Vancouver Bid Corporation’s blueprint for hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics goes to print 

Whistler and Vancouver’s bid book for the 2010 Games went to the printer this week.

The 420-page bound book covers 18 themes and answers 199 questions on everything from health care to venue construction.

"Of course there are still press checks to be done and toing and froing going on," said Sam Corea, spokesman for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation.

"But it is an exciting time."

It is four years since Vancouver and Whistler were chosen by the Canadian Olympic Committee to put forward Canada’s bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The bid book is a culmination of all those years of work.

Broken into three bound volumes the bid book will dedicate 150 bilingual pages to venue description.

There will also be 30 pages on the Olympic Villages. The plan is to have one in Vancouver and another at the entrance to the Callaghan Valley 12.7 km south of Whistler.

Another 24 pages will be devoted to transportation, the Paralympic Games will get 12 pages, culture will get six and the rest of the volumes will cover other explanations on topics such as health-care and security.

The bid book will be sent to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne in January. Once the IOC is satisfied with it, it will be released to the public.

That is one milestone Vancouver’s new mayor, Larry Campbell, is waiting for before going ahead with some type of plebiscite to gauge public opinion.

Campbell has said he is not against the Games but is looking for more information before taking a position.

The Bid Corp plans to meet with Campbell in the near future.

This week also saw the launch of a Supreme Court action which claims a $1.8 million donation by ICBC to Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic bid is illegal.

The suit filed by two plaintiffs, Chris Shaw of the No Games 2010 Coalition and Chuck Gould of Surrey, is calling for the money to be repaid by court order.

"We were served yesterday," said Corea referring to the court documents.

"It is before the courts so we can’t comment on any of the claims made, whether they are valid or not.

"The legal proceeding will now take its course."

The ICBC contribution is part of the $9.1 million provincial contribution of direct government funding and crown agency funding. The contribution was made in 2000 and was a combination of cash and in-kind services.

"ICBC has been working with the Bid Corp’s transportation work group on the various transportation safety initiatives to ensure the transportation plan for the Games is safe and efficient," said Corea.

On average, ICBC spends $10 million a year on claims from crashes on the Sea to Sky highway. An average of five people die and 150 are injured in the 500 crashes that happen on the highway each year.

ICBC believes the upgrades to the highway will make it safer, thereby reducing claims and resulting in the insurance corporation recouping their investment to the bid.

Corea said the lawsuit and the plebiscite have caught the attention of overseas media and others.

"You are in an international competition and so any time something puts you into the news that may not be about your particular legacies and benefits of your bid it can certainly be used by a competitive bid city to create questions about your bid," said Corea.

But when it comes to the IOC they rely on their own information to make conclusions.

"The IOC is going to do a poll and that is the information they will rely on," said Corea.

"There can certainly be another expression of opinion through a plebiscite but will that be an accurate reflection?"

For now, said Corea, the Bid Corp will continue to do what it has always done – tell people about the bid.

• On Wednesday, Dec.11 at 7 p.m. at the Delta Whistler Village Suites David Chernushenko will discuss sustainability and the 2010 Games. The author of three books on sustainable management and the president of Green and Gold Inc, Chernushenko is also founder of Clean Air Champions a non-profit group that involves athletes raising public awareness about air pollution and climate change.

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