Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is this the Women's World Cup Canada 2015 logo?

The eyes of the women's soccer world will be on Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium on Dec. 14 where the logo for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 will be unveiled during a live webcast at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern.

B.C. Place is one of six host venues for the expanded 24-nation tournament and is in the running to host the championship final for the planet's biggest women's sport tournament. (That announcement is expected sometime in the spring of 2013.)

A non-coloured logo with the Canada 2015 word mark, however, is already on public view on the website for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's Trade-marks Database

The website says the trademark was filed Nov. 29 by Smart & Biggar of Ottawa on behalf of FIFA. The logo on the CIPO page features a stylized, 11-point maple leaf with feathers, rays of light, trees, and mountains inside. A female figure is in the foreground, with arms raised in victory, above the Canada 2015 word mark. 

To say the list of goods and services to which the logo may be attached is exhaustive would be an understatement. The last items on the list of wares are "cigarettes; tobacco." 

Hey, wait a second, FIFA… 

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 logo? 

UPDATE (Dec. 14): Yes, indeed that is the logo. Here it is in better detail and in living colour.

Facts about the logo, from the organizing committee:

  • The inspiration or the design comes from Canada's national motto "A Mari Usque Ad Mare", which means "From coast to coast"
  • The unmistakable iconic maple leaf forms the basis of the Official Emblem design and in itself transports a strong sense of national pride and heritage. In a way the maple leaf may be seen to represent the country outline
  • Three sections contain elements that are open to interpretation but present Canada as a multicultural nation, showcasing both national and urban environments - the ocean, mountains, cityscapes and flora and fauna
  • There are eight elements which comprise the Official Look of a multifaceted Canada - Coast; Sky, Ice & Cityscape; Ambition & Mountains; Modernity & Urbanism; Pride & Honour; Water, Ocean & Inspiration; Celebration & Fans; Passion & Innovation
  • At the heart of the maple leaf stands a figure, a victory pose. As the stem and vein of leaf, it symbolizes not only the energy of the Canadian nation in hosting this prestigious competition but also awakens a sense of hope, joy and friendship
  • The Official Emblem is designed within the FIFA brand architecture

Liberals pondered liquor store privatization

One of the biggest provincial stories of 2012 was the BC Liberals' controversial, aborted attempt to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch's warehousing and distribution.

There was no business plan and no formal industry consultation. There was plenty of intrigue, because BC Liberal backroom boy and BC Rail adviser Patrick Kinsella was lobbying for Exel Logistics. The government did its best to wrap the deal in a shroud of secrecy. We still don't know precisely how and why it was kiboshed before the shortlisted bidders could make their final presentations.

But the government didn't count on me and my li'l library of #LiquorLeaks shining some much-needed light on the specious process. Thanks, also, to good ol' fashioned brown paper envelopes and the documents inside. (I'm not finished yet. Far from it.)

So, what's the latest, you say?

Remember when the government released Treasury Board and Cabinet reports in late May? They were so heavily censored that the only information visible had been cut-and-pasted from already published service plans and financial reports. I appealed and pressure from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner caused the government to uncensor portions of those reports. I'm not satisfied yet, but I am happy to report what the government was hiding from you.

Specifically, that the government was studying the sale of its chain of 197 B.C. Liquor Stores, along with the LDB logistics! I revealed this in Business in Vancouver on Dec. 13. The documents are below, which indicate anticipated opposition from the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union was the biggest obstacle.

The government opted to keep the stores, but tried to sell the warehouses and distribution. Then, on Sept. 27, it agreed to a new two-year deal with the BCGEU that included a moratorium on any LDB privatization. This happened after liquor minister Rich Coleman spent six months banging the drum for a private warehouser and distributor to come along and help government save money (despite industry players warning that higher prices would be the outcome).

Cabinet & Treasury Board documents recommending privatization of liquor distribution in British Columbi...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Of the Gifted Bloy and Minister "Cadeau"

Photo of MLA Stephanie Cadieux

Photo of MLA Harry BloyIn Business in Vancouver on 12-12-12, I revealed the latest annual public disclosure statements by British Columbia's members of the legislative assembly.

