Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Banana Republic of Vancouver? What the hell goes on at City Hall with 100 million taxpayer dollars?

What kind of a Banana Republic has Vancouver become?

In a secret meeting October 14 - secret because the Non-Partisan Association majority insisted on - council voted to lend $100 million to Millennium Development, a private corporation building the 2010 Olympic Village.

But Estelle Lo, Vancouver's Director of Finance - the top financial bureaucrat - was not even at the meeting.

Now she is in hiding in Hong Kong and her employment status is unknown.

The questions for the top NPA bananas - Mayor Sam Sullivan and Councilor Peter Ladner - also Chair of the Finance Committee - are numerous and critical:

Is Vancouver's Director of Finance Estelle Lo still employed by the City or not?

I sent her an email this morning - this was the automated response:

"Estelle is away from the office today and will return on Monday, November 17. Please contact her assistant, Annie, at 604 873-XXXX if this is urgent. Thank you."

But Frances Bula reports today in the Globe and Mail that Lo has resigned:

"Ms. Lo is in Hong Kong visiting her mother and has not confirmed publicly what her job status is. Mr. Ladner said she is still on the city payroll. However, a source said city manager Judy Rogers had accepted Ms. Lo's resignation Oct. 29."

If Lo is no longer a City employee, was she fired or did she quit?

If so, why?

What was her view of the largest, riskiest taxpayer loan Vancouver has ever made?

Did her position on the loan have anything to do with here apparent departure from City employment?

Vision Vancouver councilors - whose re-election I support - tried last night to get a public meeting held to get some answers before the election - and were shut down by the NPA majority.

And they were told by Ladner and NPA councilors to stop playing politics with the issue.

Oh really? It's my money - it's your money and we deserve a lot more answers than we are getting from the NPA.

Because from where I sit it is awfully hard to imagine that after years of working for Vancouver in a top financial job, Estelle Lo just happens to decide to pack it in and picks the month where a secret $100 million loan is made to a private developer who is in financial difficulties - including their frozen projects in West Vancouver and Nanaimo - along with its troubled lender, Fortress Investment Group.

Oh yeah, and the month where the Vancouver election takes place.

But maybe I'm just suspicious by nature.


Anonymous said...

I am just so tired of being 'lied' to by politicians and their put downs of the citizens of Vancouver. ( And BC as well) The Olympics just maybe the Titanic for the Liberals with Gordo standing on deck claiming the NDP did it. The NPA is already down the tube. Just unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

It seems there's never enough money to pay for things the city needs but they can find the money fast enough to bail out a big developer. I registered my protest today by voting for COPE/Vision slate at the advance poll - it's the most effective way to signal my displeasure with the NPA!!

Anonymous said...

I sure hope they havn't done any similar deals that the good folks of Vancouver won't find out about till somebody blabs The fund they are raiding is supposed to be so vancouver can buy up properties when folks don't pay their [property taxes. At least that's what Art Phillips said when it was started. I saw the old ankle biter( George Puil) on the tube last evening. Is he happy with what is going on? My God, where is Seako Jack V.? Wonder what his take is on the story. When the new team takes over at the City Hall, most folks will be ready to hear more about this deal. If a developer can't estimate and do the job, time to get rid of the developer and fine the pants off them. Anon who showed his displeasure at the advanced Poll, good for you. The TV station was asking folks if the 100 million deal was influencing their vote and all said in effect "Darn tootin" Sure picked up interest in the municipal election, and when the Liberal farm team gets dumped, King Gordo won't be pleased.

Anonymous said...

This assumption that government is a tap of money that been consistent in B.C. for decades.

Why the surprise now?

... although the "banana republic" concept rather fits, ... must be in the water.

Anonymous said...

Art Phillips? You mean the former Mayor who recently sold his investment firm holdings of $69 billion in asset management via Phillips, Hager and North to RBC in February 2008 before his wife disclosed to the Premier that she was not in for a second term as an MLA? You mean the husband of former Finance Minister Carol Taylor?

