Ensuring Vancouvers Olympic and Paralympic Legacy

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Ensuring Vancouvers Olympic and Paralympic Legacy

NeuralBlog, 27th Feb 2006

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CITY OF VANCOUVER

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

TO:


Vancouver City Council

FROM:


City Manager

SUBJECT:


Implementation Plan for Olympic Legacy

RECOMMENDATION

A. THAT the City Manager provide updates to Council on at least an annual basis on the status of the Mayor's report, Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, and on the City's involvement in the planning and organization of the 2010 Olympic Games.
B. THAT Council approve the carry over of any surplus funds remaining from those identified for Olympic Bid activities and allocate such funds to a 2010 Olympic Games planning and organization budget.

COUNCIL POLICY

In September 2003, Council referred the Mayor's report Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy to the City Manager with a request for an early report back on the steps necessary to ensure that the 2010 Games reflect both our commitments to the IOC as well as the aspirations of our citizens as reflected in the report.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to outline for Council strategies, proposals and timelines for implementing the Mayor's recommendations from his report titled Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. This report also asks Council to carry forward the excess funding that was approved as part of the City's participation in the Bid.

BACKGROUND

On July 2, 2003, the International Olympic Committee ("IOC") awarded the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to Vancouver. This decision followed a 5 year bidding process in which the City participated in partnership with the Federal and Provincial Governments, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Canadian Olympic Committee. During the Bid phase, this partnership was represented by the Bid Corporation. Now that the bidding is complete, the Bid Corporation is being dissolved and the Vancouver Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games ("VOCOG") has been incorporated in compliance with IOC regulations.

The VOCOG will be responsible for planning and presenting the Games and will be governed by a 20 member board of directors. The City is entitled to appoint 2 directors and has chosen Marion Lay and Judy Rogers as our representatives on the board. Once the VOCOG is incorporated, one of its first obligations will be to set up a staff team and continue the development plan started by the Bid Corporation.

The City is currently dealing with issues related to the transition or Games organization in the same way that Bid issues were dealt with. Various staff from all over the City are involved in their respective areas of specialty. Staff from the Legal, Parks, Community Services and Engineering departments as well as the Sustainability Group respond to a wide variety of issues or events initiated by the Transition Team or the City Manager's Office. As the Games get closer, the work for the City will increase and it will become necessary to develop a staff team, referred to as a Games Secretariat office, exclusively for the Games organization.

Earlier this year, a series of public forums were held to engage the public in discussions regarding the Olympics and sustainability. Specific topics for the forums included Social, Environmental and Economic Sustainability. As a result of those forums, the Mayor produced a report titled Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (the "Report"). The Report details recommendations in the categories of Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Sustainability as well as action plans and commitments for youth, sports and the arts and for community engagement.

On September 9th of this year, the Report was presented to Council and Council requested that the City Manager report back on an implementation plan for the recommendations contained in the Report.

DISCUSSION

A summary of the recommendations from the Mayor's Report is included in Appendix A.

Social Sustainability

The recommendations in the section devoted to social sustainability issues cover a wide range of social issues and can be generalized by the first recommendation that the Games be the first "socially sustainable" Games. The majority of these topics are also addressed in the Inclusive Intent Statement and the Inner-City inclusive Commitment Statement (the "Statements") that were developed by the Bid team and members of the community.

Recommendation 1 relates to ensuring the City's commitment to the first Olympic Games featuring socially sustainability. This commitment underscores much of the work which the City has done so far on the Games and will continue through to the hosting of the event. Staff have been on the forefront of developing, with community representatives and other levels of Government, the Statements, both of which have been endorsed by the City and the Provincial and Federal Governments. These Statements were drafted using the City's own sustainability principles and the IOC's Agenda 21. Work is continuing through the Vancouver Agreement to translate the statements of principle into action programs.

Recommendation 2 pledges to implement bylaws to ensure that tenants are protected from eviction or dislocation as a consequence of the Games and Recommendation 3 pledges action to protect the low-income housing stock from speculative conversion or demolition. Council recently moved forward to regulate the conversion and demolition of single room accommodation in the Downtown Core. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that the SRA stock is managed so that this important source of housing continues to serve low-income tenants. People wishing to convert their SRA hotels into backpacker hostels or hotels will now need to get a permit, which will allow Council to decide if such a conversion is in the City's best interest. This bylaw was not in place for Expo 86 and this tool will give the City additional ability to protect tenants.

