Out here in Lotusland "Exercise Gold", the full-on security rehearsal for the 2010 Owelympics, begins today and runs through Friday. It involves simulated chemical, biological, nuclear and explosive incidents in and around Vancouver.
While the Vancouver Sun excitedly pumps away on its joey smallwood - Fighter jets to buzz Vancouver! - Public Safety Canada carefully explains who is involved in Exercise Gold:
"Exercise Gold will confirm information-sharing and coordination between federal, regional, municipal and private sector organizations and will be largely out of the public eye."
Kash Heed, BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General :
"Working with our partners in the federal and local governments, we will ensure these Games are safe and secure for all."
"The Program includes participants from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as emergency services and private sector partners.
Security preparations for these Games, including the Integrated Exercise Program, will leave B.C. and Canada as a whole with a valuable legacy."
Not giving much public credit to the US forces involved in this "valuable legacy", are they?
DND to Commons Defence Committee via David Pugliese at Defence Watch :
Question 1: Exercise Gold, will it involve American forces?
Response: Yes. NORAD is a bi-national command that includes both Canadian and American personnel and equipment. NORAD will be participating in exercise Gold. Various US military headquarters and operations centres will be exercising with Canada Command during exercise Gold, through exercise Determined Dragon (a Canadian Forces exercise) and exercise Vigilant Shield (a US military exercise). In addition, a small number of US military liaison officers will be participating with Joint Task Force Games.
The 2010 Owelympics : Come for the war games; stay for the valuable legacy.