Sunday, January 18, 2009

Vancouver's Olympic village borrowing authority passed by Legislature

With echoes of old from the days of Jean Drapeau about Olympics and deficits once again ringing in our ears, the BC Liberals managed to push through their legislation allowing the City of Vancouver to avoid a referendum (cause hey what do the people know anyway) on its way to borrowing what are called the unlimited funds required to finish building the Olympic Village.

The controversy over the financing of the Village and the sudden rise in unemployment amongst city of Vancouver Managers over it has startled Vancouver residents, no doubt getting a little worried about how much their bill will eventually be.

With new Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson throwing around numbers that start with a B, the prospect of an Olympic sized financial crisis was starting to creep around Vancouver's city hall, enter the BC Government and its special session of the Legislature this weekend. A session that seems to have put aside the usual glacial speed of Government action to push forward the borrowing authorization required by Vancouver.

The fast forward speed of the Government and the reduction of debate over the Olympic issues has more than a few concerned about whether we are being given the full audit of what these games are going to cost British Columbians and if we are getting the full story on how things are progressing. Those concerns were best outlined by a piece by Vancouver Province columnist Michael Smyth today.

Having shown their resolve to help keep the Olympic barrell full of cash (all be it without having to spend any extra money so far), one wonders if they could find the same clarity of vision to turn around the twin crisis situations of education and health care that those of us living away from the Lower Mainland are currently suffering through.

Somehow, we regretfully suspect our now long running requests for much required attention to our issues and the funding to improve the deteriorating situations won't be getting quite the same action, nor the speed that the Olympic brand has provided.

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