'Exclusive' Olympic Village multiple choice reality test

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Top: Vancouver Clrs Louie, Chow, Cadman; Bottom: Clrs Anton, Stevenson, Deal.
Photos by
Alex & Rob, Urban Mixer

On your marks... set...let the Olympic Village scare mongering competition begin!

Rather than partaking in the gold medal sport of revisionist history, we thought we would cut through some of the confusion and provide you with our exclusive "CityCaucus.com Olympic Village Skill Testing Multiple Choice" questionnaire.

Firstly, we want to thank all the CityCaucus.com creative staff who worked tirelessly over the last number of weeks preparing the graphics and researching the questions.  So grab your pencils, and see you how well you score (see score card below).

Question 1:  Take a look at the photos above. All these City Councillors voted in favour of the $100 million Olympic Village financing plan. True or False?

Question 2: It was the NPA's decision to commit the City of Vancouver to delivering the Olympic Village. True or False?

Question 3: The first decision of the last Council was to bring some financial stability to the Olympic Village project they inherited from the previous Vision/COPE Council. True or False?

Question 4: At one point, Council was considering having 2/3 of the Olympic Village project designated as "not market" housing. True of False?

Question 5: Vision ran an election campaign against City taxpayer subsidies to the Athlete's Village development. True or False?

Answer Key:

Question 1. True. Despite what Mayor Robertson is out spinning, all the of politicians from Vision, NPA and COPE voted in favour of the $100 million financing plan.

Question 2. False. It was the previous Vision/COPE Council that committed the City of Vancouver to develop the Athletes Village for VANOC.

Question 3. True. Had Council approved the original Vision Vancouver proposal, a City staff report confirms that the project would have cost significantly more for taxpayers. In fact, Vision had proposed that only 1/3 of the project would be considered market housing. Vision's proposal to increase the overall level of city taxpayer subsidy on this waterfront property would have significantly reduced the viability of the project.

Question 4. True. See answer to Question 3. In fact, until recently Mayor Gregor Robertson was still talking about returning to the original taxpayer subsidized plan.

Question 5. False. Vision claimed to object to secret meetings, but didn't oppose the financing plan. In fact, in the 2005 election campaign the NPA promised that they would scale back on Vision's City taxpayer subsidized plan.

If Mayor Robertson had come out swinging against all of the elected officials from the last council, he would have grudgingly received my applause.  

By choosing to attack only the NPA elected officials, while remaining silent on the role his Vision colleagues played in the Olympic Village development, he's lost any credibility he might have had on this issue.  

Robertson should remember that he's no longer in opposition and he's now the leader of the City. He's going to be the Mayor during the 2010 Olympics.  Rather than participating in partisan scare tactics, his role should now be to work with his Council and the developer to instill confidence in this project.

Now it's time for you to weigh in.  


There is a good chance that the City loses a heap of money over this: $100 Million or more, depending on what the market does and how long it takes to sell all the units.

Think of the lost $100 Million as a housing subsidy.

What do you prefer, to subsidise non-market or moderate-income housing (as was the original plan that was changed by Sam's Council) or to subsidise luxury condo units that will have to sell for an average of $1.7 Million, or thereabouts?

Right, we don't have that choice. The NPA Council under Sam decided that for us. We will all pay for condos for the super rich.

I think you nailed the word, Daniel -- confidence. The mayor should be looking to provide confidence in the project, in the investment the City is making (and always intended to make) and how this project will stand out above others when it comes to homeowners looking for their next investment.

What private financier in its right mind would want to adopt any risk when the City has essentially shown all of its cards? It looks like this entire exercise was just so Gregor could meet is goofy 30-day timeline and once again try to split the hair on what NPA councillors did so wrong and Vision councillors did so right when they both voted the same way last term.

Precisely what negotiating leverage City residents got out of the Mayor and administrator by this ridiculous airing of grievances on Friday is beyond me. Its these early clueless forays by new administrations that are the early warning systems for bigger blunders to come. This is not a great day for a City looking for some better leadership.

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