Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why it's called PavCo, not AnswerCo

David Podmore vacated his chair on the B.C. Pavilion Corporation board of directors at the end of September, just before the first anniversary of B.C. Place Stadium's reopening from a taxpayer-funded renovation. 

It was also the end of interim president Dana Hayden's second full month as the replacement for Warren Buckley, who resigned at the end of July. 

Neither of them responded to my repeated email and phone requests for an interview. 

Stadium marketing and communications manager Duncan Blomfield (right) ran interference for his bosses. Instead of arranging an interview, he invited me on Sept. 25 to send questions. I did just that, the very next day. (See the whole list below.)

That was a month ago. I still don't have the answers.

Despite frequent reminders, Mr. Blomfield claims that the official response is going through an "approval process." 

Mr. Blomfield and others at PavCo were easier to deal with before the Sept. 5 cabinet shuffle that saw the affable Pat Bell hand the responsibility for PavCo to Rich Coleman. 

Deputy Premier Coleman's portfolio already includes energy, mines, natural gas, liquor, gambling and housing. Now he also oversees the stadium and the Vancouver Convention Centre. I honestly don't know how he rates on the affability scale, because Mr. Coleman has never agreed to a one-on-one interview with me. 

So I'm going public. 

On 2012-09-25, at 3:39 PM, Duncan Blomfield wrote:
Hi Bob,
Regarding the ‘one-year anniversary’ interview request – please send me your specific questions and I will endeavor to provide specific answers.
Bob Mackin
Subject: Re: media request: Terracover Date: September 26, 2012 4:16:28 PM PDT 
Unfortunately, I have not received any assistance in arranging interviews.
As you asked for my questions, I have many. My hard deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday. I look forward to your answers.  
A) What is the detailed breakdown of the $514M spent on the renovation?  
B) What is the cost of the ongoing work to repair leaks and stains on the roof? When will it be complete?  
C) How many people are in management positions at B.C. Place, vs. union positions? 
D) What is the total amount of bonuses paid to management in 2011-2012 vs. 2010-2011? 
E) Has an agreement been reached with Telus for official or exclusive supplier status? 
F) What is the total owed by PavCo to Telus for its 2011 installation in anticipation of the naming rights? 
G) What was the cost of the Terracover V system?  (Bob's note: that is the plastic field cover system used to protect the field during concerts and trade shows.)
H) What was the cost to remedy the problems experienced with Terracover in February and March?   
I) What is the ideal conversion time frame for laying the Terracover after a football or soccer game? What is the ideal conversion time for removing the Terracover after a trade show or concert?  
J) Why did B.C. Place use more power and pay higher hydro rates in fall 2011/winter 2012 versus fall 2008/winter 2009, the last regular fall/winter before the temporary VANOC takeover and before the old roof was removed?  
K) What was the methodology for the $58M in annual economic benefits pre-renovation and $100M in economic benefits post-renovation?  
L) How many times was the roof opened in 2011?  
M) Why is the roof not left open as a default position and closed only in case of inclement weather? As it is, the roof is only opened for events. Are there problems with the drainage?  
N) Are event promoters charged a fee for the roof to be opened and, if so, what is the cost? 
O) Are the Whitecaps and/or Lions paying any rent whatsoever, beyond a nominal fee? Is it true that PavCo receives food and beverage revenue in exchange for the teams not paying the full price of rent for regular season games? What precisely are the Whitecaps and Lions paying for rent?  

While we wait for the answers, mark Oct. 21, 2013 on your calendar. That's the scheduled beginning of an 85-day civil trial in B.C. Supreme Court between B.C. Place steel and cable contractors Canam and Freyssinet. It will provide the most complete glimpse into troubles encountered with the the most complex stadium renovation in history. 

1 comment:

Norm Farrell said...

Their actions convincee me they are hiding bad news and inappropriate behaviour. Ian Reid's disclosures, using Pavco documents obtained after a long, long FOI process, indicate that insiders and friends enjoyed special advantages in dealing with Pavco when the government agency tht should have been protecting the public interest.

When billions of dollars of taxpayer assets are being managed, we deserve the highest level of transparency and accountability. Instead, we get the opposite.

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