Sunday, April 28, 2013

Casinos Gone Wild....The Final Shakedown?



In case you missed it amongst all the meaningless 'pattern of behaviour' codswallop being promulgated in the public prints over last few days, BC Liberal Party candidate and current chair of PavCo, Mr. Peter Fassbender, made an announcement recently that could change the face of downtown Vancouver forever.

Or 99 years, whichever comes first.

Because, despite widespread civic opposition to their previous proposal, the BC Liberals have suddenly, in the last dying days of their current government, granted the very fine folks from Las Vegas (a.k.a. Paragon Gaming) a longterm lease to build a casino on the lands adjoining BC Place.

Of course, as you might expect given how the Dippers tried put the brakes on things last week, there is an assumed 'pre-condition' to the deal according to CBC News:

...Fassbender said the deal was made under the assumption that once the hotel and casino is built, the stadium would be there, too.

"Any agreement that they make would bind any future owner of the facility," said Fassbender, who is also running for the B.C. Liberals in Surrey.

On Thursday, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark wondered aloud if the NDP’s proposal to sell BC Place would cause uncertainty and delays in the casino deal.

"Any proposed sale will spend years in court," Clark said...


What an interesting thing for the Premier to say.

Especially because we seem to remember that there was a 'pre-condition' on the deal the first time around, also.

One that BC Liberal Party insider and Paragon principal Mr. T. Richard Turner announced when he called up the then BC Liberal Liberal Party minister responsible and made it pretty darned clear that if we, the people of British Columbia, did not pony up the cash for the magic carpet atop BC Place that the deal was off.

Here's how I called it back at the time in the spring of 2010:

After having their gong banged by independent Sean Holman for 36 hours straight on the story of longterm Campbell government appointee T. Richard Turner's involvement in the Casino Industrial Complex that is now tied to the Retractable Roof on BC Place, the Vancouver Sun finally has a piece of their own up under Jonathan Fowlie's byline.

In my opinion Fowlie's piece is a weak effort and provides little that is new that Mr. Holman has not already brought to light.

However, there is one interesting bit that is based on a quote that Mr. Fowlie managed to get from the good Mr. Turner, who also happens to have a financial interest in the Las Vegas concern, Paragon Gaming Inc., that 'won' the bid to build the Casino:

...I didn't try to influence any decision," said Turner, adding he made the call after Paragon had been picked for the project.

"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 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...

Why interesting?

Well, because yesterday the Campbell government Minister responsible, Kevin Krueger said something very, very, very different indeed:

...In Krueger's recollection, Turner had characterized the issue as a "deal breaker."

"He wanted to make me aware that was the fundamental consideration to Paragon and that their bid wouldn't proceed at the same level if it wasn't a retractable roof," Krueger said Thursday...

In other words, according to Mr. Krueger, Mr. Turner essentially told him "no roof, no dice".


Essentially, we have a Premier whose grift-laden governmen is ramming one last deal through at the last second for a party crony without public input after the public has already rejected said crony's previous proposal.

And she is wondering aloud if the NDP's attempts to put the brakes on the thing, by calling for a review that could lead to divesture of a massive public money sink, will lead to 'uncertainty' for the crony.

And that is a bad thing?

All of which has me wondering if....

George Bailey walked in today....

Would Ms. Clark blame him for saving his brother's life, keeping Mr. Gower out of jail, and thwarting Mr. Potter's endless pre-conditional attempts to turn Bedford Falls into one big family friendly den of iniquity whose citizenry owns nothing and is forever locked into a life of indentured servitude?

And would the media in this town then go after Mr. Bailey relentlessly because he once unwittingly took a cigar from Mr. Potter just before he turned down his offer to make him a full-fledged crony too?


Now, leaving aside this update of the plot of what is, apparently,  Ms. Clark's favourite movie for the moment....

This latest shakedown of the people of British Columbia was announced last Thursday.

And since then there has been nary a peep out of the rest of the proMedia on the matter?

Quel surprise.



Mark said...

Ross, recently she claimed that her new favourite movie is either Skyfall or Casino Royale. Perhaps she wishes to emulate a fictitious agent who races through red lights and commits other traffic related atrocities with impunity. In regard to Casinogate, I think MSM today are lazy and don't want to dig into something that requires awkward things like, oh, hours of research, pointed questioning, peeling onion layers, etc. Or their employers don't want them to, which is just as bad. Unfortunately,as a consequence, we the taxpayers are, I believe, potentially in a very vulnerable position.

RossK said...

Thanks for the movie update Mark.

I, and others, wrote many posts on the first attempted landjack for the Casino-Industrial-Complex....

However, I quoted from this particular 2010 post because I am convinced that if they hadn't been pushed by Sean Holman scooping them repeatedly over T. Richard Turner's longterm 'interest' in Paragon (including during the period when he was the BC Liberal-appointed head of the BC Lottery Corporation and, no, I am not making that up) that the proMedia would have let the story just lay there back then too.

Hopefully, Bob Mackin is beavering away on this right now.


Mark said...

I'm sure he is gnawing away as we type. The Liberals have come a long way from Gordon Campbell's et al cries in the Leg. when the NDP were promoting gambling that "gambling will destroy the fabric of this province" and other such drivel. Also, they are very good at shuffling their problem children/supporters to other Crown Corporations of which Turner is but one example. Love & appreciate your stuff, Ross.

Bill said...

No better time for a final gifting on the long running Liberal/Olympic/Pavco/ICBC (or was it BCHydro)/T.Richard Turner - CasinoGate Giveaway.

Right under our noses they try another quarterback sneak (almost at the last minute) and so far no MSM peeps, they being too busy setting up false doubts to the "changing his mind every day - how can you trust him?" Mr Dix and his flip flopping agenda - no pipelines/no principles/no business/no jobs for BC party.

The Liberals are counting on their cheerleading media friends to look the other way with more false skirting while this all goes down. One final steal/gift on the way out or at least another sabotage for the incoming NDP to sort out.

Hopefully this obvious outrage gets those reporting in the real story blogosphere. Especially our B. Mackin and the resurrected and reformed(?) M. Brown and others can shame some front page and tv coverage for those not paying close enough attention.

Back to Mr Dix, I think his decision and timing to announce ahead of the election his concern and position on Kinder Morgan's Trans mountain pipeline expansion is more honest and honourable than anything the Liberals have ever done.

I expect Christy to go full frothing - all attack on Mr Dix in the debate tomorrow. No policies, just empty promises and more fear. Well maybe she will throw up a surprise, maybe she will argue to eliminate red lights.

cfvua said...

We had to know that fallback plan B would be put inro play when plan A went down. These folks don't give up when they smell payoff. Unfortunate that the hard charging Mr Mackin won't get his FOI info before the election. Expect to be maddened all over again about the last week in May when he gets his requests that the Judge decided Pavco had to provide. Signing a 99 year (why not 990 like BCRAIL ) lease (not sale) with no out for the taxpayer is reason enough to bounce the liberals. Right up ther with their 40 year take or pay IPP purchase agreements with no escape clause. Tell me again what the benefit is to us please on any of these special inside deals.

Bill said...

Just watched 6pm Global and the report of tragic red light traffic deaths of earlier today. My contempt for Christy the politician and my above comment re red light snark is not at all funny and appropriate given the senseless carnage of today.

Running red lights today - sudden death, terrible loss and suffering, it is not funny.

Anonymous said...

You can kill theses deals at any time all of its political BS. We're broke courtesy of the BC Liberal financial mess they have left.Dix passes an order in killed, taxpayers saved a fortune. There is always a way out ...the "clown contingent" is done, hope the door does'nt hit them on the way out...