Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gunfight at the OK Corral, Juice Boy Versus the New Sensation

Unbelievable, that is the only word that can describe this amazing turn of events, Vancouver city hall is actually listening to the majority and voting against the giant new casino......

On the surface this story may appear to be a simple case of a council rejecting a proposed development but that is but one tiny little thread, for only yesterday,  Adrian Dix was elected as new NDP leader, Christy Clark has talked about her families first agenda and listening to all parties, Christy talked about a friendly transparent open Government. Adrian Dix has talked about health, education, human rights, fair taxation, students and seniors..

Another dynamic is Gregor Robertson lagging in public support going into Fall civic elections, here`s the wedge issue, Gregor has sided with the majority in voting down the casino.

There are so many threads to this story and none are more glaring than the connections between Rich Coleman, Kevin Kreuger, Paragon gaming and Patrick Kinsella, now add in all the donations to the BC Liberal party by interested parties, remember when the BC place retractable roof was almost canceled because the price ballooned from $360 million to over $600 million dollars, remember the calls from Paragon officials directly to Kevin Kreuger and in a matter of days presto, the retractable roof was back on, Paragon threatened the Government that without the retractable roof and walkways to their casino they were out, the BC Liberal Government obeyed their masters and everything was put back on the rails...

There are so many big time BC Liberal insiders connected to this deal, a great deal of money has been spent ramming this project through, plenty of political contributions, many people stand to make large cash on the deal.

We have a brand new Christy Clark as premier beholden to the people that placed her in the premier`s chair including one Patrick Kinsella, Gordon Campbell`s right hand man!

And people, there is one more very special thread in this story, the City of Vancouver doesn`t own the land that the new casino was to be built on, the Province does, that`s right folks the Province owns the land and....The lands is also zoned "Entertainment District".....What does that mean?

It means a war between the left and the right, it means a war between the Province and the City with both going into election cycles, Gregor needing a boost to help his fortunes and Christy needing to appear different from Gordon Campbell by LISTENING to the People and communities....

And if that wasn`t enough to get your juices flowing there is one more thread.....Remember in Gordon Campbell`s and Christy Clark`s first term in power, I forget the Bill number but the Province has a Bill where they can over-ride communities, towns, cities or the like, that means that Christy Clark can use authority she and company enacted and ram this project down the throats of Vancouver.

This is gonna be a war, who has the power, Gregor Robertson or the BC Liberals, who has the most influence, what about Paragon and Patrick Kinsella, what about the promises, what about the donations, what about Gregor fighting a cause the majority want, what about Gregor`s new found re-election chances, what kind of disrespectful bullying Government does Christy Clark want to portray.

The tentacles are everywhere with Paragon and the BC Liberals, in my opinion this deal was cooked up and rammed through with a stench, the retractable roof, the sweet deal, the kickbacks, the party donations and so many back-room BC Liberals involved.

Will the BC Government ram the project through.....Will the power brokers behind Christy Clark force her hand....Will Christy Clark stay out of the battle.....Does the BC Liberal Government and party insiders leave the dead casino project alone until after both civic and Provincial elections.....Will the BC Liberals ram the project through with their draconian legislation.

This is going to be very entertaining, who will prevail, David versus Goliath?...Juice Boy against the "New Sensation"

A tip of the hat for Gregor Robertson, a political masterstroke, the casino project isn`t dead yet and you can bet your last dollar that the big boys behind the scenes are phoning Christy asking(demanding) help, Gregor sided with the majority of the residents and made the right decision and you watch, CKNW/Global and CTV will be ruthless in mocking Groegor`s business prowess, if the power brokers who rammed this project through want the deal they will have to persuade Christy Clark to use the Provincial sledge hammer to get it done!

If Christy Clark uses the sledge hammer the label of a different caring listening Government will tarnish fast!

Pleasant dreams Patrick Kinsella....

Well Christy Cluck Cluck Clark, the ball is in your court!

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

The BC Liberals are long overdue to self destruct - and self destruct they will, with a little help from their friends.

