BC Place. Now who’s paying?

“PavCo is committed to repaying the project costs through development of adjacent lands”.

BC Government News Release, October 23, 2009

“Podmore said council’s rejection does not at all affect PavCo’s $563-million renovation of the stadium and its new roof.  “No, we’ve explained that repeatedly. It doesn’t have any impact on the roof. The roof is fully budgeted at the present time and it will proceed and be completed as planned.”

“Podmore has said in the past PavCo needs to raise $75 million from the development of the lands around the stadium to repay a provincial roof loan, but that it could be found from other sources if the casino wasn’t approved.”

Vancouver Sun, April 20, 2011

 

You see the difference in the above two statements?  In cards, it’s called sleight of hand.   Here’s what it adds up to when it’s another failed BC Liberal mega-project:

PavCo and the BC government are trying to fudge the truth about who’s paying for the roof.

Here’s the truth.  The government and PavCo promised taxpayers that they wouldn’t be on the hook for the exploding cost of the retractable roof.  The promise – from the beginning – was that development revenues would pay for the roof, not general revenue.

Now the BC Liberals and PavCo are trying to say that the only money missing is $75million to repay a development loan that covers less than a fifth of the overall cost.

Why does it matter?

It matters because there might have been other choices for those tax dollars.

It matters because if the original choice was cast as it is now – taxpayers pay over $400 million for an unnecessary retractable roof that was chosen to support a dodgy casino deal – voters may have opted for different priorities.

If Christy Clark was really about change, she’d be working on coming clean on this deal now.

Here are some first steps – release the mythical BC Place Stadium business plan, come clean on the financing, release the details of the PavCo negotiations with the city in 2008, release the details of BCLC’s negotiations with Paragon and commission an independent study of potential development revenues that can support an honest business plan that best protects taxpayers’ interests.

That would be real change from the Campbell years.  Given today’s reactions from Podmore and Clark I’m expecting more of the same.

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4 Responses to BC Place. Now who’s paying?

  1. “The government and PavCo promised taxpayers that they wouldn’t be on the hook for the exploding cost of the retractable roof.” Now that’s a very interesting statement. Earlier today I was reviewing Pavco’s last Annual report and was amazed at the amount of “other” contributions from the Liberals to Pavco.
    As an example:
    “PavCo received a $19.7 million grant from the Province of British Columbia for event readiness costs related to improvements and upgrades to BC Place”
    #2
    “PavCo entered into a long term loan agreement with the Province of British Columbia to provide financing for the construction of the retractable roof and interior refurbishments at BC Place. Under the terms of the agreement, the repayable loan is non-interest bearing during construction. Commencing in April 2013, PavCo
    will repay the loan by providing semi-annual blended payments of principal and interest (fixed interest rate of 4.89%) until fiscal 2049.” That was about 29 Million.
    #3
    “The agreement to secure the 2011 Grey Cup to showcase the revitalization of BC Place was fully funded by Province of British Columbia. The cost will be amortized to operations in fiscal 2012.”
    It appears the Liberals can find creative ways to fund Pavco. It’s sad to think that all those millions from BC taxpayers, yet only a few will participate.

    Guy in Victoria

  2. RossK says:

    2011 Grey Cup?

    Did someone say “Showcase”?

    Please see left column, contestant #12.

    .

  3. “Lara Dauphinee – Deputy Chief of Staff Executive Assistant to the Premier” I’m happy to see the huge committee has kept us all up to date. Interesting how all these officials talk about the importance for us taxpayers to provide more money for such things as computers & websites. After all, “we’re in a new age of communication”. I’m sure one of them or all them have said that at least once.
    Reminds me of the BC NDP website. I wrote them an email 2 weeks ago, suggesting they update their website. They ask readers to take action by participating on radio talk shows like Christy Clark at CKNW or Joe Easingwood on CFAX (He retired a year ago). Before my post this evening, I checked and despite over 100 thousand dollars in office salaries, no one has had time to open their computer & make the change. They really need to get it together soon.

  4. tf says:

    Wow Ross K!

    Talk about usual suspects – some people on the committee for Nov ’11 Grey Cup – their next meeting is going to be a doozy –

    Mayor Robertson
    David Podmore – Concert & PavCo
    Councillor Anton
    City Manager Ballam
    Howard Blank – vp, Great Canadian Casino
    Senator Larry Campbell – director, Great Canadian Casino
    Michael Graydon – ceo, BC Lottery Corporation

    I’m surprised Scott Menke of Paragon isn’t on the list.

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