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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

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