I wonder if PH&N knew there was something afoot about the subprime mortgage in the USA that encouraged them to retire from the scene?

I wonder how

Anonymous said...

I do very much hope this leads to the bankruptcy of Vancouver...yippie party for the rich IOC, the athletes and the toursists and please let all of us hold the bag for you.

Come time I do hope if the loan and the guarentees come due a bill is sent to every single person - pay upon receipt..

On the other hand maybe a class action against all those Council members would be worthwhile - lets get what we can..

Anonymous said...

Spineless Socialists Sell Souls - Not theirs, Ours!

I'm on the progressive side, but this is just twisted.

Surely the non-NPA council members would have at least asked for Director of Finance Estelle Lo's opinion before a UNANIMOUS vote to approve the $100m bailout.

Vision Vancouver councillors have to explain their lack of backbone on this one -- UNANIMOUS... really?

Vision Vancouver councillors did NOT have any input from Director of Finance Estelle Lo and they still voted UNANIMOUSLY for the $100m bailout... ya really.

Anonymous said...

No problemo with this issue.
Simply send out squads of city employees and find every jackass with a "I support 2010" bumper sticker.

Divide the total $100 million by that amount and send them a bill with a notice saying "We couldn't help but notice how enthusiastically stupid you are - can you help?"

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Anon,8.57. I really am not informed enough about what Phillips is doing now. But his wife was finance minister under King Gordo and has left government.She had left other jobs before. I only mentioned the original intent of the fund was voted on and passed when he was mayor. Future councils appear to have followed that system. I wonder if you knew the city was at the time paying his rent for the unit way down Cambie at around 50 or so. A bit of dirt around many politicians for sure. So one either takes the best candidate or doesn't vote at all. But if you don't vote, you can't complain is a very old comment.
It does seem that some councillors didn't know due to lack of proper briefing ,what was going on when they voted. When Robinson and Vision/ Cope takes over , the taxpayers will do doubt be better informed. The rest of the province will be watching as well. Spineless Socialists, I hardly think so. Devious NDP, for sure, Speaking of spinless, why not come up with a name so folks really know you are only one person. Try your initials maybe

Anonymous said...

In the seperated at birth column . . . GORDON CAMPBELL & PETER LADNER, it is as simple as that . . . be warned . . . and be scared !


Anonymous said...

The entire Vancouver City council, NPA, Vision, and COPE, should collectively hang there heads in shame! For too long, Sam Sullivan and this band of politically correct half-wits, have slowly destroyed this once great city.

This is the city that stamped its 'wittle' feet and held their collective breath, until they got a subway under Cambie St. for a now over $2.5 billion. (want to know by transit is underfunded - it's called RAV Line).

The inept band of ne'er do wells that believe they are god's gift to everyone, has now taken one step further and turned the city into a bank. But guess what, property values are plunging and not likely to return to their once lofty heights for some time.

Just look south of the border, the US economy is in shambles and likely to remain in critical care for decades. If GM fails, then kiss all projections goodbye.

The loser in all this is the taxpayer and as always it is the taxpayer has to pick up the tab. But let it be said, Gordo's farm team, the NPA, must take most of the blame for this fiasco. Why is it still secret? What other evils are ready to come out of Pandora's box?

North Van's Grumps said...

I can see the headlines now when Estelle Lo returns to Lotus land with all of the answers to why council gave Millennium the upper hand in negotiations, by first lending $193 million for the start up costs, then with slash and a dash during an in-camera session, a further $100 million was agreed upon.

For this to happen during a municipal election, it all seems fraught with the greatest of risks being taken without the knowledge, or consent of an incoming council mere days away.

Vancouver Council, and citizens, have had their dreams Shanghaied before the ballots have been counted.

If anything, the BC Government, the creator of muncipalities, should take affirmative action that stipulates that while an election is in progress, no new business will be entertained until after a new council is sworn in.

