Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Bud's For You

RCMP Asst. Comm. Bud Mercer, the chief of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, gave details on Friday of the $491.9 million RCMP portion of the $900 million security budget for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
How big is $491.9 million?
That's enough to buy 295,879,692 bottles of Budweiser, based on the $19.95 price for a 12 x 341 mL bottle case at government-owned B.C. Liquor Stores.
That's 3.02 litres of Bud for every man, woman and child from coast-to-coast-to-coast, based on the Oct. 2008 Statistics Canada population estimate of 33,441,277. The original security budget was $175 million. Mercer became the king of fears at the Friday news conference when he invoked the 1972 Munich massacre and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park pipe-bombing to justify the quintupling of the security budget.
Mercer will certainly be the most powerful Bud at the 2010 Games, where "wassuping!" or clydesdale-riding would be considered ambush marketing. No-nos that might mean a visit from the Queen's Cowboys.
Molson Coors, not Anheuser-Busch, is the official VANOC beer sponsor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Van Loan called

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan is suddenly easy to contact now that the $900 million gorilla is... well, it's either caged or jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper. Whatever your perspective, it's a heckuva lot of bananas.
He admitted that the 2010 Winter Olympics security budget remains very much subject to change.
"If you had events happen during the Games that dramatically change the circumstances, you'd see a potential for costs to go up to respond to those events," Van Loan said. "If, on the other hand, things went ahead very smoothly, you could even conceivably see the costs come in under those that are in the plan.
“You will not know the final number until after the Games."
A show of hands. How many of you think it won't be under $1 billion?
VANOC CEO John Furlong presided over one of the organization's most disorganized news conferences. It was delayed almost half-an-hour. Technical difficulties meant journalists on the conference call were unable to hear or be heard.
The day started innocently enough with the opening of the $87.85 million Vancouver Olympic Centre curling complex near Nat Bailey Stadium and the announcement of a campaign to encourage Canadians to donate $20.10 to a Canadian athletes' fund.
With Glowing Hearts is the VANOC slogan. The recession-modified version is With Empty Wallets.
Next on the list of big bucks surprises? The VANOC transportation plan. Remember that? Yeah, the one that was due at the end of 2007. It could come as soon as Feb. 26. Drastic measures were recommended by transport engineer Bunt and Associates to keep the traffic moving from the border to Vancouver International Airport to bridges and the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

Olympic security $900 million jackpot wad

The 2010 Winter Olympics security budget will cost $900 million. At least.
The controversial budget was finally released Feb. 19. Goodbye, $175 million myth. You lasted more than five years. Quite a run.
So what can $900 million buy?
16,077,170 of The Club steering wheel immobilizers (@ $55.98 each including taxes from Canadian Tire);
13,396,844 DC Talking Smoke/Carbon Monoxide detectors (@ $67.18 each including taxes from Canadian Tire);
5,022,882 Astak Wireless Night Vision Infrared security cameras (@ $179.18 each including taxes from Future Shop).

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