Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Athletes village to get $100-million loan

with 2 comments

Garry Mason in the Globe and Mail

The City of Vancouver has authorized lending up to $100-million to rescue the financially troubled Olympic athletes village project, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Council gave the city manager the mandate to advance the project’s developer the money to help cover cost overruns and other shortfalls at an in camera meeting held Oct. 14. It has already advanced nearly $30-million. At that meeting, council approved spending up to $450,000 to bring in a third party to oversee management of the project being built by Millennium Development Corp.

Details of the city’s involvement in bailing out the project’s cash-strapped developer have until now been kept secret. Councillors are under a publication ban and have been told they face serious repercussions if they discuss publicly the decisions taken at the in camera meeting.

Not really a surprise. Pretty much par for the course. For dealing with really pressing issues the City always pleads poverty and a reluctance to turn to local property taxes. For trivial issues, such as a two week sports festival that gives the Mayor the chance to twirl a flag on international tv, money will be found. And no one is allowed to talk about it.

Of course, in the run up to a local election, the publication ban looks like a pretty thin threat that did not bother some people.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. It’s kind of gut-wrenching to read how it’s every so easy to authorize 9-digit sums to cover the Olympic frenzy that’s consumed and displaced life in Vancouver for over two years now, while we have to argue and plead and listen to all sorts of admonishment to marginally fund social programs. The priorities of our provincial government, the current council, and especially those making hay over candidate Robertson’s $170+ unpaid fine while dispensing this money are, frankly, sickening.

    Todd Sieling

    November 6, 2008 at 5:43 pm

  2. This news item finally brings out into the open the frightening lack of due diligence by our City Council and Mayor in ensuring that the citizens of Vancouver do not end up holding the bill for the massive cost over-runs that these “games” were sure to incur. This story has far-reaching implications of corruption, fraud and at the very least, conflict-of-interest on the part of our elected officials.
    For those that want to understand the whole story, and learn about how this con is being perpetrated on Vancouverites, read the book “Five Ring Circus” – released this year, by Chris Shaw. And remember who sat in on these secret meetings when voting Nov. 15th.

    Geri Tramutola

    November 6, 2008 at 6:15 pm

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