PavCo’s FOI shenanigans


I continue to be troubled by many questions.

Here’s one of them:  How did the city of Vancouver come to pass a zoning change adding a “major casino” use to the BC Place lands, months before BC Place issued an RFP for development proposals on the site?

There’s no hint as to who made the request in the official city report.  It just appears like the angel Gabriel anouncing the gestation of the casino deal in a short two line ODP amendment.

So I’ve been FOIing the documents behind the ODP process… And I found issue notes prepared by the resident evil genius facilitating the process – Mr. Ken Dobell.

As I’ve noted, the issue notes link PavCo directly to the Casino proposal, making it clear that the City Engineering department had concerns about PavCo’s plan for a large floor plate in order to hold a greatly expanded casino.

The problem is that this took place about nine months before Pavco issued its request for proposals  and a year before it “selected” Paragon and its “proposal” to put a greatly expanded Casino on the site.

Why is this important?  Because it appears that nine months before the RFP Pavco was already arguing with the City for the Casino.  And it’s wrong to set up one proponent far in advance to win a bid nobody else knows about.  Some people say that that kind of thing is very close to procurement fraud.

So I continued to poke around and asked PavCo for a list of meetings Mr. Dobell had with PavCo officials during the ODP process in the spring, summer and fall of 2008.

I got back a list of meetings related to Mr. Dobell’s role with VANOC and the Convention Centre project but nothing after 2007 and nothing having to do with the redevelopment of the BC Place lands or the stadium.

Except, I didn’t just ask PavCo for a list of those meetings.  At the same time I asked the city for Mr. Dobell’s invoices during 2008, including his invoices for various meetings he attended.

What did the City tell me?  Mr. Dobell billed the City of Vancouver for 515 minutes of meetings with PavCo officials between April and October 2008.

That means one of two things:  Either PavCo isn’t telling the truth.  Its officials did meet with Ken Dobell during the period.  Or PavCo officials didn’t meet with Mr. Dobell and he incorrectly billed the city thousands of dollars for imaginary meetings.

I’m betting it is PavCo who’s not telling the truth about the meetings.  Which raises another question?  Why?

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8 Responses to PavCo’s FOI shenanigans

  1. Norm Farrell says:

    I trust readers will consider implications raised by the information disclosed here and in your earlier posts.

    PavCo was involved in a process designed to achieve a particular result favouring particular people, with little regard for the public interest. Now PavCo is caught hiding evidence – there can be no other explanation – and we are left to wonder how many dirty deals this organization has done while they spent nearly $2-billion of taxpayers money building monumental projects. The fact both the convention centre and the stadium were wildly over budget by itself suggests an absolute lack of financial responsibility

    Citizens should not be surprised. The BC Liberals have filling the pockets of their friends with public cash for years. They did it with BC Rail. They did it with BC Hydro and BC Ferries, with highways and transit projects, in forestry and mining, public/private partnerships and even in routine procurement of goods and services.

    Unfortunately, under Campbell and Clark, the Liberals have had no moral compass and, once a pattern of corruption takes hold at the top, it spreads throughout the entire organization until it becomes part of the every day environment.

  2. Ian says:

    Norm, I think in any other Canadian jurisdiction there would be an investigation of this deal by now. Thanks for the link on your site.

  3. tf says:

    After over a decade in power, the BC Liberals display clear examples of corruption. There is no mystery behind the root of the term “decadence.”

  4. Norm Farrell says:

    tf says, “After over a decade in power, the BC Liberals display clear examples of corruption.”

    In fact, the corruption has been evident much longer. It was there in the beginning, even as a small group of movers and shakers decided Gordon Campbell would be the person selected as Liberal leader.

  5. John's Aghast says:

    Shenanigans? How about CORRUPTION? If any of the 99% could conceive of a plot this corrupt, they’d be thrown in gaol. Meanwhile, these parasites, if they get caught, get ‘house arrest’.
    Which leads me to question whether Basi & Virk are out of the ‘slammer’. Aren’t they eligible for parole after serving 1/3 of their sentence?

    How long do they have to wait to collect their Pensions, or can they collect them while doing time?

    Sorry to muddy the waters, but it seems there are quite a few ‘shenanigans’ going on here with little or no repercusions.

  6. Norm Farrell says:

    John, regarding Basi & Virk:

    Justice MacKenzie stated:
    During the first 12 months of house arrest, defendants must remain “in your residence or its grounds” except
    – for purposes of work or business or work related matters;
    – travelling for work related matters;
    – activities related to your children or travelling for that purpose;
    – community service;
    – when absence is authorized by the supervisor;
    – attending court;
    – attending on lawyer’s place of business in Vancouver or Victoria;
    – engaging in physical exercise;
    – medical appointments or dental involving yourself or your family;
    – personal grooming;
    – grocery shopping.

    For the second 12 months of the order, house arrest applies only from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., with all of the exceptions noted above.

    Another of the onerous terms is to maintain land line telephones at the residences.

    Since this sentence was handed down in October 2010, we can assume that six months ago Basi and Virk were allowed complete freedom of movement for 17 hours of each day.

    Tough, eh?

  7. John's Aghast says:

    Yeah, I knew all about that. It makes me want to rush out and commit a crime.
    I abide by the same conditions even though I’m completely innocent of ANY indiscretions. Although I did have a parking ticket, but paid that at the 24 hour reduced spot. (I was at a medical appointment).
    Actually, my situation is a little more onerous as my kids children have left the nest and I no longer have the exemptions for “activities related to your children or travelling for that purpose.” But I guess visiting them in Australia would be allowed anyway.
    Not ANY hardship at all. Oh, and I didn’t get a taxpayer funded pension.
    PS I DO maintain a land line telephone???

  8. Pingback: Something is rotten in the state of PavCo |

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