We wait in anticipation that the headline will say: "Welcome back from Hong Kong Estelle "Lo and Behold.

From the Vancouver Sun "Millennium was chosen because it met all of the requirements for the project, including a guarantee of the $193 million price tag and a condition the company wouldn't ask the city to assume any of the marketing or financing risk in the development. Millennium, according to the report, was also chosen because it has the experience and expertise to complete a major project and that its asking price was without conditions and came with a guarantee to the city with no sharing of the risk."

Anonymous said...

Sorry about my typing. In the 7:51 AM comment I mistyped NPA and indicated NDP. It was not my intent to say the NDP are or ever were devious. Again, sorry for my error. Someday I might take the time to learn to type.

It will be interesting when Ms.E.Lo returns , but the election comes before that date. So who do we trust? I figure Vision has the inside track on being trusted. The NPA have over the years, had a lot of strange folks who got elected. It used to be interesting to watch City Council on TV and now and again to go see them in action. Mike Harcourt insisted in openess. But that was then and this is now. Make up your minds as to your choice of some secret arrangements orchestrated by NPA or a voice of change in Vision/ Cope. 100 million is a heck of a lot of money to bail out some developer who other folks have indicated has problems in other places.

RossK said...

Anon, way above, asked:

"Surely the non-NPA council members would have at least asked for Director of Finance Estelle Lo's opinion before a UNANIMOUS vote to approve the $100m bailout."

Apparently not.

And why not?

Because, as Frances Bula wrote in the lede of her Globe piece that Mr. T linked to in his post:

"Vancouver's finance director was not present at the in camera meeting where city councillors approved a $100-million loan to a private developer building the Olympic athletes village....."


Gary E said...

I keep seeing the Word UNANIMOUS popping up in the blogs and the MSM.
The only person I have seen, from council, use that word publicly was who? Peter Ladner the head of the finance committee. What proof do we have that this is true? The meeting was "in camera" which means that we wouldn't be able to see the vote result. And further: why was Ladner giving the media that secret information?
Maybe you Bill, or anyone else here could enlighten me on this.

Anonymous said...

"Leaked Olympic Village document was Ladner's
Mayoral candidate left behind secret paperwork that led to a media leak
Catherine Rolfsen, Vancouver Sun - Monday, November 10, 2008

VANCOUVER - NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner said Monday it was his numbered document that led to a media leak about a secret $100-million loan agreement to the Olympic Village development." LINK

@ gary e: "UNANIMOUS" comes from a November 6, 2008 city press release - no councillor has disputed it. LINK

FOLLOW the MONEY - "Millennium is the development arm of the Armeco Group. The NPA council picked Armeco's Millennium for the massive (Olympic Village) deal, and Paul Barbeau was the President of the NPA and the President of Armeco Construction Limited in the years prior to the award." LINK

worker who cares said...

One thing I can't understand is why the City's polititions did this at such a crucial time in their own future with elections on Saturday? Obviously they have learned their behind closed doors tactics from our illustrious premier, 'Gordo the other decider'. The people of Vancouver should be incensed by this and get rid of them all!

Anonymous said...

Now by todays news, it was Ladner's copy of the secret meeting that was leaked. So the NPA resurrect the hoary corpse of Owen to nay say Vison and Gregor.

Could it be a nasty plan by Lardner that backfired.

Et tu Brute.

NRF said...

Is this the same Millennium that City of North Van booted when the company tried to change a waterfront development agreement after it was signed?

Is this the same Millennium that North Shore Winter Club members sued for failure to live up to a development agreement?

Well, it is the same Millennium about whom a Royal Bank VP said, "I know people who have done business once with Millennium but nobody who has done business with them twice."

Westcoast Indie News said...

With thanks to Bill for publishing this, I've got a story over here that puts some of the details into perspective:

Something Stinks in Vancouver: Follow the Money Trail for Olympic Venues

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the only thing that stinks is The Westcoast Indie News:

1) Paul Barbeau, former NPA President resigned from the board well-prior to a decision even coming up on Millennium being the chosen developer of the Olympic Athlete's Village.

