Frances Bula header image 2

Philip Owen wades into the election campaign

November 10th, 2008 · 9 Comments

In 2005, the turning point of the election came when the ex-mayors started entering the fray. Philip Owen and Larry Campbell appeared side by side in the Vancouver Sun three years ago this week, each blasting the opposing camp and endorsing their candidate.

You’ll remember whose candidate won. (And you’ll remember Philip Owen’s effect on the 2002 campaign, when the NPA went down in flames as he studiously stood on the sidelines, declining to support them.)

Now Philip Owen has come out defending Peter Ladner and calling the Vision camp a bunch of names. We’re all wondering if the Owen black magic will work again. Read for yourself.

Dear Friends,
It was an honour and a privilege to serve the citizens of Vancouver for 18 years in elected office.
Gregor Robertson is not being honest and truthful with Vancouver citizens.  All his left leaning political colleagues for over 35 years, going back to Harry Rankin, have supported the Property Endowment Fund policies.  These policies were followed during the recent Olympic Village issue.
The City has title to the Olympic Village land plus other guarantees from the developer.  All lands and buildings used for City purposes (City Hall, Fire Halls, Parks etc) are in the Capital Fund.  All others are in the Property Endowment Fund.
As a Councillor and Mayor, I participated in numerous “in-camera” or confidential council meetings concerning the City’s Property Endowmnt Fund.  This fund was established to generate income for the City through land investments and through sound management has grown to over $2.7 Billion in assets.  The largest land owner in the City … is the City.
Confidentiality in all real estate transactions is essential until the completion date , which is after all the lawyers sign off on the tranaction.  When and if this is done, all the details about the Olympic Village will be made public.
It has required considerable courage for Peter Ladner and the NPA to stand by the City’s commitment considering the misleading partisan rhetoric we are hearing from Mr. Robertson.  It is also unfortunate that for political gain Vision and Cope are now publicaly reneging on their unanimous council vote.
The New York Bond rating agencies give Vancouver a triple A credit rating, the highest , primarlly because of The Property Endowment Fund.
Vancouver needs proven leadership to deliver a successful 2010 Winter Olympic Games and to capitalize on the associate opportunities.  Recent events have confirmed in my mind that Peter Ladner and the NPA will provide Vancouver the leadership it needs at this decisive moment in our City’s history.
Philip Owen
Former Mayor of Vancouver

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Wagatoast

    How many transit zones is it from the in-camera meeting to BC Lee’s office?

    Do you have to upgrade when you enter the twilight zone?

  • TIVman
  • Rob

    Owen and the City’s Financial Statements say the PEF is worth $2.7 billion. In today’s Province Robertson says it’s worth between $1.3 and $1.6 billion. Cllr Cadman recently said it’s $1.6 billion while Cllr Stevenson said just under $2 billion. Why these discrepancies? And how much of that $2.7 billion represents properties the City has leased out (many on long prepaid terms)? Have leased properties been properly valued as City assets? These are pretty basic questions when you are spending hundreds of millions out of this fund on a single project.

  • independent mind

    It is interesting that Philip Owen is wading into the election again. Maybe you can ask him if he still stands by his choice for mayor in 2005. I bet the words Sam Sullivan will not cross his lips.

    If we take Owen’s great advice this time, will we end up with the same result? I guess we just might, as Ladner never crossed the Sullivan but once, and that was to stab him in the back.

  • Sorry, Gregor

    It looks like the narrative is starting to shift on this.

  • Rob, above asked about the discrepancies in estimates of the PEF’s true net worth……

    Well, I believe , it is because a considerable part of it is based on the future value of longterm leases that have already been made (ie. essentially land that has already been ‘sold’ but will return to the city way, way, way down the road).


  • Wagamuffin

    Does it count when both Phillip Owen and Larry Campbell blast the same guy?

    Just asking.

  • Did Owen endorse Sullivan last time out? I wonder how he feels about that decision now.

  • Rob

    Philip Owen says “The New York Bond rating agencies give Vancouver a triple A credit rating, the highest”.
    A Feb. 2008 City report says that Moody’s Investor Services rates Vancouver at AAA (stable); Standard and Poor’s at AA+ (high). The report doesn’t mention the DBRS rating.