Council also recently has taken other initiatives to maintain low-income housing. It directed staff to re-activate the Downtown Eastside housing plan process and confirmed the City's commitment policies to maintain and upgrade housing for existing residents in the Downtown Eastside, improving existing SRAs and building replacement low-income housing and encouraging affordable housing among all residential neighbourhoods in the City. Council has also directed that a comprehensive housing and homelessness action plan be developed, recognizing that safe, secure and affordable housing is a necessary condition for social inclusion.

The 4th recommendation is to increase the amount of non-market housing in Southeast False Creek to exceed the previous target of 20 percent non-market housing in Southeast False Creek. Staff are investigating ways to enhance the 20 percent level and the Official Development Plan for the area will be reported to Council later in the Spring of 2004.

Recommendation 5 calls for measures to regulate illegal suites to assist in the protection of a stock of affordable housing at reasonable rents. Secondary suites are recognized as an important part of the City's affordable housing stock and Council recently directed staff to report back on further ways of legalizing and regulating the stock.

Recommendation 6 regarding pressing senior levels of government to fund the Vancouver Agreement has been completed and both the province and federal governments have committed $10 million each for the Vancouver Agreement.

The 7th recommendation references increased efforts to obtain funding for arts and culture in order to meet the community's cultural development needs and rise to the occasion of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Cultural programs and the Olympic Arts festival. Staff have initiated discussions with federal, provincial, neighbouring municipal, and regional officials regarding a variety of approaches to this recommendation. These include:

- renewal of the Regional Cultural Strategic Plan initiative for inter-municipal co-operation in cultural development among Greater Vancouver municipalities;
- a tri-level, ten year strategic plan for cultural development in Vancouver featuring strategic investment in creative and organizational development of our diverse creative communities;
- support for First Nations' arts and cultural development initiatives;
- a 5-10 year plan for new cultural facility development and existing facility upgrades;
- senior government matching of the City's proposed Arts Endowment ;
- federal government matching of the Provincial Olympic Arts Fund; and
- a near-term plan for Cultural Tourism initiatives to capture and extend the tourism benefits of the Games.

Staff will report back with progress updates and recommendations.

Environmental Sustainability

In order to ensure the environmental sustainability of the Games, the Report makes recommendations for the planning and construction of Olympic facilities in Vancouver. Firstly, it is recommended that the Athlete's Village at Southeast False Creek be built to the highest possible LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard. Secondly, the Report includes a motion passed by the Park Board that addresses environmental features of new facilities (including a LEED standard, greenspace requirements and historical water features) and community involvement in the planning process.

The recommendation referring to LEED certification of the Athlete's Village at Southeast False Creek (SEFC) will be addressed in reports going to Council in spring of 2004. Staff are currently working through a planning and rezoning process for SEFC, and upon completion will make recommendations regarding sustainability standards which may include a LEED standard for new buildings. Moreover there will be clear sustainability benefits from designing the athlete's housing in such a way that it can be used for market and non-market housing beyond the Winter Olympics. Beyond LEED, the SEFC development is attempting to push the environmental sustainability envelope further by incorporating green infrastructure and community design - something not yet covered by LEED. Staff expect that a report on green buildings and LEED for civic buildings will go to Council early in 2004 while a report on an ODP for the City owned lands in SEFC (including the Village site) will go to Council in the Spring of 2004.

The second recommendation in this section is a recommendation to endorse a Park Board motion made on February 10, 2003. There are 5 points to the park board motion, referred to as recommendation (a) through (e) for ease of reference (see Appendix A). All five of the recommendations make recommendations for new and renovated Olympic facilities. In the City's case the new facilities include the curling centre (referred to as Hillcrest or Riley Park), practice arena and the Athlete's Village and the renovated facilities refer to Hastings Park. Of these facilities, construction of the Athlete's Village and the practice arena will be the responsibility of the City, with a financial contribution from the VOCOG. Renovation of the facilities at Hastings Park and the construction of the curling centre at Hillcrest Park will be managed by a Capital Works Committee with equal representation from the City and from the VOCOG.

