One by one the Olympic benefits touted by the Campbell Government are being unravelled, there was a report out last month that said the 2010 Olympic games infused $700 million dollars into the economy, that sure sounds like a big number, but you must remember this folks, that $700 million dollar number is a gross number, what that means is Olympic visitors and locals BCers spent $700 million dollars, that does not equate to $700 million tax dollars returning to the Province, there was another number released last week, the City of Vancouver expended $550 million dollars on the Olympics, that does include a handful of new amenities, nothing the city really needed but a few amenities were built.
Let`s examine that number of $550 million spent by Vancouver, that number is completely different then the $700 million figure, the money Vancouver spent are DIRECT TAX DOLLARS....So if you crunch the two sets of numbers, one being gross spending and the other being actual dollar for dollar resident tax dollars, in other words the City of Vancouver lost hundreds of millions on the Olympics, the numbers can`t be disputed!
But what I wanted to talk about was the $1.3 billion dollar athletes village, let me first say that I don`t blame Gregor Robertson for the Athlete`s village boondoggle, clearly the previous NPA Mayor and council failed badly, in my opinion it was a complete dereliction of duty to protect the City and more importantly the taxpayer, Peter Ladner and Sam Sullivan are directly responsible for Vancouverites getting soaked for probably hundreds and hundreds of million`s of dollars, that is a fact that can`t be disputed.
But this friends is where the rubber meets the road, I predicted today`s problem last year, I will provide links to my archives further on down this story, Gregor Robertson I believe has some good intentions at heart, but right now good intentions cost too much money, yes there was a commitment of social housing in the athletes village as part of the social contract to host the Olympics in Vancouver, but that promise went out the window when the athlete`s village spiralled to over $1billion dollars, sorry folks, we can`t afford to put pensioners and welfare recipients in $1 million dollar waterfront condos, and I don`t mean any ill will with that last statement, Gregor Robertson`s other flaky announcement today was about having police officers and firemen,paramedics paying 1/5 of their their gross pay to live in these same million dollar suites, that works out to maybe a rent of $1200.00 to $1500.00 dollars per month for rent, well that is unacceptable, a million dollar condo even with a 20 year mortgage would have a $4000.00 dollar a month mortgage, the City of Vancouver would be eating a huge cost every month.
There is but one answer to this pickle of a situation Gregor Robertson has found himself in, everyone of those units have to be sold at market value, even with that the City of Vancouver will take a huge financial bath courtesy of the inept (possibly criminal) actions of the NPA(non Partisan association), sorry friends, that is the cold hard facts, no matter how much lipstick you put on the NPA pig of a deal it`s still a pig.
I don`t even see that many people in Vancouver wanting to spend $4 thousand dollars a month to rent a condo, anyone with that kind of money will be buying, and believe me friends, there are so many nicer units, condo`s with far more value for money than the athlete`s village, there has been a lot of cluck clucking from Susan Anton about selling the units at the athlete`s village,using the money to build triple or more social housing units, that idea makes perfect sense, but let me be clear, her hands are not clean on the Millennium deal......
I know one thing for sure, there will be no profit, even when all the units are sold, social units and the rest, there will still be a massive financial shortfall, the NPA deal was so bad, Vancouver will have huge carrying costs, because if they attempt to sell those units all at once the price will fall and fall, but that creates another problem, Gregor Robertson should attempt to rent units out for whatever the market will bear while selling X amount of units per month, Gregor would have to ensure that the rentals were a month by month rental, the City of Vancouver would have to ensure that as each renter is one by one removed, that it is a courteous, respectful process, the renters must know that only a few month`s notice is required for them to leave.
But I can guarantee that if Gregor Robertson goes down the road of subsidizing police,fire and or medical personnel in the athletes village he will be roasted at the polls, the same goes for low income people living in million dollar waterfront units, I know folks, there was a moral contract, but look who we were dealing with, Millennium development, the IOC, VANOC, and of course the all time worst financial deal ever inked in Vancouver, a deal inked by the NPA.
So heed my advice Gregor, let it go, secure some funding from Gordon Campbell(LOL) or Stephen Harper, build some three story walk-ups, build a 1000 units, half for social housing, the other half for police,fire, and paramedics, I really like the idea of a large inexpensive social housing development occupied by police and fireman, that`s one way to make sure the social housing development doesn`t turn into a gong show!http://powellriverpersuader.blogspot.com/2010/03/npa-millennium-developmentthe-big-fraud.html
I know Gregor doesn`t want to break the commitment, he didn`t, he won`t, the NPA broke the City of Vancouver with the Millennium development deal, we can`t go back in time and undue the really bad NPA deal.....
So Mr. Robertson, the chickens are bad enough, bee`s are problem, I can live with gardens, but you must abandon this silly idea of putting low income people in million dollar units, you must forget about subsidizing condo`s for police, firemen etc etc etc, they make more money than most, even higher incomes can`t afford million dollar waterfront condo`s.
Here is my best advice Gregor Robertson, fogetaboutit, build low cost housing elsewhere, tell the people of Vancouver you are making the best financial decisions for the taxpayers, and when the heat comes from the partisans, put the blame where it clearly belongs, in the lap of the previous NPA Mayor and council!
When ever you are stuck in a pickle, spread the relish onto your political foes!
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open