Halifax Skating Oval Could Be Kept for 50 Cents to $2 per Use (A Cost-Benefit Analysis)

Halifax Skating Oval

For about $1 of tax per person per year, or a $2 (toonie) charge per use, the Halifax Skating Oval can be sustained, at the highest cost estimates. It could be as low as 50 cents per use. I’m not encouraging this, but if paying for use of the Oval were a last resort, it could be very affordable and definitely worth its value!

There’s a big debate on whether or not to keep the Canada Winter Games Skating Oval on the Halifax Commons (CBC, Jan 4 2011). A lot of the public is enjoying the facility, but the worry is the cost of maintaining the Oval after the Canada Games are over. The hope is that business support can be found to pay the costs, rather than increasing taxes or having to charge skaters. However, that’s a political solution. This analysis looks at the business case of keeping the oval if the public had to pay for it.

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Do You Agree with Canada’s Choice of Joannie Rochette as Flag Bearer in the Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremonies?

Joannie Rochette

Somebody has come to their senses since Saturday when the Canadian Press was widely reporting Charles Hamelin as our Canadian flag bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies. I have revised the story. Poll is still at the bottom as to who you thought should have carried our flag.


Canada had a plethora of amazing choices from which to choose as closing ceremonies:

  • Alexandre Bilodeau — first gold medal for Canada on home soil that’s been awaited for a long time. He was a surprise winner in the freestyle ski. He also had one of the most memorable Olympics moment in 2010, with the hug for his brother Frederic who has cerebral palsy but who is his hero.
  • Maëlle Ricker — first ladies gold, not the favoured one, 3rd Olympics. She’s also had 8 knee operations if you want to talk about winning in the face of adversity. She also seemed to be the vote according to the Canadian Press. She’s also local from Squamish, BC.
  • Clara Hughes — bronze medalist to become Canada’s greatest Olympian medalist, Winter and Summer Olympics medals, wrapping up her career.
  • Joannie Rochetteco-winner of the Terry Fox award. It was athletes who endured personal tragedies at the climax of their Olympic careers, only to press on against seemingly insurmountable odds to win medals, being the ultimate embodiment of the best in the human spirit. Despite the sudden unexpected death of her Mother to deal with days before her competition, she performed and carried the Canadian nation for five days. That was also after that dreadful middle weekend where so many athletes did not attain their projected results, including Charles Hamelin on a couple of occasions. Of course, Joannie got a bronze medal to go with it. She’s also got French heritage to match Charles for the Francophones who didn’t think there were enough French representation in the games.

There are other outstanding candidates, like the women’s hockey team. The men’s hockey team still had their final results to be determined so they were not in contention.

If anyone were deserving, though, I think Joannie Rochette was. I think she embodies what this country and its people are all about with her performance at these winter Olympics. I would have pretty much put everybody else on that list above before Charles. I don’t know what that story on Charles Hamelin carrying the flag was all about, or who was propagating it, but that would have been worse than the ice skating judging nonsense over Plushenko and Lysacek.

Let Charles carry Marianne St Gelais at the Closing Ceremonies! They’re wildly in love and she’s REALLY adorable! 🙂


Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.6

Nam Nguyen is Why the Vietnamese Will Be Watching Men’s Figure Skating at 2018 Winter Olympics

Nam Nguyen at the 2010 Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Skate

Viet Nam is a country in Southeast Asia not exactly keen on winter sports, never mind figure skating, never mind men’s figure skating in its macho patriarchal culture. I know. I’m Vietnamese. It also means I can also tell you it’s a hypocritical patriarchal society because everybody knows the Mother runs the house. That’s why our ultimate cursing is towards the Mother, and nobody cares much for cursing our Fathers.

Wow, that link was insightful! I just looked up a link to demonstrate what I knew of Vietnamese cursing and never knew there were so many. But trust me, all of it is mostly rare compared to the curses towards one’s Mother.

Anyhow, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, wherever it may be held, there just might be huge Vietnamese interest in men’s figure skating. That would be due to a kid named Nam Nguyen from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. At just eight years old, Nam was the youngest skater ever to become the Canadian National Juvenile Men’s Champion. His outstanding free skate there is below. The kid didn’t miss a jump and was also very artistic.

Just in January, Nam finished 3rd in the Junior Men’s category as an 11 year old, behind two 17 year olds (thanks for the correction by Britt in the comments #3 and #4 below). That placement earned Nam a chance to perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Saturday night. He was quite the showman there, though nerves probably caused him to fall on his first jump. Watching him, the only show man in the building who could have outdone him was Evgeni Plushenko. Canadian champion Patrick Chan had better watch out! This kid could jump and punch the lights out and has a ton of charisma to boot!

That said, the nerdy get up they dressed Nam in didn’t exactly do his image a lot of good, despite tearing off a jump suit to start his routine.

It’s hard to predict the future, of course. Lots of people who try don’t do very well, whether their name is Nostradamus or Not a Damn Chance. However, if Nam continues to work hard, stays injury free and his Parents don’t make him study more than he skates as Vietnamese Parents are prone to do in a culture that values education so much, the kid has got an incredible future in figure skating. He won’t be able to compete until the 2018 Winter Olympics due to age restrictions. However, he should be able to make an impression on the Canadian national titles a few years before that.

Can’t wait!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.6