Monday, March 26, 2012

The Casino-Industrial-Complexities....One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other.


Ian Reid, has already done a lot of digging into the process that led to the aborted attempt to shoehorn a Casino-Industrial-Complex right next to the Devil-Horned, Re-Roofed Stadium that is not named 'Telus'.

And he is still digging.

Most recently, Ian has been trying to find out who pushed the zoning changes through the City of Vancouver, a city then run by the Smilin' Sammy Sullivan regime, BEFORE PavCo, the provincial entity responsible for the BC Place Lands, put out its request for proposals (RFP) that was subsequently very rapidly awarded to a Casino company named 'Paragon'.

You remember Paragon....They were the fine folks from Las Vegas whose local representative (Mr. T. Richard Turner) later called-up the provincial government minister responsible for PavCo/BC Place (Mr. Kevin Krueger) and had a conversation that went something like the following, according to the VSun's Jonathan Fowlie....

"I didn't try to influence any decision," said (local Vegas Casino representative T.Richard) Turner, adding he made the call (to Minister Krueger) after Paragon had been picked for the (Casino-Industrial Complex) project (next to BC Place Stadium).

"What I recall saying is . . . if the roof doesn't go ahead, that's fine, but we can't build what we said we'd build in the bid because we're counting on synergies between BC Place as renovated and the new development," he added, recalling the conversation with (Kevin) Krueger, the (BC Liberal Party) minister responsible for BC Place.

"If you cannot proceed with the roof, no problem, but we'll have to downsize what we said we would do in the bid package," Turner added, recalling what he told Krueger during the phone conversation.

(please note: all stuff in brackets mine, added for clarification, as noted my original post from April of 2010)



You got all that?

If not, here's a recap....

On the back end of the deal, which was later killed by the Gregor Robertson regime municipally, a representative of the Casino company calls up the provincial Minister responsible and tells him that if the people of British Columbia do not lay out the large (ie. $563 million) for the new roof that they (i.e. the fine folks from Vegas), just might have to 'downsize' their project.


Now let's move on to yesterday's post from Mr. Reid:

"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 (request for proposals) 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 (official development plan) amendment.

So I’ve been FOIing the documents behind the ODP process… And I found issue notes prepared by...... Mr. Ken Dobell."

At this point, it is probably worth noting that Mr. Dobell once wore, as he himself described it, "multiple hats" that he would take on an off depending on whether he was acting on behalf of clients such as, for example, the provincial government of Gordon Campbell or the municipal government of Sam Sullivan at the same time.

OK, now back to Ian's story....

"....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.....

{snippety doo-dah}

....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..."

Alrighty then.

Based on what the provincial government agency (i.e. 'PavCo') relinquished to Mr. Reid, it would appear that Mr. Dobell had nothing to do with the actual nuts and bolts of things in the run-up to the zoning change by the City in 2008 just before Sam Sullivan vacated the Mayor's office.


Well, maybe not quite.

Again, back to Ian's story.....

"...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..."

Now that is very, very strange indeed.

PavCo says it did not meet with Mr. Dobell in 2008....

And yet, the City of Vancouver says that Mr. Dobell billed them (i.e. the City) to meet with PavCo (recall if you will, all those 'hats' that Mr. Dobell was, apparently, wearing).


Something does not quite compute.

Alternatively, someone at PavCo or the City of Vancouver is being economical in the extreme with the 'Real Story'.

Which, perhaps not coincidentally, is the name of Ian Reid's blog.


And did I mention that the local representative for the fine folks in Vegas had a financial interest in the same company?....And did I mention that that same very, very fine fellow was once an even finer public servant serving the provincial government of British Columbia?....And did I mention that one of his jobs working for, we the people of British Columbia, was as the Chairman of the British Columbia Lotteries Corporation (BCLC)?....And did I mention that the BCLC is in charge of provincial oversight of Casinos?....Well....I just did....Mention all those things, I mean.....Things that I, and now you, know because Sean Holman's 'PublicEye Online' archives are the gift that keep on giving.....



kootcoot said...

Wasn't it Ken "many hats" Dobell that had to write an essay as punishment for not registering as a lobbyist and having desks in both City Hall and the Premier's office?

If I'm not mistaken, what kind of grade did the dubious Dobell manage to get on his paper, or did the dog eat his homework?

RossK said...


If I remember correctly he received a very, very, very gentlemanly 'C', a pat on the head, and was sent on his way because the teacher...errrr...judge decided the entire matter was 'trivial'.


RossK said...

Here's the link...

(is an early sign of dementia an inability to write simple html script?....sheesh)