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The ticker-tape on the Olympic village loan story

November 8th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Hey all,

Sorry I disappeared but it’s been a crazy few days and almost impossible to keep up with events as they unroll unless you pretty much type non-stop, which tragically leaves no time to actually interview anyone or get any facts. While some people may prefer to operate that way, I don’t.

It was a wild media day yesterday, with the Non-Partisan’s Peter Ladner all over the media continuing to say that council just can’t bring details of the city’s financial arrangements with Millennium into the open because there are ongoing sensitive negotiations (though hard to see what more damage could be done at this point), Vision councillor Raymond Louie blasting away on NW, Vision councillor Tim Stevenson trying to make a motion at last night’s Opus Hotel hearing to have the decision reconsidered, Gregor Robertson and Ladner both holding end-of-day news conferences to fire off a few more rockets. And then every blogger and commentator in the world was weighing in.

Well, and people said this election might be boring. The question in my mind is: Will this spark people’s interest enough to make them want to vote? I say yes. If nothing else, all of this controversy — even if you think it’s hard to figure out which party is behaving worse in all of this — is like a giant billboard reminding people that they can have a say on Nov. 15.

Anyway, here’s the stories the Globe had (mine and Robert Matas’s) along with a few others I found interesting, like Pete McMartin’s column in the Vancouver Sun here and Mike Howell’s blog summary of the day for the Courier here.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Point taken re: the interviews and facts and stuff Frances.

    But, further on that topic – has anyone, yourself included, actually managed to talk to Ms. Lo since all this broke?

    Thanks.

    _____
    (And for anyone interested about what it is, exactly, that Vancouver’s CFO does (did?) everyday, I have a reasonably fact-filled post on the subject up here.)

    .

  • fbula

    Ross,

    The only person I know of who has spoken to Estelle from the media is Allen Garr. She wasn’t especially forthcoming, I understand, but he will likely have more about that in his Wednesday column in the Courier.

    Frances

  • Thanks Frances…..

    You had me wondering when you wrote that Ms. Lo had not commented ‘publicly’ on her current employment status with the City.

    Taking it one step further – has anyone, other than whoever it was that originally talked to Mr. Mason, actually confirmed that Ms. Lo truly had longstanding concerns about the project?

    Thanks again.

    .

  • TM

    David Berner has it right – Peter Ladner’s mayoral bid is finished, and not because this deal is necessarily a bad one. He is done because of the cloak of secrecy and the arrogant Big Brother spiel preaching that excluding the public from knowing the details of these negotiations was the only way to get the deal done. Seems to me the Millenium group must understand that the City acts for the taxpayers and decisions must be subject to their consultation. We never got the chance.

    Ladner made an analogy on CBC of a couple negotiating a mortgage and not letting the bank in on what their issues were – while I would agree that we taxpayers are definitely the bank in this scenario, unlike Ladner’s example, there is no other game in town and no other group pf taxpayers to shop this deal to, unlike the couple who can go to another bank if they aren’t approved or don’t like the deal – we are it, Peter, and we are entitled to a say.

    The People might have actually approved this deal if it was presented and sold to them in a democratic manner. It’s Ladner’s sleazy ways that are doing him in, he can’t be trusted and his indignant blaming of people asking questions and his petulant insistence this scrutiny might sink the deal is ludicrous. Can you say “deflection”?

    http://www.bcandbeyond.wordpress.com

  • Irresponsible

    The biggest problem here seems to be that much of the the public doesn’t understand what in-camera means or how negotiation works. Vision is being massively irresponsible – they’re creating the very problem they’re yelling about.

  • all_agreed

    Why are people forgetting that EVERYONE agreed to the $100 million loan to Millennium? And now some Vision councillors are saying they’re going back on their votes and would like to reconsider? Last I checked…a vote is a vote is a vote. I’m sure A LOT of us would like to reconsider our 2005 votes for Sam Sullivan, but the fact remains that we made a choice and we have to stick to it.

    Also, why is everyone blaming Peter Ladner? Is it because he’s the only mayoralty candidate who was eligible to vote on the issue? UNANIMOUS YES on the subject, so why aren’t people hounding the other 10 people who voted yes on this issue? Oh because two of them are Vision and they changed their minds? Give me a break.

  • Rob

    Frances,

    The secrecy about this new $100M loan doesn’t seem consistent with the following City official’s quote from your Oct.23 G&M article.

    ‘Mr. Bayne said the city has to publicly report when it provides those kinds of guarantees because of requirements from its auditor.

    “That is important to the city’s financial condition.

    “If there is any change to the arrangement, that means a change to the city’s risk and it would need to be reported.” ‘

  • Dawn Steele

    Ladner told the Courier’s Mike Howell: “It always has to be done confidentially. Once it’s done, it’s released. If the public doesn’t like it, they can cast their judgment.”

    Exactly. Which means they have until this Friday to release pertinent details in order to afford the public the opportunity to “cast their judgement” on Nov 15th.

    Even if negotiations are still underway, it seems to me that two very simple questions could and should have been answered by now to defuse things if this is indeed much ado about nothing:

    1) Did the CFO raise any issues or concerns that were not shared before Council voted at the in-camera meeting?

    2) Did the CFO threaten or tender her resignation? (…and whether or not she’s still on the payroll is the answer to quite a different question…)

  • all_agreed;
    I agree, people completely should remember that this was reportedly a unanimous vote. The question is, who has the authority to lift the veil of secrecy from the in camera meeting? Would a Vision councilor be threatened with “serious repercussions” if s/he did so? Would Peter Ladner?
    That said, politicians sometimes can reverse their votes (or simply introduce a new motion that does the reversing); and I have been ‘cautiously’ impressed with Gregor’s letters to Mr. Ladner, expressing a desire to review this bombshell.

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