The statements are required under conflict of interest legislation and give a peek into the finances of those who either have a hand in the public purse or are watchdogs of the public purse. I stress the word "peek" because the details are rather slim. But there is enough to discuss, particularly in the gifts category.

When Children and Families Minister Stephanie Cadieux (upper right) went to Premier Christy Clark's annual fundraising dinner for the BC Liberals, a big, multinational pharmaceuticals company paid. Cadieux reported on her form that Hoffmann-La Roche paid for her pair of tickets, worth $700.

Harry Bloy (lower right), Clark's only leadership supporter in caucus, scored a $2,000 package of eight Vancouver Canucks' tickets and a Christmas party from Pacific Western Brewing (makers of, ahem, Scandal Ale). PWB, you may recall, benefitted from a tax break. The company's lobbyists include Patrick Kinsella and Mark Jiles -- who were also working for Exel Logistics in its attempt to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch.

See the full disclosure statements below for all MLAs, including Pat "Wendy's" Bell and Gordon "Boston Pizza" Hogg.

Coming in 2013, B.C. Place strike?

Is it too early to make predictions for 2013?

Here's one that's pretty safe. Labour strife at B.C. Place Stadium.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union workers reached a settlement in the fall of 2011, meaning labour peace for the 99th Grey Cup. That contract ran out May 31 and negotiations fell apart on Dec. 10. The gap between the two sides is, well, about as big as when the stadium's retractable roof is open (which is, despite the price tag, a rarity).

Here is the notice that was posted on the BCGEU website on Dec. 12. The only two events planned for January are both late in the month: the Maple Leaf Monster Jam and Year of the Snake Chinese New Year Expo. 

Bargaining has not been productive. On December 10, 2012 the parties reached impasse. It has become apparent on the twentieth day of bargaining that the parties are not any closer to reaching a tentative agreement. The parties are just too far apart on many issues to look for assistance of a mediator.Your bargaining committee clearly outlined members’ priorities while remaining open and flexible to negotiating specifics. The Committee made it clear that this is not a round of bargaining that would contain any concessions for our membership. We have no choice but to look to the membership to support your bargaining committee and give us a strike mandate to send a clear message to the employer. We are looking for a fair deal, job protection, with no concessions.Please make every effort to get out and vote in support of your bargaining committee's recommendations. 
YWCA – Royal Bank Room, 733 Beatty Street, Vancouver: 
December 20 from 2:30pm–6:30pmDecember 21 from 11:30am–6:30pm; December 26 from 1:00pm–5:00pm; December 27 from 11:30am–6:30pm 
Balloting at the BCGEU Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Area Offices: December 17–21, 2012. 
In solidarity, 
BC Place Bargaining Committee 
Dave MacDonald, Committee Chairperson 
Allen Fong, BCM, Nadine Gagnon, BCM, Barry Cameron, BCM Lisa Trolland, Staff Representative

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No briefing note for the Premier on Haida Gwaii quake

Premier Christy Clark has 23 people listed in the government directory as her staff in the Office of the Premier, but not one of them got around to creating a briefing note after the Oct. 27 Haida Gwaii earthquake. That, according to a Dec. 10 "no records" letter sent to me by the government.

Briefing notes are a cornerstone of government communications and decision-making, as this government web page explains.

That magnitude 7.8 shaker could be felt far and wide across British Columbia and served as a wake-up call to remind us we live in a seismically active corner of the world. It took almost 50 minutes for Emergency Management B.C. to get into action. American authorities had already issued a tsunami alert.

Clark's chief of staff Dan Doyle and Deputy Solicitor General Lori Wanamaker were monitoring the situation, as their emails below indicate. Clark was apparently advised, via Athana Mentzelopoulos, the Deputy Minister of Government Communications and Public Engagement (and Clark's onetime bridesmaid). Justice Minister Shirley Bond did a media conference call late that night. She said Minister Bill Bennett was also involved, communicating with coastal communities.

