Friday, April 02, 2010

Casino Royale Retreaded....The Dean Weighs In


Doing his best to keep up, Vaughn Palmer who, it has been rumoured by alleged former denizens of the back tables of the long extinct Vancouver Press Club, is apparently increasingly referred to by his code name of 'Nora Desmond' by the young punks who may or may not carry viles of faux Ibogaine in their breast pockets while they ply their trade in the sprawl of those infamous West Annex cube farms, has finally weighed in on the issue of a Campbell government insider's efforts to 'inform' that same government that the Las Vegas Casino company he also works for, and has a financial interest in, very much wanted a retractable roof on BC Place Stadium as an apparent pre-condition of their coming 'deal' to build the Casino Industrial Complex in the parking lot next door.

Like his Vancouver Sun stablemate Jonathan Fowlie before him, Mr. Palmer has nothing really new to declare in his column this morning, although to his considerable credit he does give a nod of recognition to Sean Holman for discovering that T. Richard Turner, the current Chair of ICBC, is also the dual Campbell Government/Paragon Gaming Inc. insider involved.

However, just like an aging late inning reliever who gets called in to mop-up after the young fireballers have already moved on, Mr. Palmer does provide a useful service by confirming the fact that the Minister currently responsible for the Giant Marshmallow, Kevin Krueger, did, indeed, claim that Mr. Turner called him up sometime late last year, presumably while negotiations between the Campbell Government's development arm PavCo and Paragon Gaming Inc. of Las Vegas about the then still-secret Casino deal were ongoing:

.....The man from Paragon (Mr. Turner) wanted the minister (Mr. Krueger) to know that the decision on the roof would affect his company's willingness to help finance the overall project by building the casino and hotels adjacent to the dome.

"BC Place wouldn't be as attractive a site without a retractable roof. They might not be interested, and if they were, it would not be for the kind of financial considerations that they had put on the table," he (Mr. Krueger) said.

"He felt that it would be beneficial to all concerned if I knew that that could be a deal-breaker and certainly wouldn't enable the same contract that they had in mind when they believed that there'd be a retractable roof on the stadium. That was the extent of it."....


After dropping that deal breaker bombshell, a bombshell, by the way, that Mr. Holman first dropped early yesterday, Mr. Palmer, in a classic Vaughnian pull-back manoeuver, averts his eyes, hedges his bets, and moves on:

....Krueger told reporters that he didn't regard the call as inappropriate, didn't see it as lobbying, and professed not to have been influenced by it one way or another.

Until additional details are forthcoming, the New Democrats held off accusing the B.C. Liberals of anything more serious than an exercise of bad judgment. But as Herbert told reporters, "It smells."...

Which is all fine and good.

As far as it goes.

Except, anyone who has been paying attention is likely scratching their head and asking themselves the following:

Why didn't Mr. Palmer go further?

Case in point, while Mr. Palmer did tell us that Mr. Turner, the man from Paragon Gaming Inc., is the current Chair of ICBC, what he did not tell us is that Mr. Turner is also the former Campbell government-appointed chair of the BC Lottery Corporation.

You know, that BC Lottery Corporation, the public corporation that oversees, and regulates, Casino operations in this province.

And what Mr. Palmer also didn't tell us is that Mr. Turner resigned as BC Lottery Corporation Chair in Dec of 2005.

And what he also didn't tell us is that sometime in 2006 Mr. Turner became an investor in the financially-ailing Edgewater Casino with Paragon Gaming Inc. that was followed by a consolidation with a yet-to-be identified 'Numbered Company'.

And, finally, what Mr. Palmer also failed to tell us is that it is the Edgewater that will be moved and resurrected as part of Paragon's newly-minted Casino Industrial Complex next to the re-roofed Marshmallow in 2013.

All of which is the stuff of Fireballers - stuff that Mr. Holman has already published, and more.

Enough said?

To his great non-credit, Mr. Palmer did NOT give Mr. Holman credit on the LedgieBoys radio show this morning.....Luckily Sean Leslie did......And unlike the Dean, whose surgically-repaired elbow is clearly slipping as his fastball rapidly fades, Mr. Leslie DID bring up the fact that the good Mr. Turner does, indeed, HAVE a financial interest in the Casino project...And thank the Goddess that Michael Smyth was filling in for the Watercarrier this morning - otherwise we may have heard nada on the matter of Casinogate....Keith Baldrey was also away today, which is why we got to hear the much harder working Mr. Leslie.....But that didn't keep Global's missing man-about-town from doing a little out-front watercarrying of his own, down on the farm during the pre-game warm-up, in print....
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Bob Mackin, pitching for 24 Hours, the club that used to pay Mr.Holman's salary before they released him for no good reason at all, also came in to pitch an inning-and-a-third of hard sliders, up and in, during yesterday's game as well.
Update: And now, too, it would appear that Ms. Bula is also paying attention......Can the Spamaloteers be far behind?.....Oh, wait, all they've got is chicken feathers on their surprise there....



G West said...

The thing is Ross, it's just SO efficient this emails to send, no long involved meetings - no difficult negotiations.

Just bring all your buddies into the tent and make the decisions, sign the contracts and craft the PR announcements at the same time.

Vaughn is just slightly miffed that the meeting couldn't have been held at the Grand Pacific Athletic Club while he was doing curls to strengthen that elbow.

theo said...

Dear BC,
Nice rectum you’ve got there. Would you mind awfully if I jam this red hot poker up it again?

Thanks so much,
Well placed entities so close to the positions of power

Anonymous said...

Public Eye also has an article about how BC Lotteries "wants to develop 'strategic alliances' with the private sector..."

Sounds like a partnership between Paragon and ICBC has already happened, BC Lotteries will soon follow. The privatization of Crown corporations is an ongoing process - BC Ferries, BC Rail - what's next?

Norm Farrell said...

Thanks for weighing in with force, Ross.

You have been precise and rightly raised feet to the fire, especially those of the tired ex music critic who apparently now only listens to Johann Pachelbel's piece.

RossK said...

To all the folks that took the time to leave comments earlier here - I'm really sorry - Blogger disappeared them....I'm trying my best to get them back, as occassionally when I log in they pop-up momentarily....If I can get them I'll re-post them with responses.