The cost of Vancouver's Trade and Convention Centre has reached almost $900 million but it will be completed on time for the 2010 Olympic Games, the B.C. tourism minister said Wednesday.
Hagen said in April that the final cost of the centre would be in the $800 million range. Five years ago, it was budgeted at around $500 million.
The NDP's Olympic critic accused the government of mismanagement, saying the project is a mess, with major cost overruns and the same key people in place.
Harry Bains pointed out that the total budget is approximately $400 million over the initial estimate in 2002.
"I think what we've seen today is a clear display of mismanagement and incompetence of the government and the board of this convention centre," Bains said.
Hagen said construction costs kept rising but there won't be any further cost overruns.
Some of the project managers have been replaced, he said,and a new person is now in charge — David Podmore, one of Vancouver's well-known real estate developers.
"It's certainly one of the most complex projects in Canada," Hagen said. "It takes a lot of co-ordination. We went through a phase and we're now passing the baton on to a new phase. We've got a great management team in place."
The new building, which is supposed to be the media centre for the 2010 Olympics, will be complete by March 15, 2009, he said.