Recommendation (a) that new or renovated facilities on Park Board Land be built to a LEEDS gold standard is not included in the budget for the venues. The budgets for the venues are based on requirements of the IOC, the international Sport Federations as well as requirements prescribed by the City and Parks Board for our post-games use. Currently the budgets include a designation for LEEDS certification level for new facilities only and upgrading to a gold standard could raise costs significantly. Funds to achieve this upgrade, at the City's request, will likely come at a cost to the City. In addition, no budget has been allotted to upgrade our existing facilities at Hastings Park to any LEEDS standard and it is unclear whether such an upgrade could be accomplished. However, the City is meeting sustainability goals by renovating and re-using existing facilities. Once the Capital Works Committees are formed for these projects, the City's members will report back to Council on the costs and status of LEEDS certifications. Construction is currently scheduled to start in 2006.

Recommendation (b) suggests that there be no net loss of greenspace as a result of new or renovated Olympic facilities in the City of Vancouver. This is likely achievable in the City due to the fact that we are losing greenspace only in the location of the new curling centre. The greenspace lost in Hillcrest Park for the new facility could be replaced when the old facility is demolished or with the new park planned as part of the Southeast False Creek development that contains the Athlete's Village. The Park board staff involved in the master plan for Hillcrest Park will report back to Council on this issue once the planning process is underway

Recommendation (c) to acknowledge or integrate any historical or existing streams is another example of a cost that is not included in the budgets for the new or renovated facilities. However, it is unclear to what extent this would cause increase costs. The cost will be affected by whether or not there are any historical or existing streams in each location and the extent to which they are recognized. This issue will also be reported back once the Capital Works Committees have been formed.

Recommendations (d) and (e) recommend that the public is given an opportunity to engage in the planning process for Riley Park as well as other new Park Board facilities. This is currently required under the venue agreements that the City negotiated for the new and upgraded facilities. In particular, the agreements mention the public process necessary to develop a master plan for Hillcrest Park including the exact location of the curling facility for the Games. These agreements further require that all standard City processes are followed, including the requirement for public consultation, for any rezoning, development permits or park master plans.

Economic Sustainability

There are 5 recommendations in the category of Economic Sustainability. The majority of the recommendations deal with the business of the future Organizing Committee with respect to business and employment practices, local business involvement and job and training opportunities. There are also recommendations that propose work with other levels of government to generate job and training opportunities, especially for youth, and which address trades qualifications.

Recommendations 1, 2 and 5 all require agreement to, and adoption and implementation by, the VOCOG. The City is entitled to appoint 2 Directors out of a possible 20 to the VOCOG's Board of Directors. Each Director, regardless of whom they are appointed by, owes his or her fiduciary duty to the VOCOG and must act only in the best interests of the VOCOG. However, the City Directors will have the ability and the opportunity to clearly articulate, and campaign for the adoption of policies which reflect the City commitment to economic sustainability in general and the issues addressed in recommendations 1,2 and 5 in particular.

In regards to recommendation 3, Staff are working with the other levels of government through the Vancouver Agreement to generate job and training opportunities for Vancouver residents. An Employment Strategy has been approved by the VA Management Committee and negotiations are underway to secure a $3 million contribution from the Ministry of Human Resources to help with the implementation of a pilot project. An Economic Revitalization Plan for the Downtown Eastside is being drafted and will be taken out for review by Council, the senior governments and the public later this year. An organizational framework has also been proposed to help link the implementation of these initiatives and maximize job and training opportunities for local residents as the area's economy improves. These initiatives are also linked to the 2010 Human Resources Planning Committee and the Inner City Inclusive Working Group.

Staff are also working with senior governments and community agencies on recommendation 4, to develop policies to ensure workers employed in construction projects in the city are properly trained and have the necessary trades qualifications to ensure work is of the highest standard. A short term strategy is being developed to secure employment opportunities for inner city residents for upcoming projects, including construction for the 2010 Games. An inventory of development proposals has been created and meetings are underway with HRDC, CAWS, and Western Economic Diversification as well as key training organizations including ACCESS (Blade Runners), Tradeworks, and Fast Track to Employment. These efforts will become part of the longer term VA Employment Strategy and Economic Revitalization Plan for the Downtown Eastside.

Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy: An action plan for youth sport and the arts

Staff from the City, (Social Planning, Office of Cultural Affairs, Civic Youth Strategy Youth Outreach Team), Park Board, and School Board are meeting together with representatives of community agencies, arts and cultural organizations, youth run groups and organizations and local and provincial sport groups. The mission is to develop shared approaches and a collective strategy for creating and delivering action plans for increasing active youth participation in sport, in physical activity and in the arts. The Youth Outreach Team will work with the planning team to ensure that, as recommended in the Mayor's report, youth are involved meaningfully in both the design and implementation of the Vancouver Olympic Youth Legacy. A strategy for the respective legacy endowments will also be included.

Park Board staff and Cultural Affairs staff have undertaken environmental scans to understand what programs are already in place to ensure that new civic initiatives complement existing programs. Staff have begun to develop prototype initiatives for recommendation to Council at some later date. Discussions at the Park Board and with its community partners have focused on the issues of leadership, programming and short-term and long-term facility development. Park Board will be reviewing its Youth Legacy discussions to date at their October 20th regular meeting, and will be informing Council of any decisions relevant to this initiative, at its earliest convenience.

Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy: A commitment to Community engagement

The recommendations in this section apply to community involvement and the City's participation in the 2010 Winter Olympic and 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. In particular, it is recommended that, in order to build and maintain community confidence, the City should commit to work with interested community organizations, prepare an annual report to Council on the state of the bid and progress towards the City's sustainability goals and create a Council position to ensure that the City's initiatives are met and to work with the other partners to the Bid.

Recommendation 1 in this section calls for the City's directors on the VOCOG board to treat the recommendations and commitments of the Mayor's Report as policy and work for their adoption by the VOCOG. As explained above in the section on economic sustainability, each Director, regardless of whom they are appointed by, owes his or her fiduciary duty to the VOCOG and must act only in the best interests of the VOCOG. However, the City Directors will have the ability and the opportunity to clearly articulate, and campaign for, the adoption of policies which reflect City policies.

Recommendations 2 and 3 propose continued work with interested community groups as well as an annual report to Council on the state of the Games and the City's sustainability objectives. Both of these tasks would be appropriate for staff involved in the Games Secretariat Office. In the meantime, Council will be informed of events, such as the development of the VOCOG, the Secretariat or implementation of the recommendations from the Mayor's Report, as they occur, as proposed in this report, at least on an annual basis.

Recommendation 4 proposes that a Council position be created, equivalent to a deputy mayor, to deal with Olympic issues. This position may be brought forward at any time, subject to Council deciding on member to fill this role.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

In July of 2002, Council approved $450,000 to be used by the City for Olympic Bid related activities. These funds were used to fund a street banner program, a portion of a Celebration 2010 and for consultants and administrative costs for security and legal work. The costs for these initiatives have not been finalized, but staff are confident there will be excess funds remaining in the accounts. Staff propose that the City carry over of any surplus funds remaining from the those identified for Olympic Bid activities and allocate such funds to a 2010 Olympic Games planning and organization budget.

CONCLUSION

The recommendations in the Mayor's Report titled Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic Legacy are very broad and involve several different City Departments. This report provides an update on options and timelines for implementing the recommendations. The timelines vary from on-going to 2 or 3 years away, when the City will form a Games Secretariat Office. In the meantime, staff will report back to Council, on at least an annual basis, and ask that Council carry over surplus funds from Bid related funding to support the City's role in the planning and organization of the 2010 Games.

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APPENDIX A
PAGE 1 OF 3

Recommendation from report, Ensuring Vancouver's Olympic Legacy

I. Social sustainability

To ensure the social sustainability of the Games, I recommend that the City:

1. Commit to ensure that the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are the first "socially sustainable" Games in line with the City's own sustainability principles, the IOC's Agenda 21 and the undertakings set out in the Inclusive Intent Statement and the Inner-City Intent Statement;
2. Pledge to implement bylaws to ensure that tenants are protected from eviction or dislocation as a consequence of the Games;
3. Pledge to take action to protect the city's low-income housing stock from speculative conversion or demolition in the period before and during hallmark events such as the 2010 Winter Games;
4. Commit to increase social or non-market housing in the Southeast False Creek area to the highest degree possible consistent with sustainable development practices so as to exceed the 20 per cent level established by Council and supported by the $30 million provincial and federal Olympic contribution;
5. Consider measures to regulate illegal suites to assist in the protection of a stock of affordable housing at reasonable rents;
6. Press both senior levels of government to follow through immediately with funding for the Vancouver Agreement, in line with the $10 million provincial, which is contingent on $10 million of matching funding; and
7. Step up efforts at the regional, provincial and federal level to achieve strategic investments in arts and culture while moving ahead with the City's own strategic planning process to obtain sustaining fund for the arts and culture.

