Jan 10 2009

CityView: Olympics to Vancouver City Hall, Thanks A Billion

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson had barely settled into his new desk at Vancouver City Hall when he had to disclose this bit of good news to citizens already awash in buzzwords like “economic downturn” and “real-estate crash”: city taxpayers could be on the hook for $875 million because of the Olympics construction.

The all-but silenced anti-Olympics types now have all the material they need to enshroud Vancouver in a retchingly-bad stink over this. And I can’t say I’m opposing them, either. As far as I’m concerned, all of Vancouver’s political parties — NPA, Vision and COPE — dropped the ball on this. Sadly, the ball was made of a unique money-sucking element that will cover all of us when it soon hits the grond.

As usual, CityCaucus.com has some excellent coverage on the real history of how Vancouver City Hall handed over the keys to the city, or at least the password to the bank account, to a construction company that seems to be out of control. See the Olympic Village Multiple Choice Reality Test.

If I invoiced a client for $875 million more than budgeted for the project, I imagine I’d have some difficulty getting new business. Of course, after the contract was done, I might not need any new business.

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