2) Barbeau was the President and the solicitor of record for almost a decade prior to Millennium being hot spit on the Vancouver development scene.

3) Barbeau's firm did nothing more than maintain the minute book for Armeco, a related company to Millennium.

4) Barbeau was well-known NOT to have had cordial relationships with any of the NPA caucus, other than Kim Capri.

So, let's do the math for the idiot's in the blogosphere who laud Grandma Betty the Boob and the smear and innuendo platoon, all in the name of some thinly veiled political effort to provide so-called "justice" and "truth" when in fact, they are simply engaging in the kind of conspiracy theories similar to those in scope about 9/11, that have left any sane people weeping in laughter...

Paul Barbeau would have had to have:

(a) Met with council (including Vision councillors who supported Millennium) and convinced them that Millennium were the best fit to build out the property; (I've asked them all--this never happened)

(b) Met with staff to have convinced them of the same; (I 've asked two staffers who were key to preparing the documents for review--neither even knew who Barbeau was)

(c) Insisted, rather publicly, that Millennium were the best choice based on what??? The fact that his firm was charging a nominal fee per year (like every other law firm in town) to maintain the minute book of a company whose activities are related to Millennium only in that they share an office and some Directors overlap (otherwise the company was essentially dormant of activity) Essentially a shell, that could be used for any number of purposes--in these cases mostly for tax sharing.

All this information took me a day to ascertain. It's readily available.

But what does the 'Westcoast Indie Press' write??

Smear, innuendo and crap.

They should be called the 'Westcoast Mainstream Press'

They certainly dive to met those standards.

Fucking Idiots, do some research and give up the bong.

Anonymous said...

Blow ag tsakumis---Just because Barbeau is your freind, watch your filthy language.

Your a two bit hack!

Lets have a public inquiry to find out?
Stick to writing in 24!

Barbeau may well be innocent but that doesn`t change the fact that Millennium should have never got the bid!
Why don`t you try writing a story rather then your usual format of tweaking others work!

Millennium have been shitting on deals left right and center!

Betty Krawczyk had it right,Larry Campbell is a sponge,so is Sam Sullivan.
Canwest has ignored the story completly,yet they run 2 separate stories on Sam Sullivan today alone!
Global news shows Larry Campbell playing the straw man crying foul over the leak!

Yea--blow A G Tsakumis ---The oldest trick in the book,blame the leak for the crime!


There was not one lie in the westcoast indie news, the facts were layed out,let people make up their own mind!

WE, the people don`t need a clown like you A G tsakumis telling people how to dicipher facts!

Stuff your opinion up your ass!

Shame on you Bill for posting A G Tsakumis comment!

Anonymous said...



@ A.G.Tsakumis aka Mr. Kranky Pantz

Smear, Innuendo and Krap
or: Phucking Idiots, do some research and give up the bong.

1) PB "was elected to the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association (the "NPA") in March of 2003, and served on the NPA Board of Directors for four years." link Was Millennium being picked as the developer of the Olympic Athlete's Village after March 2007? or before? What are the exact dates of PB's NPA resignation and Millennium's initial submission?

2) Your point is what?

3) Caesar's wife.

4) Any friend of Kim Capri's is an 'Enemy of the State'.

a) Why are people who are FORBIDDEN to talk about an in-camera meeting talking about an in-camera meeting?

b) again: Why are people who are FORBIDDEN to talk about an in-camera meeting talking about an in-camera meeting?

c) The fact that PB is well connected to the village's power elite "elected as a member of the executive of the Vancouver Quadra PC Riding Association, in April of 2003" and is a - XXXXX - NOTE: EDITED FOR COMMENTS - doesn't mean he is not A GREAT MAN, just that he is not as pure as you seem to want people to think.