II. Environmental sustainability

To ensure the environmental sustainability of the Games, I recommend that the City:

1. Commit to building the South East False Creek development to the highest possible LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)standard that is consistent with social and economic sustainability goals;

2. Endorse the Park Board motion of Feb. 10 calling on Council to ensure the Games are a net contributor to a more ecologically and socially sustainable Vancouver by committing that, where possible:

_ any new or renovated Olympic facilities on Park Board lands be based on leading edge environmental design to at least a LEED gold standard or the best industry standard of the day (whichever is better);
_ there be no net loss of greenspace as a result of new or renovated Olympic facilities in the City of Vancouver;
_ any new or renovated Olympic facilities acknowledge and integrate any existing or historical water features such as buried streams;
_ the people of Vancouver, including the local community, are given an opportunity to engage in planning any new or renovated Olympic facilities in City parks; and
_ the people of Vancouver, including the local community, are given an opportunity to engage in a comprehensive planning process for Riley and Hillcrest Parks.

III. Economic Sustainability

To ensure the economic sustainability of the Games for the City of Vancouver, its businesses and its workers, I recommend that Council:

1. Urge the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to operate under the BC Financial Information Act and the BC Freedom of Information and Right to Privacy Act to ensure maximum public confidence in budgeting and management;
2. Build on existing guarantees in the Bid Book to ensure maximum opportunities for local businesses and workers to benefit from the Games, including strategies to give local business early notice of business opportunities;
3. Work with other levels of government to generate job and training opportunities for Vancouver residents, particularly young people;
4. Develop policies to ensure workers employed in construction projects in the city are properly trained and have the necessary trades qualifications to ensure work is of the highest standard;
5. Call on the Organizing Committee to adopt business practices and standards that uphold Canada's international human rights and labour treaty obligations.

IV. Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy: An action plan for youth, sport and the arts

To provide immediate and enduring benefits for the youth of Vancouver, I recommend that the City:

1. Create a Vancouver Olympic Youth Legacy for Sport and the Arts for children and youth with the following elements:

_ Endorse the goal established by the federal-provincial health ministers and recommended in the Romanow report to increase physical activity in children and youth by 10 per cent by 2010;
_ Expand access to community sport, recreation and arts programs by 2010 for residents under 19, starting with free access to some recreational services, including public skating in 2003/4;
_ Seek to double available time in gyms, fields and informal play areas, including coaching and other support, by 2010, through integrated use of existing city, school and park facilities; development of `lighthouse' programs, athletes in residence programs and other initiatives;
_ Seek voter approval in 2005 for the creation of a $10 million youth sports, recreation and the arts endowment fund ($5 million for sport and $5 million for the arts) to sustain the program, while seeking to increase the fund through strategic partnerships with foundations and other levels of government.

2. Establish a youth and community-driven task force to design and implement the Vancouver Olympic Youth Legacy for Sport and the Arts with program funding for $200,000 to design and implement pilot programs in each of the next three years;
3. Seek partnerships with the Vancouver School Board, the Vancouver Park Board, city amateur sport and recreation groups, LegaciesNOW, youth organizations, the private sector, other levels of government and other stakeholders to develop and implement the program.

V. Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy: A commitment to community engagement

--To maintain and build community confidence in the City of Vancouver's participation in the 2010 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Winter Games, I recommend that the City of Vancouver:

1. Mandate its members of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to treat the recommendations and commitments set out in this report as policy of the city and to work for their adoption by the organizing committee as a whole;
2. Commit to work with interested community organizations with an interest in the Games. to monitor the progress of the bid to ensure it achieves the City's objectives for sustainability;
3. Pledge to prepare an annual report on the state of the bid and progress toward the City's sustainability objectives for public review and comment.
4. Create a Council position, equivalent to deputy mayor on Olympic issues, to ensure the City's objectives are met and to work with the Organizing Committee, the Vancouver Agreement, federal and provincial partners and other stakeholders to ensure social sustainability as well as democratic practices are at the forefront.



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