedule. While working with the committee's construction team he helped plan and develop new Olympic venues and worked for three years on the Nordic Centre in the Callaghan Valley.

Prior to his time with VANOC he worked in project management roles with various engineering firms.

Cameron will now be working in a community that's often felt jilted by Olympic organizers. Squamish has lost out on proposals for a passenger ferry terminal, a transportation hub and a plan to house media on a cruise ship.

Former Mayor Ian Sutherland repeatedly expressed his disappointment that Squamish wasn't getting a bigger piece of the Olympic pie.

Cameron is perfectly aware of the attitude toward the Olympics in Squamish and he hopes to build a stronger bridge of communication between the district and VANOC.

"It has been challenging but I certainly like a challenge," he said. "I see my position as hopefully turning that view around, a lot of the actions in the past that may have been financially driven, it is difficult. I see even already, now that this sport legacy fund has been made available, I can see the community coming around a little bit."

Cameron was referring to a $750,000 trust fund that's been created through a partnership between VANOC and the district. It's meant to work in support of community sport and recreation facilities within Squamish and was announced on June 14.

Besides existing attitudes towards the Olympics, Cameron sees a lot of work to be done around various other issues to do with the Games.

"I see a major concern around transportation," he said. "Already there seems to be a big concern or lack of information out there regarding transportation.

"(The) transportation plan isn't yet final, VANOC has really just released the first phase and the final plan won't be released until the fall of this year. Until that final plan is released, I'm making sure the District of Squamish is aware of what plans are in place."

Cameron's work will mostly be focused as a liaison, ensuring that the District of Squamish is kept abreast of any Olympic plans that may impact the community.

"It seems in the past there's been a lack of communication," he said.

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