I must confess that I have been amused to watch the country club conservatives circling the wagons to protect a wounded stray.

For the record: All this information took me about a minute to ascertain. It's readily available... on Google... and nobody had to go into the FORBIDDEN ZONE!

fwiw, imho etc: Peter Ladner would do the City of Vancouver a great favour if he went back to doing what he was doing before he dove into the dank depths of civic poli phollies.

10:05 PM

Bill Tieleman said...

I encourage all posters here to maintain a civil tongue - there is no need to resort to personal insults to make your point - it in fact undermines your arguments.

And I remind all posters - I will not allow what I see as defamatory comments here.

Juvenile however, is still allowed - as you can see! :]

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (read: cowards)

Paul Barbeau resigned from the Board of Directors of the NPA in December of 2005!!!!!!!!!

I guess searching Google is too tough an exercise?

Attack me all you want, write nonsense about how I write and what I write, too! I couldn't care less. The notion that I piggyback other folks in the media is as laughable as it is inaccurate.

And if you'd bother to have done only a few more minutes of real research:

1) I DO NOT support Millennium ever having gotten the bid. In fact, I have written extensively that both Concord and Wall would have been far better suited and more experienced at this type of development with these kinds of guarantees.

2) I do not support having the Games, when $2 billion dollars would have been better spent saving lives: Treatment for the sick and addicted; housing for the homeless; jobs for the unemployed; support for the downtrodden; support of real conservation and not having forestry executives or union bosses writing code...

3) The fact that people are talking about an in-camera meeting is, I agree, telling. In point of fact, I have no idea why we get two details and not twenty. If the deal isn't yet complete, that's all people should have said, regardless of what was written. Neither the city staff, nor any of the politicians who were in the room should be commenting, but there's an election coming...

4) Betty Krawczyk is a buffoonish, grandstanding dunce, who hangs on to here arguments like a drunk hangs off a lamp post--more for support than illumination. Fringe candidates and professional protestors make zero sense and are a disgrace to democracy. Her only claim to fame is that she's old, puerile, vacuous and nonsensical. She was arrested, did her time, and, ergo, should go off and make some tea somewhere...her opinions are hardly necessary or particularly cogent. It's not just her age...

5) I stand by my original comments, Westcoast Indie News was WRONG and wrote an inaccurate story only hoping to smear an otherwise innocent man. That Barbeau is a Tory or that he is a lawyer or belongs to a country club (so does Mike Harcourt) is entirely irrelevant. What is, instea, is that the Westcoast Indie News went to great lengths to allow for their lazy, yellowback journalism to facilitate the character assassination of Paul Barbeau.

Cheap, sleaze bag stuff, in an environment where answers, not innuendo, is what the public deserves.

Who writes copy for some of these obliviots, Marc Emery???


Unknown said...

All members in the meeting said "yes" on the agreement. Including mayor, 5 NPA members, 4 vision members and 1 COPE.


Westcoast Indie News said...

It's really quite fascinating to see the vitriol released by Mr. Tsakumis. When that sort of thing happens, it's interesting to ask where the anger comes from? It seems a very old, Silverback tactic, push back when someone might be getting too close to some truths.

If you examine the original post, there is a description of the information that is in the public domain. There are questions about the players involved, about how the process worked and how it is that taxpayers of Vancouver are on the hook for a number of millions of dollars? I don't understand why that has inspired so much filth, anger and very personal attacks, both on myself and Ms. Betty.

Mr.Tsakumis adds to the information in the public domain in his response, although we can't be certain of where he gets his information. Did he publish a column on this? Did he hold interviews with the parties involved that he reported on somewhere? I'm still unclear what he believes is inaccurate in what was posted in the Something is Fishy story? In the story, links are made to all of the information (again, in the public domain). There is no assumption those "facts" or stories, are any more truthful than the ones Mr. Tsakumis provides, although he fails to provide any links to his assertions, or conjectures. One might note in the original post, there was no conjecture about what Mr. Barbeau may, or may not have done. Mr. Tsakumis made a number of those, I might add.

