Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Burke Mountain Land Deal...Two Different Views From The Local Media


As we noted yesterday, the Dippers revealed that all of that Burke Mountain land was sold to one group, whose principal is a big BC Liberal supporter, for considerably less than the appraised value.

Initially, all we got from the media was stenography.

But now, a day later, the analysis is starting to come in.

And, as you might expect, some media folks are taking the travesty of all of the land going to a BC Liberal connected buyer seriously.

And some are not, at least not at the moment.

First the serious stuff from Norm Farrell. Here is his lede:

Less than three weeks ago, a 2,100 ft² house on a 3,350 ft² lot in east Vancouver sold for $2.2 million though the asking price was $1.6 million. Two weeks ago, a modest 60-year-old home near my North Vancouver residence sold for $1 million, also above the asking price. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said February sales were 20% above the 10-year sales average for the month and the average price for a single family detached property in Metro Vancouver is over a million dollars. Houses are routinely selling 100 to 200 thousand above asking price.

In other words, the residential real estate market in urban British Columbia is hot, hot, hot. In the Burke Mountain area, small building lots are listed over $600,000. Yet, the Province of British Columbia made a hurried deal to sell vast tracts of residential property at a fraction of appraised values. The buyer is a company controlled by Hassan Khosrowshahi, a large BC Liberal contributor. The responsible Minister? None other than Amrik Virk who was party to a scheme that demonstrated minimal dedication to protecting taxpayers' financial interests...

Next, the not so serious stuff from the Dean of the Legislative Press Gallery, Vaughn Palmer who, essentially, sees this as part of the 'game'. Here is his lede (please note the missing party):

When the B.C. Liberals set out before the last election to balance the budget by selling off government landholdings, they dressed up the exercise as “release of surplus assets for economic generation.”

More like a “fire sale” said the Opposition New Democrats, and in the legislature this week they produced evidence to support that characterization in the case of one major asset sale in Metro Vancouver.

Early last year, the Liberals sold off 14 parcels of land in the Burke Mountain neighbourhood of the Tri-Cities area to a single developer for a combined price of $85 million.

On Tuesday, the New Democrats released a government-commissioned appraisal that estimated the properties could fetch as much as $128 million in the right circumstances.

The key consideration being that government maximize the potential bidders by offering the land for sale for up to nine months. Instead, the deal was rushed through in three months, according to supporting documentation provided by the NDP.

“What possibly went wrong?” Opposition leader John Horgan challenged at the outset of question period. “We had $128 million worth of property, and to meet your single-year budget objectives, you sold them for $43 million less than they were worth.”

Answering for the government was the cabinet member currently in charge of the asset disposal program, Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk. Unhappily for the Liberals, one has to add, for if there’s a weaker link in the cabinet lineup, he or she has so far escaped general notice.

Nor did he fail to live down to those expectations Tuesday...


And, for the record,
the good Mr. Khosrowshahi's name shows up in graph #23 of Mr. Palmer's piece, which is the third from the bottom...Ledes buried and all that, right?

And, just in case you were wondering, Mr. Leyne has his fun while he does his own burying too.
And finally...You may have noticed what I did there re: the local 'media'.



Anonymous said...

the more mainstream msm/ promedia /corprate media ,its reported, the more watered down(less in depth) a story becomes.?

voice of BC vetran guest Politician said recently basically ,on any topic, If its not on the 6 pm news it didnt happen/wont get traction.?

Maybe,possibly,so if your friends with the ..?

chuckstraight said...

Not surprised by any of this- we give away our water, railway, logs are shipped out with bark still on, private power companies are handsome donors to the BC Liberals.......... And on and on goes the bullshit.
I hope the people that voted in these idiots are happy now.

RossK said...


Re: The six O'Clock news...Maybe...But I don't think that's what drove the Oil Spill Clean-Up BotchORama through the weekend newscycle.



I'm not sure that the folks who voted for these folks, at least the ones who did so without self-interest are aware yet of what's up given the repeated demonstration of punch-pulling by the local puffed-up proPunditry.


John's Aghast said...

Ha! This is small potatoes compared to the 'sale' of BC Rail. What's wrong with them? Are they losing their touch? It took 15 years to come up with a scheme that pales in comparison.

chuckstraight said...

Ross- I know a few that did vote for them, and for me that`s the scary part- many haven`t a clue what has gone on in BC for the past 12 years or so.
Many are still on about the Fast Ferries or Glen Clark`s sun deck.