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 February 18, 2002
Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Task Force Encouraged

 The Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Task Force applauds the Provincial Government's directive of a Request for Expressions of Interest for Financing, Development, Ownership and Operation ("REI") of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion (VCEC). This REI marks an important milestone in the development of the VCEC expansion, a process initiated by the Task Force in October 1999 following the cancellation of the previous project.

Task Force Chair Peter Armstrong said, "The Task Force and the 100 organizations from around BC on our Stakeholders Council are delighted that the Province is pursuing expansion through the issuance of this private public partnership REI. We believe that an expanded VCEC will build on the success of the existing VCEC and continue to provide significant economic benefit for all British Columbians. The issuance of the REI in addition to the federal government establishing the Infrastructure Fund is real cause for optimism."

According to the Task Force's Business Plan, expansion will generate over $1.5 billion in economic benefit to industry and all levels of governments as well as over 6,700 person-years of employment during construction. It will also sustain more than 7,500 full-time equivalent jobs throughout the Province once the expanded VCEC is operational.

"The Task Force has made a significant investment in developing the expansion business plan and have utilized the very best people available to do the work," stated Armstrong. "We commit to any respondent to the REI that we will cooperate fully in providing them with what we have learned over the past two years," he concluded.