As to smearing Mr. Barbeau's good name, or conducting "character assassination" I fail to see how that was done. This was information gleaned from Mr. Barbeau's own LinkedIn page:

President - Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association 2004 to 2006

This seems to contradict the information Mr. Tsakumis provides in his diatribe.

I do want to say this categorically, there was never any intention to smear, slander, or commit libel where Mr. Barbeau is concerned. He is a business man, with a right to conduct his business and hold contracts with whomever he wants. Or to sit as a Director on any board he wants, as he clearly has with Armeco.

In addition, I absolutely believe that it is in the public's interest for an Inquiry to be held to create a full, public record of the process of tendering and awarding Olympic contracts, including all the players involved (political and business), dates of meetings with lobbyists, dates of council meetings where discussions took place, dates when contracts were signed, the total amount of funds loaned by the city to a corporation that wasn't even registered as a corporation and had no experience to point to and the debt incurred upon the taxpayers of BC.

An Inquiry of sufficient scope will enable all of the parties Mr. Tsakumis has spoken to to appear before the commission to explain their involvement and provide some much needed transparency to all of the events surrounding these contracts and utilization of taxpayer funds. I'm sure Mr. Tsakumis would agree that it would be in the interests of all to have all of the facts out in the open.

Also, a small, but important piece people keep failing to mention is that Vancouver city councillors also voted to award up to $450,000 to bring in a third party due to concerns about Millenium's management of the project. Another piece Bill very aptly highlights, what happened to Estelle Lo, Chief Financial Officer? Does it relate to all of this? An Inquiry will also help answer these questions.

An additional piece we may never know about, is how much of the money loaned by Vancouver to Millenium/ Armeco/Fortress has been washed away in their investments in hedge funds and the stockmarket? Since they are private corporations, we don't get access to that information. And what we do know is they are cash poor right now. And since they are bellying up to the city trough again, it is in the interests of the citizens and taxpayers of Vancouver to know where all our money's gone.

We are living in unprecedented times, one of the biggest points being that citizens and taxpayers are seeing millions and sometimes billions of public funds disappearing into bailouts to private corporations. We deserve to know how much, why, and how it's all happening, who is involved.

Mr. Tsakumis, I respectfully suggest your considerable energies would be better used by investigating those questions and publically reporting on your findings, rather than attacking those who would add to the public dialogue.

Anonymous said...

@ BT: I am anonymous 10:06 PM and I apologize for putting you in the position of having to edit my post. As for being juvenile ;)

@ AGT: I wrote that PB "was elected to the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association (the "NPA") in March of 2003, and served on the NPA Board of Directors for four years." That is a cut-N-paste from PB's law firm site, if my information is incorrect... Well, consider the source. (I included a link in my post, but BT stripped out the HTML when he edited it). Being a coward is just one of many reasons to post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Again, the Barbeau story is a NON-STORY.

If Paul Barbeau were a left-wing nutjob, social services advocate, you'd let him get away with murder.

How do I know the details Westcoast Smear Indie?

I was on the bloody Board of Directors of the NPA until 2006. I served with Barbeau, I know the entire council, many very well, and know what Barbeau was thought of and what he thought of them.

Your point continues to mean nothing and your call for some inquiry is asinine, mindless grandstanding.

How can you claim to be a credible anything when the fact is really simple: If Paul Barbeau had ANY influence on Millennium getting the Olympic Village bid, THEN HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE EITHER LOBBIED PEOPLE ON THE NPA SIDE (MOST OF WHOM WOULDN'T DEAL WITH HIM) OR PEOPLE ON THE VISION SIDE WHO WOULD NEVER ACCEPT HIS CALLS!!!!!!!!

Is it that difficult to figure out? He started as solicitor of record ten years before Millennium was constituted as a developer of some worth.

