This time last year, Canada Place was closed because it was the Main Press Centre for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I was among the first few journalists to begin working in the vast hall when it opened to the media on Jan. 12, 2010. It remained my office away from the office until March 1, 2010, the day after the Games closed. I have covered Turin 2006, Rio de Janeiro 2007, Beijing 2008 and Delhi 2010 and none of those Games’ main press centres matched Canada Place’s quality work environment and convenience.
Before the Games, Heritage Minister James Moore announced a $21 million post-Games replacement of the fabric roof under the federal infrastructure stimulus program. Canada Place was built as the Canada Pavilion for Expo 86 and then converted into the Vancouver Convention Centre.
On Dec. 2, 2010, two construction workers suffered fatal injuries at sites in the same area of downtown Vancouver, within mere minutes of each other. One happened at Canada Place where a man fell 14 metres, but was on life support until his death two days later. Was the construction worker wearing fall-protection gear? That was my key question that went unanswered by construction manager Ledcor, employer Birdair and subcontractor RBG USA, who did eventually tell me the man who died was Diego Herrera.
Because WorkSafeBC released to me its inspection report, I have confirmed that Herrera was not using fall-protection gear. That would include a safety harness and lanyard. The investigation continues into an incident that should never have happened.
Read the inspection reports below.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.