Campbell came very close to outright defiance from the public on two or three different occasions. I am sure Clark will do the same and, as you say, will show the province her true colours for all to see.

The backroom deal and funny handshakes are gonna get real interesting - and if Dix start asking real questions, things are gonna get real interesting.

Oh - the Merry month of May !!


4:18 am said...

LOL - the dynamic is very interesting. And what happens to those, like Brad Zubyk, who are advising both Gregor and Christy?

JonH said...

I was sort of upset that Horgan didn't win the NDP leadership debate but what the hell let's move on. Now I have a smile on my face because I can see now that Christy and her pseudo New Sensation is going to have to show British Columbians her true side of the same old Corporate controlled, no brain and big mouth, Chrusty very quickly. Oh what a joy it will be for everyone to see who she really is as she tries to hide and duck serious issues when they are brought forward for her to address as Reverend of the Church of the BC Liberals. It will be even better when the rest of her cult drink the Kool aid she's prepared for them.

Anonymous said...

Oh I very much doubt Brad will be advising Gregor this time around....he's too busy working for the federal losin' Liberals....

4:18 am said...

Oh, Brad isn't the only federal Liberal running the Vision Vancouver game - maybe you missed the hiring of federal Liberal communications chair Ian Baillie as executive director last year. Joel Solomon is no NDipper either. Other big backers like Jim Hoggan etc etc

Crankypants said...

There was a very enlightening article in today's Vancouver Sun print edition regarding the River Rock Casino by Pete McMartin and Larry Pynn. There is also another article by the same two writers dealing with how a government program allows casinos to recoup various capital costs. It seems that getting into the casino business is not near as risky in BC as it is in other jurisdictions.

With regards to the proposed mega casino by Pavco and Paragon, city staffers prepared a report that stated the projections of benefit to the city, moneywise, were greatly exagerated. No doubt that swayed even Susan Anton, the only NPA councillor on council, to vote against the project.

As you say, it could be very interesting to see whether the province and the city get into a pissing contest.


Danneau said...

I think Bill 75 was the ominous piece of legislative trickery that allows the province to override local and municipal bylaws, regulations, zoning laws and anything else in the interest of the greater good of the province. I think a lot of it had to do with the Sunshine Coast watershed protection initiatives, but may also have been part of the longer-term IPP/Hydro stuff, amongst other things. Imagine if Glen Clark had pulled that stunt...

Danneau said...

And again, I, too, am disappointed that the NDP didn't have the good sense to elect Horgan, but, in the words of Mick and Keith, "You can't always get what you wan, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need." Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

I think its delightful. having crusty and Gregor duke it out. We have had enough of gordo / crusty government.They are both leeches on society. Tar and feathering would be in order, but I feel sorry for the chicken. Oh well, tar only I guess.

4:18 am said...

It would appear the two levels of government have already signed a truce on this one. How much orchestration went on in the backrooms/living rooms/hot tubs before the vote? I'm betting a lot.

Grant G said...

You can bet Patrick Kinsella and Richard Turner are squirming.....

Like I said, it was a political masterstroke by Gregor Robertson, he realized with Christy Clark heading into a by-election that he tied her hands.

Kreuger, Coleman, Turner, Kinsella, Paragon,...

Gordon Campbell rammed the roof through specifically for Paragon.

Paragon paid plenty for a 50,000 person trapline leading into their spider webs, heads will be rolling as we speak.

The Clark Government is feeling the heat, promises were made, return on investment was expected, this story hasn`t gone away yet.

Timing is everything, Gregor nailed with an exclamation point, he also called for a moratorium on any increases in gaming, meaning Paragon`s bluff about moving their operation...

They can move but they can`t increase their slot machine or table game count!

Besides Gregor executing a political masterstroke, he tied the hands of Paragon`s future with the moratorium.

Christy Clark is seething.


4:18 am said...

Some might see it as more of an inevitability rather than a political master stroke, but happen it did. Over the short term there won't be the fireworks you're looking for though. Again, a lot of backchanneling took place on this long before the vote.

Anonymous said...