Clark may have been preoccupied with social gatherings in Whistler after the end of the BC Liberals' pre-Hallowe'en "open" convention. It wasn't the first time a major provincial event passed without a briefing note for the Premier. The 2012 Stanley Cup riot was not documented, despite all the reasons why it should have been. (I do know that the Premier left Rogers Arena and went home that chaotic night, instead of attending an emergency operations centre.)

Communications staffers worked the morning after the quake and produced a briefing note for Environment Minister Terry Lake. 

No briefing note for the Premier

Dan Doyle's email on quake night

Terry Lake briefing note 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Moray Keith drives away from viaSport


A big shakeup at viaSport, the organization formerly known as the B.C. Sport Agency.

CEO Scott Ackles dropped the bombshell Dec. 10 when he announced Moray Keith (right) was quitting as chairman of the 2010 Legacies Now spinoff. 

Ackles and Keith were named March 1 as the leaders of the "bold new sport agency for B.C." that was to "simplify" and "strengthen" the B.C. sport sector. 

Keith is a big wheel, in more ways than one. His Dueck GM is Canada's biggest auto dealership. He's a director of the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C., B.C. Lottery Corporation, Richmond Oval Corporation and B.C. Football Hall of Fame. He led private groups that partnered with municipalities to build junior hockey rinks in Chilliwack and Langley. In 2011, B.C. Lions' Waterboys co-founder Keith chaired the 99th Grey Cup Committee, of which Ackles was the general manager. Now Keith has left viaSport, with no explanation given.

Here's the Ackles memo:

Good morning everybody,

Please be advised Moray Keith has resigned from his position as chair of the viaSport Board of Directors. 
We thank Moray for his leadership and contributions to sport by leaving the organization in great shape financially, meeting all of its first year goals, and building a strong relationship with the sector and the provincial government. He has been integral to positioning viaSport for future success. 
Current board member, Cathy Priestner Allinger, will take over the position of Chair. Cathy is a long-time champion for sport in B.C. and we look forward to her continued leadership. The board will implement a strategy to recruit new directors in the new year. 
Please join me in thanking Moray for his service, and in welcoming Cathy to the position of Chair.

Scott Ackles


Priestner Allinger
Keith, I might add, is also cosy with the governing BC Liberals. By all credible public opinion polls, the party led by Premier Christy Clark is past its best-before date and a change in government is forecast for the May 14, 2013 provincial election. Keith donated nearly $100,000 to the Libs since 2005, according to Elections B.C. Deputy Premier Rich "Liquor & Lotteries" Coleman maintains his Fort Langley-Aldergrove constituency office near the main entrance of the Keith-developed Langley Events Centre

Keith's successor Cathy Priestner Allinger (left) is no stranger to viaSport. She was also his predecessor as the interim chair. Priestner Allinger is the Innsbruck 1976 speedskating silver medallist who was the executive vice-president of sport and venue management for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after authoring the Own the Podium blueprint. She also served as managing director of Games operations at Turin 2006 and managing director of sport at Salt Lake 2002. 

Priestner Allinger also chairs the B.C. Games Society and the organizing committee for the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver. 

UPDATE (Dec. 12): Moray Keith says there is "no magic." His departure from viaSport was amicable and part of the short-term plan. He was the startup chairman.

"I'm very content and happy with where the whole thing is going," Keith told me. "I've done my part to get it going and up and to tell you the truth I'm getting older every day and there's too many things going on. It's time for some other folks to grab a hold of the reins and take it to the next level. 

"I can't say enough about Scott Ackles and how well he works, his crew and people around him, I think they're doing a wonderful job.

"Thanks to Ida Chong and Bill Bennett and Rich Coleman. frankly, they really helped us set the stage for where this thing can grow in the future. It was well planned and Cathy Priestner (Allinger) was the one who put the initial planning in place, she's the new chair and I will ride off in the sunset and it will carry on just famously well. I'm very pleased.

"We believe that out of the $24 million budget we have, we're putting about $4 million more to the end sport user than we were a year ago. If on every 20 (million dollars) we can change it by 20% or 25%, that's huge. It's through efficiencies."

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