Non-Partisan Association playing the blame-game.
Bill Tieleman talks about the 'blame game' that is being played out regarding the nearly 1 billion dollar liability that Vancouver tax payers are being asked to carry.
Ladner complains that Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is "using inflammatory rhetoric and misleading information" to hold the NPA accountable for "problems beyond their control."
And Daniel Fontaine, former chief of staff to NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan, and other NPA stalwarts at website www.citycaucus.com cry about the "blame-game" going on.
Really? Look at four key facts about the Olympic Village and decide.
- Flash back to April 2006, when council had to pick between three developers' proposals for the Olympic Village.
Millennium Development won with the highest cash offer for city land, beating out the Wall Group and Concord Pacific, both developers with long successful track records. But despite requests from Vision and Coalition of Progressive Electors councillors, the NPA majority refused to allow them to see all three full proposals.
- In June 2007, the NPA majority voted to guarantee a loan to Millennium for completion of the Olympic Village — a loan that put Vancouver on the hook for the entire project when Fortress Investment Group, Millennium's lender, put the brakes on funding. Vision and COPE councillors voted no.
- In October 2008, Vision and COPE tried to make open to the public and media a council meeting that gave a further $100 million loan guarantee to Millennium — but were voted down by the NPA majority.
- The city's chief financial officer, Estelle Lo, quit because the NPA wouldn't listen to her deep concerns about the project.
The results of the NPA's work are clear — Vancouver's good credit rating is in jeopardy, according to rating agency Standard & Poor's, and the city at risk for hundreds of millions if the project doesn't break even.