Saturday, November 15, 2008

Behold, the Millennium contract

Saturday, Nov. 15 (TODAY!) is local election day across British Columbia.
The central issue in the City of Vancouver race is the Olympic Village financing scandal. 
A secret meeting was held Oct. 14 by city council to approve a $100 million bailout for financially troubled Millennium Development. It would've stayed secret had it not been for the good luck and good work of the Globe and Mail newspaper.
While the NPA's Peter Ladner has the better credentials to be mayor, Vision Vancouver's Gregor Robertson is the likely victor. "Happy Planet Juice Man" Robertson's campaign strategists know the public doesn't like secret handouts amid a recession and that taxpayers are worried about a financial hangover from the Olympics. Ladner says there are legitimate reasons for civic real estate deals like this one to be negotiated in private. Record advance poll turnout means voters are passionate about the issue. 
But how did it start? 2010 Gold Rush has a Freedom of Information-released copy of the lease agreement of Aug. 31, 2006 obtained by the Work Less Party. Stories based on this document have appeared since early 2008 on Vancouver 24 hours, Business in Vancouver and Around the RingsCheck out the contract highlights here.
The Olympic Village public/private partnership is supposed to be substantially complete by Sept. 30, 2009 and handed over to VANOC by Nov. 1, 2009 for use by 2,800 athletes and officials during the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

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