GlobalTV BC leads a third newscast in a row on 'Patriot Hearts' – watch video
As one person I know who closely follows city politics said to me tonight, "There's no chance now that Gregor can mention the Olympic Village ever again and not have it come back on him like a bad piece of pork." He can thank Vancouver's former Olympic boss for that.
When you see the latest coverage by GlobalTV it's hard to imagine how Mayor Gregor Robertson will ever live down the comments by "St. John" Furlong, former VANOC CEO. As we discussed on Saturday, an advanced copy of Furlong's book co-authored by Webster award winning columnist Gary Mason – Patriot Hearts – had Furlong condemning Robertson for his reckless politicking on the Olympic Village. It's estimated that Gregor's actions have cost taxpayers between $50 million & $200 million in value on the project.
Furlong also described how Gregor was "freaking out" about not being a part of the ceremony in Olympia, Greece. Apparently someone persuaded Robertson that he had to be there. The way Furlong described it, the Mayor was simply trying to getting a little more publicity for himself at the expense of Olympic protocol guidelines arranged well before the event.
The story has become a battle of reputations – is Furlong's frank talk more credible, or Robertson's self-defense? In his Sunday interview with GlobalTV's Darlene Heidemann Robertson does not deny Furlong's claims, but he hardly looks proud of what John has said.
What Robertson does say is that his goal was to be "transparent" with the financing details of the Olympic Village. But that rule only seemed to apply when the NPA were running the City. When even more secret deal-making was happening on the Village and the project had gone into default, it took a report by GlobalTV last September to expose what Robertson and Penny Ballem were up to.
Some have remarked that the troubled project on Southeast False Creek has taken down two governments – COPE in 2005 and the NPA in 2008. Will the disastrous politicking around the Olympic Village be the undoing of Vision Vancouver in 2011? We'll know about nine months from today.
UPDATE: Controversy continues to swirl around the 2010 Games as the one-year anniversary of the lighting of the cauldron in Vancouver approaches. Emails revealed by Globe & Mail and CBC show discussions were happening regarding the safety of the Whistler luge track prior to the fatal accident involving Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili.
- post by Mike