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Olympic networking helped bring Tom Cruise movie to Vancouver, says mayor Add to ...

A program designed to wring lasting economic benefits from Olympic exposure has generated more than $300-million in benefits for the Lower Mainland and more jobs and investments are yet to come, backers of the program said on Friday.

Metro Vancouver Commerce - a joint effort by Lower Mainland cities with financial backing from the federal government - released an economic report that said the program has generated a total of $168.8-million in investments and an estimated $306.2-million in total economic output.

Of the $168.8-million in investments, $146.5-million consist of one-time capital investments and special projects, including major motion picture projects.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report included criteria designed to screen which investments could be linked to the program, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said at a press conference where the report was released.

Asked whether it was accurate to credit Paramount Pictures' decision to film Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol in the Lower Mainland to the program, Mr. Robertson said the exposure and connections generated through the Metro Vancouver Commerce program helped tip the scales for studio decisions.

The federal government kicked in $800,000 to fund the $1.5-million program, with the balance coming from member municipalities.

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