Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Pavco pain

What happens when you’ve got a stadium that cost taxpayers more per seat than almost any sports arena in the world has cost the public and it’s only needed a few days a year? If you’re a BC Liberal, you trust your friends in the mainstream media will stay quiet, except perhaps to remind citizens ...

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Similarities, including the price

For roughly the same amount Pavco paid for modifications to BC Place, Poland built, from the ground up, Stadion Narodowy, an 58,145 seat arena and conference centre with similar retractable roof technology and parking under the heated, natural grass pitch for almost 2,000 cars. It opened in January 2012. There is one other likeness to ...

Northern Insight: Crony capitalism, part duh…

I don’t know that I will bother writing about the detail that I’ve accumulated in examining convention centre projects in North America and abroad. Regular readers can probably guess accurately at what I might say but I’ll show this graph and let readers ponder if it is significant, or not. BC Liberal trolls will no ...

Northern Insight: Failing upward

In the five years 2009-2013, B.C. Pavilion Corporation, the provincial operator of BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre, accumulated deficits totaling $234,178,000 before public contributions (Source: Pavco audited financial statements). During those same five years, the five highest paid executives of Pavco shared $6,416,446 in bonuses and other non-salary remuneration. As noted previously, these ...

Northern Insight: BC’s crony capitalism in action

Flipping channels Sunday, I paused to watch as Vancouver Whitecaps FC played an MSL game at the StubHub Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, CA. In a facility capable of seating 27,000, the announced crowd was 6,684. No way was that a head count. Feet, maybe. One thing I learned was that no ...

Northern Insight: NOT for the people

In an 1830 speech, Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster said that government should be “Made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.” British Columbia’s present ruling political class may pay lip-service to this fundamental ideal of democracy but, repeatedly, their behaviour demonstrates the priority is to serve special private interests. Premier ...

Northern Insight: As much as anyone, Liberals hurt themselves

“A lie is an affront to the soul, as well as an insult to the intelligence of the person to whom one lies.” ― Judith McNaught Underwear mfg is prime sponsor Tickets for Vancouver’s Times of India Film Awards ‘virtually’ sell out within hours, Larissa Cahute, Vancouver Desi, Feb 15, 2013 “Tickets for the first-ever ...

Northern Insight: No doubt about the winner in a contest of one

Ian Reid and Bob Mackin have been the leading journalists examining Paragon Gaming’s past relationship with Pavco. We knew Paragon had an inside track for the proposed casino at BC Place but it now seems theirs was the only horse in the race. Reid’s BC Place meet Paragon Gaming, along with his earlier reports, exposes ...

Northern Insight: No news is likely bad news

With the first quarter of British Columbia’s current fiscal year ending, public agencies and crown corporations will soon release annual reports and audited financials for the year ended March 31, 2012. A vast quantity of money is wasted, filling these PR publications with purple prose and graphics that few persons read, beyond the creators. Serious ...

Northern Insight: What’s up at PavCo besides operating losses?

Whispered leaks say that PavCo’s professional managers are arm wrestling with political hacks who want only happy talk reaching ears of the public. Trouble is, good news at PavCo is mostly spin that won’t hold up to scrutiny. The result, at least until Liberals create a workable survival strategy, is no news. Given the quiet ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Something is rotten in the state of PavCo

The government’s fiscal year ends in a few days so here’s a suggestion for more accurate financial reports in BC. Add a separate line item for “Fraud, Theft & Abuse.” That way, taxpayers could know the real costs of legitimate programs and the 30% of voters still supporting Christy Clark’s team would better know what ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Bob Mackin poses a good question

B.C. Place’s field of fire, 2010 Gold Rush, NEWS AND VIEWS ON VANCOUVER 2010 (AND BEYOND) FROM BOB MACKIN. “What is the final cost of the stadium for taxpayers? How much is it over the $563 million figure that PavCo has mysteriously stopped quoting? Will it require the auditor general to investigate? “

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Some targets are easier to make than others

Forget land costs, management and operating expenses; BC Place still needs $2.5 million a month to break even. That represents amortization of recent renovation costs over 20 years. Of course, the actual revenue needed for break even is much higher because of the other costs. Let’s consider how business is faring. BC Place shows 17 ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Has the game changed or merely the players?

Recently, I was amused by a certain radio news-talk host angrily sputtering in response to callers’ claims that he was partial and passive in political coverage. He replied that, in a very long career, he’d followed his own conscience; management had never told him what to say or do. I don’t doubt that to be ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Stadium skeptics proved wrong

News Item: “Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters will be building an even bigger Wall at BC Place on May 26 next year. “In an announcement made Tuesday morning, BC Place and concert promoter Live Nation revealed Waters’ groundbreaking show, based on Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album, will be the first major musical event to ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Online journalists saved the bacon

Gordon Campbell and PavCo’s David Podmore made an announcement in March 2010: “Downtown Vancouver is getting a new $450-million casino and hotel complex to anchor its new “entertainment epicentre,” B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell confirmed on Friday morning. “Campbell made the announcement with David Podmore, the chair of the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, at a news conference ...

BC Place giant outdoor screen blares light into nearby residents’ homes

The new BC Place is a fine upgrade indeed. Its giant ‘crown’ atop the building is at once ugly and beautiful. Inside, the new seats, the windows around the upper part, the retractable roof, the giant video screen are all awe-inspiring. Outside is another story. Hovering over Terry Fox Plaza, a behemoth of a video ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Can we believe anything they say?

Pavco’s convention centre and stadium deals fascinate me. People residing beyond BC’s lower mainland are probably more pissed-off than fascinated. These deals clearly demonstrate the disaster potential when public and private enterprises work together and no one gives a damn about the public interest. That seems to be consistent among all public/private partnerships steered through ...