Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Outsourcing the 2010 Olympics


From The Seattle Times:

"Around 350 contract opportunities have been posted on the 2010 Commerce Centre Web site, established by the B.C. Ministry of Economic Development to serve as a central repository for business opportunities related to the 2010 Games.
By the time the Games are complete, 10,000 public and private contracts will have been awarded, said 2010 Commerce Centre Director Brian Krieger. "That leaves us with 9,650," he said. "We've got a ways to go."
The contracts are open to all bidders, regardless of nationality.
"The process is fair, open and transparent.
No advantage is given to companies in Vancouver, B.C., or Canada," Krieger said."

So far, one Washington state company has won a $70,000 contract from the city of Richmond to develop the public-art plan for the $155 million 2010 speed-skating oval. Another won a contract to help the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) select financial-planning software to run the business side of the 2010 Games.
Other "opportunities" advertised in the article include a call for construction of 7 buildings in Whistler, an AV consultant, and Team BC ceremonial uniforms.

I'm still getting over spokespeople for the non-union sector of the construction industry, like 'Independent Contractors and Businesses Association' Philip Hochstein, calling for 20,000 additional construction workers admitted on work permits between now and 2010. And Curtis Panke of World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services, a Toronto-based company, who told the Times of India in February 2005 that "British Columbia is on the lookout for 30,000 skilled tradesmen from India to build necessary infrastructure for the 2010 Winter Olympics." (Source : The Tyee)

Back to The Seattle Times article:

"John Furlong, chief executive of VANOC, earlier this month blamed the overheated condition of B.C.'s construction sector when he announced a 23 percent jump in VANOC's capital budget, to just over $500 million. VANOC's budget is financed by B.C.'s provincial government and the federal government of Canada.
Labor shortages could force B.C. builders to look beyond their own borders for assistance to keep projects on schedule. Likewise, higher prices for materials and manufactured goods in B.C. could make U.S. goods more attractive — especially since the value of the dollar has fallen nearly 20 percent since Vancouver won the Games and 40 percent in the past five years, making U.S. goods less expensive in Canada.

"All of this activity, along with the spending needed to supply and support it, will cause the B.C. economy to grow 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent per year more than it would have in the absence of the Olympics, according to Derek Holt, an economist with RBC Financial Group.
"Adding the Games may heat up the economy to the point where it runs up against shortages in materials or labor," Holt wrote in a recent research report. "The effect may be a higher cost of living across the province, cost over-runs on Games projects and intensifying price and wage pressures in coming years." "

Wait. You're telling me Canadian taxpayers are paying to outsource jobs now, so that we can pay for a higher cost of living and labour disputes later? What kind of Five Ring Circus is this?

Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee, Seattle Times reporting

Update : The right hand doesn't know what the other right hand is doing.
As Phyl points out in the comments, while the BC Ministry of Economic Development is advertising outside the country for construction jobs, Immigration Canada is deporting 45,000 illegal immigrants a year, many of whom are construction workers who have been living and paying taxes in Canada for a decade.
The Toronto Star

2 comments:

Phyl said...

And all of this, just when the new Immigration (ha!) minister is deporting a whole whack of "illegal immigrants" in Toronto, who've been here for a decade and pretty much comprise our construction industry!

And immigrants who are in construction don't get nearly enough "points" to immigrate, compared to the physicists we import to become taxi drivers.

Alison said...

Phyl:

Deporting them to the tune of 4500 a year according to the Toronto Star.
I'll bet all those Portuguese construction workers who've been living and paying taxes in Toronto for the last decade would rather relocate to Vancouver than be deported back to Portugal but they are being denied the choice.

Stupid bureaucracy.

"the physicists we import to become taxi drivers."
Ha! Too true.

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