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 June 19, 2002
Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Task Force Update

 The Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Task Force applauds the announcement by Competition, Science & Enterprise Minister Rick Thorpe that a preferred proponent, Bentall Capital LP, has been selected for the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre expansion project under the government's new Public Private Partnership (P3) model.

Task Force Chair, Peter Armstrong says the industry's goal for an expanded centre is now one step closer to being realized. "Today's (June 19) announcement illustrates how industry and all levels of government are able to work together to develop public infrastructure. While much still needs to be done, we are delighted with this important step," said Armstrong. "The calibre of the six proponents who were competing for this important project also demonstrate a renewed confidence in investing in British Columbia," he added.

Armstrong also noted that the Task Force, and its 100 member Stakeholders Council support the P3 process and the rigorous manner in which the proponents were evaluated.

According to the Task Force's business plan, expansion will generate over $1.5 billion in economic benefit to industry and all levels of government, 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 Convention Centre Expansion Task Force was formed in October 1999 to provide leadership, direction and focus to an industry-driven Business Plan for expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (VCEC). The Business Plan has been prepared on the premise that funding will be provided by the federal government, provincial government and industry. The four founding members of the Task Force include Tourism Vancouver, PavCo, the Vancouver Hotel Association and the Vancouver Board of Trade.