Just s further note that I received as a participant in the 'no' vote

I am pleased to inform you that Vancouver City Council did not approve the application. There will not be an expansion of gaming in Vancouver and in fact Mayor Gregor Robertson's motion included the following language.

"THAT a moratorium shall be imposed on any and all applications to expand gambling and/or gaming venues in the City of Vancouver." (I have included the entire motion, as an attachment)

Of special interest is the fact that during debate, NPA Councillor Susanne Anton spoke in favour of an expansion of slot machines from the current 600 to 1200 slot machines.

In addition, she makes these further comments on her own blog.

“Today’s vote against the casino expansion jeopardizes the entire project and the neighbouring project as well,” says Councillor Anton. “The proposed PavCo development would have brought jobs into the city and generated revenues of about $20m per year for the city and $200m per year for the province.”

“Keeping the status quo isn’t good enough. Our role as publicly elected politicians is to make sure Vancouver stays a prosperous city. The casino expansion was a small part of a very large project which likely will no longer go ahead.”

Today's decision comes after extensive public input, and I want to thank everyone for taking the time to help us come to this decision and to build a better city.

Will post the motion in entirety following. Note the last portion.

Anonymous said...

A. THAT the application by BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) to rezone the following:

a portion of 777 Pacific Boulevard (PID: 008-332-614, Lot 153 False Creek Plan 20421 (“BC Place Site”);

a portion of Terry Fox Way to be closed and conveyed to the registered owner of the BC Place Site (the “Surplus Road Area”);

a portion of 10 Terry Fox Way (PID: 025-540-866, Lot 288 False Creek Plan BCP1977) to be dedicated as road (the “Smithe Street Extension”);

portions of 10 Terry Fox Way (PID: 025-540-866, Lot 288 False Creek Plan BCP1977) east of the Smithe Street Extension (the “Triangle Site”); collectively, the “Rezoning Site” and shown within heavy bold outline on an Explanatory Plan attached as Map 1, (Appendix D) from BCPED (BC Place/Expo District) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District, to permit development of a mixed-use hotel/entertainment complex, that includes the relocation be Approved, together with:

plans prepared by IBI/HB Group received August 9, 2010;
draft CD-1 By-law provisions, generally as presented in Appendix A; and
the recommendation of the Director of Planning to approve, subject to conditions contained in Appendix B;

B. THAT, subject to approval of the rezoning after Public Hearing, Council approve therelocation of the casino operated by Paragon Gaming (Paragon Holdings [Smithe Street] ULC) at the Plaza of Nations (750 Pacific Boulevard), known as the Edgewater Casino, to the Rezoning Site on the terms set out in this report.

C. THAT Council approve the relocation of the casino operated by Paragon Gaming (Paragon Holdings [Smithe Street] ULC) at the Plaza of Nations (750 Pacific Boulevard), known as the Edgewater Casino with 600 slot machines and 75 gaming tables and as a condition of approval, Paragon will make legal commitments, to the satisfaction of staff, to provide priority hiring for any workers displaced or laid off from Hasting Park Race Track as a result of closure or permanent downsizing of that operation; and implement, to the satisfaction of the city's legal department and the VPD, a system for the provision of the highest possible standards to protect against money laundering, fraud and other criminal activity based on an assessment of best practices in the gaming industry.

E. THAT the application from PavCo to amend the Sign By-law to establish regulations for this CD-1 in accordance with Schedule E (assigning Schedule “B” [DD]) be Approved

F. THAT the Noise Control By-law be amended to include this CD-1 in Schedule B, as set out in Appendix C;

FURTHER THAT the Director of Legal Services be instructed to prepare the necessary
by-law to amend the Noise Control By-law at the time of enactment of the CD-1 By-law.

Anonymous said...

G. THAT the BCPED (BC Place/ Expo District) By-law be amended to delete sub-area 10 from the by-law, as set out in Appendix C;

FURTHER THAT the Director of Legal Services be instructed to prepare the necessary by-law to amend the BCPED (BC Place/Expo District) By-law at the time of enactment of the CD-1 By-law.