Are you that fucking dense? It's infurtiating to me because it is yet another piece of crap story from the lunatic fringe of (attempted) media, that brings nothing to the table.

You mean I have to put it in a formal column for you?

I'm saying publicly, I sat next to Barbeau the entire time. He wouldn't shill for Millennium anymore than he'd come over and have coffee with you.

Get some help. You're "getting close" to some story and that's what set me off??

No Sir, it's that you are a two-bit yellow hack with the spine of a gastropod, who is now clearly afraid that you will get sued, hence the two paragraph qualification.

If you're so sure of you're story, go brother! Keep it going. Show some testicles...

The story here is that, once again, the idiots in the blogosphere, who wish someone somewhere would give them a platform so they can tell us that Bush knew about 9/11, that Di was killed by the Masons and Barbeau, so all powerful, convinced an entire council to unanimously vote for a company who he had nothing to do with, are aching to explain away their rabid bias. Armeco and Millennium are entirely separate entities.

Face it, Barbeau attended an Ivy League school, is wealthy, articulate and and well-connected lawyer.

Sound familiar?? Sure. Bill Clinton's name mean anything to you. Heard of Barack Obama? But you wouldn't attack those pinheads would you? No, because the secular progressives protect their own, who are often dead guilty, but go after people on the other side of the political spectrum because they've got penis envy.

Stop whining. You got caught. Mind, you pose questions about the affair in general that are sensible and appropriate. The Barbeau story is simply a cheap smear that you continue to perpetuate.

Concentrate on that don't worry about what I'm'll see soon enough...

Anonymous said...

A G Tsakumis---Now we know we your fighting mad,protect your own,HACK!

your language is filth,I should wash your mouth out with soap! Or put you over my knee and give you the spanking you deserve,looks like West coast Indie hit a sore spot!

Perhaps you better read Allen Garrs peice before you look even more the fool than you are!

It is quite apparent now that the NPA bullied the bid through!

What I gather A G Tsakumis is you were just a bit player left out of the loop,do you know what your wife is up to?

Bill T --do me a favour,put up this link for me.

Watch,read and learn grasshopper!

Where there`s smoke there`s fire

Talk about conflict of interest--A G Tsakumis you are an obvious offender!

P.S. Betty Krawczyk has more class/more balls then you will ever have!

Westcoast Indie News said...

Mr. Tsakumis, again, you appear to be very worked up about all this.
Far beyond what is warranted.
Although it is confusing since you & I appear to agree on many points, at least when considering many of your points over at Frances Bula's blog, State of Vancouver, Vancouver lends $100 million to keep Olympic village going.

I understand now that you are on close personal terms with Mr. Barbeau. You seem to have elevated your promotion of him and his business, and your defence of him, to an art form well out of proportion to his mention in this story. I suppose the question should be asked is if you have some sort of PR contract with Mr. Barbeau? In reviewing your last 24 Hours column one might be forgiven for wondering whether you do PR for NPA, or former NPA folks.

Now, _you_ seem to be the one who is making speculation about Mr. Barbeau's "influence" re: Millenium. This was never stated by us. Information from the public domain, including interviews and information provided directly from Mr. Barbeau were put together. I still fail to understand how that is "smear," "character assasination" or whatever hyerbole you've got going on. And I really don't understand what all of this has to do with anatomy.

You must know that Millenium is a subsidiary of Armeco, which is a subsidiary of the Armeco Group of companies, again, all info in the public domain. Maybe since you seem to have the inside track on a lot of this you could explain who all the directors are on the Armeco board, that's not easy to find information. How about Fortress? Mr. Barbeau stated this:

“My law firm does the corporate minute book for Armeco. It’s not an unusual thing."

So, presumably his law firm, and through his alleged position as a Director, he had some knowledge that Armeco's subsidiary, Millenium, had put together, or was going to put together a bid for an Olympic contract. One would imagine that kind of thing would be in the corporate minutes.

