Shoveling Money may have to Stop
As yet another election will draw to a close tomorrow, the municipal, regional and seats on various boards around the province, those in the the last throes of power madly try to distribute money to their "friends" while they still have access to the taxpayers' money. Meanwhile the issues are barely acknowledged as the candidates focus on more distracting items like bus passes and why Peter Ladner's papers relating to an in camera meeting apparently went astray. As usual, even the pretend issues get conflated into statements bearing no relation to either reality or relevance.
Though any concious person can understand why real estate or other business negotiations between the city of Vancouver and developers, vendors or buyers CANNOT be conducted on network TeeVee, that doesn't automatically extend to a need to sign, seal and deliver a deal with Millenium before the public - composed of both taxpayers and voters - know the terms of the deal, as the man who thinks he was born to be Mayor (Peter Ladner) seems to imply. In this case where the developer is coming to the City (read taxpayer) with hands out for corporate welfare, much of the confidentiality normally appropriate for a private business is no longer deserved. Imagine an applicant for Social Assistance who felt that it wasn't any business of the Ministry if he/she owned a number of houses and fleet of SUVs.
I find it astounding that $200,000 cannot be found to continue a facility in New Westminister to support those with brain injuries that has served those victims well for two decades cannot be found in the "difficult times," yet hundreds and even billions, if necessary, magically appear at the first sign of pain for developers. God forbid those poor folks would have to grovel for only a seven figure income instead of the more appropriate (for them) eight, nine or ten.
Even though I personally applaud anyone who, even - especially - at personal risk, tries to force transparency on our elected officials, I think this is more likely to be a KKKarl Rove style dirty trick by the NPA and the Man Born for the Mayoralty! After all, thanks to three years of
Then when the parties of the left (left of the National Developers Association party, as it is impossible to get on their right without joining the Aryan Nation) decided to co-operate in order to not split the non-Point Grey vote, the writing was all over the wall for those guys to go back into real estate development. That couldn't happen at a better time, either, which delights this observer.
After all the huffing a puffing and talk of "criminal" investigations and lie detector tests, it now seems that everyone has returned to planet earth, and most people realize no one will be going to jail. This is more of the same that Bu$hCo to the south has been doing in their last few months, only they are shoveling out trillions to their friends on Wall Street and the banks, while real people continue to lose their jobs and homes. Meanwhile bailed out AIG execs collect bonuses as usual and have $500,000 parties. In Terminal City is is a paltry $100,000,000 so far.
The possibly soon to be unemployed Jon Ferry (after all, he works for the sinking ship HMS Canned Waste) in the Province summed it up in Villagegate - all about open gov't
As for the police probe into the leaker, the one Mayor Sam Sullivan finally got around to requesting, where will that go once the election is over? Not very far. And what will happen to the leaker? Not very much. Perhaps, a stint of house arrest in one of the luxury condos.
Time was when there used to be several worthy issues in this Vancouver civic election, ranging from high taxes to homelessness and the open drug scene. Now there seems to be just one: Whom do you trust to make good deals for the city and keep you informed about them?
The fact is that Villagegate isn't the great waste of media space all the harrumphers would like you to think it is. It's shed light on one of the critical issues in Canadian politics today -- the right of citizens to open government.
Absurdity of the Week!
John Furlong got laughs from the Better Business Bureau this week when he suggested that businesses in Vancouver MANDATE vacations for their employees during the super, extra, special period of time that the Corporate Games for the Elite Atheletes and Elites come to town. I don't think he was trying to inject standup into his speech though.
I seem to recall that the economic activity the games would bring were a selling point when the games were being bid on and local support was paramount. Now I guess it is clear that the "economic activity" he was referring to was for the land developers and speculators in on the building of venues and infrastructure. It is difficult to see the benefit for local businesses and their employes, many of whom may not be able to afford to even see the games except on TeeVee, if they close up shop and get out of the way of the folks that matter.
Even though officially ticket sales are going well, with the current economic conditions and the difficulty of expecting major improvement soon, and very likely much worse conditions by early 2010, the Vancouver 2010 Games could yet make Montreal 1976 look like a raging success!
Once again, we all have an evening of election returns to look forward to enjoying. I've laid in the popcorn already - when is the election in Quebec?