H. THAT Council approve in principle the proposal to stop-up, close and lease a volumetric portion of the Smithe Street Extension (to be dedicated as road) to the registered owner of the BC Place Site to accommodate the underground parking structure proposed to be within the Smithe Street Extension, and the Director of Real Estate Services be instructed to report back to Council on the terms of the lease;

FURTHER THAT the General Manager of Engineering Services be instructed to bring back to Council, prior to occupancy of the development, a report to seek Council approval to stop-up, close and lease this volumetric portion of the Smithe Street Extension.

I. THAT Recommendations A, B, C, E, F, G and H be adopted on the following conditions:

(i) THAT passage of the above resolutions creates no legal rights for the applicant or any other person, or obligation on the part of the City and any expenditure of funds or incurring of costs is at the risk of the person making the expenditure or incurring the cost;

(ii) THAT any approval that may be granted following the Public Hearing shall not obligate the City to enact a by-law rezoning the property, and any costs incurred in fulfilling requirements imposed as a condition of rezoning are at the risk of the property owner; and

(iii) THAT the City and all its officials, including the Approving Officer, shall not in any way be limited or directed in the exercise of their authority or discretion regardless of when they are called upon to exercise such authority or discretion.

J THAT if required the Director of Legal Services be instructed to prepare the necessary by-laws to amend the ODP at the time of enactment of the CD-1 by-law.

K. THAT a moratorium shall be imposed on any and all applications to expand gambling and/or gaming venues in the City of Vancouver. Specifically that while the moratorium is in effect the City will not accept either of (1) applications to develop, use or operate a facility as a new gaming facility as described in section 18 (1) (a) of the Gaming Control Act or (2) applications to substantially change the extent of lottery schemes at existing gaming facilities under section 18 (1) (c) of the Gaming Control Act. This is not intended to affect applications to relocate an existing facility under section 18 (1) (b) of the Gaming Control Act, or applications to the City to change the mix of lottery schemes within existing facilities.

AND THAT this moratorium shall be in effect until such time as the Province of British Columbia, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and/or their agents:

(I) undertakes a comprehensive public consultation on the issue of expanded gambling in the City of Vancouver, and the results of this consultation are deliberated on by Vancouver City Council and

(II) implements internationally recognized best practices in:

- promotion of responsible gambling
- prevention of problem gambling
- treatment for problem gamblers
- protection against money laundering, fraud and other criminal activity

Anonymous said...

The BC Liberals are the masters, of not keeping their word. Look what they did to Susan Heyes.

The BC Liberal Party, is built on a foundation of lies and corruption. Campbell twice lied to be re-elected, for two different elections. Christy may force the casino to go through. Who is to say, Christy won't lie and deceive, the same as Campbell did to be re-elected? Her phony gig in a hockey sweater, made me gag, but others will fall for her.

Anonymous said...

The BC Liberal party is just one continuous lie.
Nothing they say can be taken at face value - the lies they have made are legendary - right from 1996 through until this day.

It sure seems that nothing succeeds in BC like lying like the BC Liberals - not that it is good, it isn't but it is so prevalent that people are now desensitized to it all and it is no wonder that the average voter is cynical about the whole process.

Just where does legitimacy begin to equal corruption and dishonesty ???

If the NDP do succeed in winning a provincial election, they have a mammoth task ahead of them.


Howard said...

The Province has had a long-standing ability to use an "order in council" to override any local zoning bylaws to accomplish whatever it sees fit.

Anonymous said...

BC lieberals, federal Cons and their friends:

Hugh said...

BC Conservatives not running candidate against C Clark:


Grant G said...

Big mistake by the Conservatives, they could have gotten exposure.

I suspect that Clark pulled some strings with John Cummins.

Maybe nobody should run against her..


Anonymous said...

If anyone has a link to the Vancouver Sun article that described the PAB could they please post it?

(lost mine)


Anonymous said...

A great video about the destruction of the middle class in the US - but it has many analogies to Canada:


Anonymous said...