All I know is it is _you_, in fact, who has degraded this discourse through your use of abject profanity, righteous, albeit misplaced, anger and a need to rush to the defence and promotion of someone who seems to be a capable, intelligent and successful person. You yourself state: "Face it, Barbeau attended an Ivy League school, is wealthy, articulate and and well-connected lawyer." So, a question, why does he need you to speak so vehemently on his behalf? You've brought his name up so much he's going to zoom to the top of the hit list in every search engine.

No doubt, when the Inquiry happens, Mr. Barbeau will have plenty of time to publically explain any involvement he _may_ have had with any of the parties, circumstances, and/or business regarding this and any other Olympic contracts. If he did.
Mr. Barbeau, as a business man, has a right to conduct his business. If he has business with the city, that information would be available to the public. I'm really unclear why you seem to have made such assumptions that he's being attacked and maligned for any involvement he may have had.

Business is carried out every day at Vancouver city hall, as it is in the corporate world. Is there some reason it all has to TOP SECRET? I would hope a _professional journalist_ (vs. a "two-bit yellow hack with the spine of a gastropod" with no balls) might be interested in a little more transparency about these things when they concern public funds. Which, again, are being transferred to private corporations in records billions of bailouts due to record investment losses. That's the real story in all of this.

Mr. Barbeau's excellent reputation is easy to access and I can't imagine he has anything at all to hide. As a fine, ethical business man and upstanding member of the Bar, I'm sure he will fully cooperate in the Inquiry, if he has any information to contribute in the public's interest.

Since you also clearly have a great deal of information about many things, you will also likely make an excellent witness at the Inquiry too.

It's really quite simple, please stop making it much more complicated than it is. The people of Vancouver, citizens and taxpayers, have a legitimate right and interest in knowing exactly where their taxpayer funds went, relating to Olympic contracts. That includes who was involved, when did meetings take place and contracts get signed, who was involved in meetings, who signed contracts, what did the CFO have to say about it all, the CC Finance committee,? Did council have all of the info they needed when bids were decided? How has the money been handled by Millenium? Why did the city need to approve up to $450,000 to bring in a third party to manage the project on Oct. 14th? How big is the cost overun? Is the project going to be on time? What other financing and financing problems does Millenium have? Are taxpayers going to be asked for even more loans to bailout this private corporation and go into even more debt for a this P3? And I'm sure there are many, many other questions to be answered once the terms of reference are finalized.

Since there is now a police investigation into it all, the Inquiry will need to wait for a bit, but it will happen. Then it will all be a matter of public record and everyone can rest easy knowing everything is A-OK in Vancouver.

Anonymous said...

Anon is on glue. Garr's column doesn't refute anything I wrote. I talk to Garr frequently.

He gets it.

You don't.

As for Westcoast Indie, you're continual calls for an inquiry are ridiculous and shoddy.

It's simple. This is a nn-story without Estelle Lo's opinions. Even with an investigation, she's been canned/resigned--irrelevant--a no chat clause will be int he works for certain.

Ergo, it's over.

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Larry Campbell has purchased two units in the Olympic Village development. No wonder he squawks about the need for secrecy. Anyone know if the rumour's true?

Anonymous said...

The CBC News this evening had a long story about Ladner,riding his bike, taking to his wife and God only knows what else. I switched channels about then. Do we expect to see a similar long item telling us all about Gregor, tomoorw evening?. They did a story about the Vision chap who is vice chair of the Finance committee too. He is quite upset and ready to sue. This civic election is getting a lot of press. Was the CBC doing a article as Ladner's swan song?

Roadie in Vancouver said...

Roadie in Vancouver said...

Anonymous said...

It's nice we will have the Games. But Olympic games means HUGE expenses=many politicians sniffing around. I think the Games should be financed without any public interest. I think it is possible. Or we can end as the Games in Athens 2004, which were a financial disaster.
And I don't think this is problem just in Vancouver or B.C. This is problem everywhere - just wave with fistful of dollars in front of politician's face :)
Take care