Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Which Came First...The Six Hundred Million Dollar Magic Carpet Or The Casino-Industrial Complex?


Longtime readers may recall that I went apoplectic in the Spring of 2010 when all that Casino-Industrial Complex stuff on the northeast side of False Creek was going down.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that I bought the initial misdirection that it was all going to be about a Condo Land-Jack.

Anyway, as a result, I (who am no insider) worked backwards and came to the tentative conclusion that the egregious cost of the BC Place roof was, perhaps, being used to justify the call (and yes there was a 'call'  - remember that?) for the massive Las Vegas 'inspired' style casino in downtown Vancouver.


Ian Reid has now worked an FOI, hard, and has come up with information that, in my opinion, pretty much nails it. Here is just a small excerpt:

...According to (PavCo's BC Place re-development consultant Bruce) MacGregor’s billings he was meeting with (Las Vegas casino builder, and BC Liberal Party insider-connected) Paragon Gaming almost as soon as the city agreed to the planning process at the end of January 2008.

In February (of 2008), MacGregor was touring the stadium and meeting with architects and consultants regarding roof options.

By the first week in March (of 2008) he was working on the casino part of the project – except that officially there wasn’t a casino part for at least another year...

Why does this matter?

Well, this all happened before the City of Vancouver's development plan was put in place in the last days of Spam-A-Lot/Smilin' Sammy Sullivan's administration that paved the way for the casino call and way, way, before there were any 'requests for proposals' for said casino from PavCo which, further on down the road, was given to Paragon almost immediately. The details of this part of the timeline can be found here.

In other words, the fix was in from the very, very beginning.

And, guess what....

When then premier Gordon Campbell first announced the plans in May of 2008 to 'redesign' BC Place there was absolutely no mention of a 'casino'.

All of which would be just water under the bridge....

Except for one thing.

Which is the fact that we the people of British Columbia, people who spent much of last year being told that we had to throw adult disabled people out of their longterm care homes to save a little coin, are the ones who are left to foot the bill for that bloody $600 million dollar magic carpet atop the (still) little-used BC Place.


In case anybody is interested, you can find my frenzy of posts on this matter from April of 2010 at the bottom of the left sidebar under the header 'Paragon Marathon'....
Norman Farrell is on this one as well...
Anybody want to make book on whether or not this will even make it into the Lotuslandian Pro-Media (other than via Bob Mackin)?.....I'm willing to take pretty short odds on the 'no' side of that bet...


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