Friday, April 02, 2010

Casino Royale Regurgitated: The Vancouver Sun Finally Catches Up


After having their gong banged by independent Sean Holman for 36 hours straight on the story of longterm Campbell government appointee T. Richard Turner's involvement in the Casino Industrial Complex that is now tied to the Retractable Roof on BC Place, the Vancouver Sun finally has a piece of their own up under Jonathan Fowlie's byline.

In my opinion Fowlie's piece is a weak effort and provides little that is new that Mr. Holman has not already brought to light.

However, there is one interesting bit that is based on a quote that Mr. Fowlie managed to get from the good Mr. Turner, who also happens to have a financial interest in the Las Vegas concern, Paragon Gaming Inc., that won* the bid to build the Casino:

I didn't try to influence any decision," said Turner, adding he made the call after Paragon had been picked for the project.

"What I recall saying is . . . if the roof doesn't go ahead, that's fine, but we can't build what we said we'd build in the bid because we're counting on synergies between BC Place as renovated and the new development," he added, recalling the conversation with (Kevin) Krueger, the minister responsible for BC Place.

"If you cannot proceed with the roof, no problem, but we'll have to downsize what we said we would do in the bid package," Turner added, recalling what he told Krueger during the phone conversation.

Why interesting?

Well, because yesterday the Campbell government Minister responsible, Kevin Krueger said something very, very, very different indeed:

In Krueger's recollection, Turner had characterized the issue as a "deal breaker."

"He wanted to make me aware that was the fundamental consideration to Paragon and that their bid wouldn't proceed at the same level if it wasn't a retractable roof," Krueger said Thursday.

In other words, according to Mr. Krueger, Mr. Turner essentially told him "no roof, no dice".

Now, once again in my opinion, I believe that strongly suggests that we, the people of British Columbia, are paying $485 million, at least in part, to build a retractable roof to make a Las Vegas casino developer happy, rather than the other way around.

Which, no matter how you slice it, makes a back-yard deck look like small potatoes.

Don't you think?

*Not that we, the public, that is paying in both land and treasure, know how the Vegas concern won the deal or why.

Earlier I asked whose disembodied voice could be heard on the soundtrack of Mr. Holman's latest video with Mr. Krueger.....If I am not mistaken, I believe it was that of Mr. Vaughn Palmer....Does this mean we can expect a velvet hammerhead screed from The Dean in the paper tomorrow?



West End Bob said...

Totally O/T, RossK, but loved your input over at fabula's place today . . . .

RossK said...

Was impossible to resist Bob - she had the best of all the local April Fools stories....And then she waded in with a great comment about a local reporter that 'allegedly' fell for it....


Sean Holman said...

Yup, it was Vaughn...He has a column on the controversy in today's paper.

RossK said...

Thanks Sean....on my way.


Anonymous said...

Watching that video, Mr. Krueger says "I was well-briefed by PavCo."
That to me says it all.
This deal is not being led by the government but by private corporate interests. The elected officials are just doing the corporations' bidding in return for future lucrative positions.
This particular story is a metaphor for the entire BC Liberal government operations:(

RossK said...

Excellent point Anon-Above--

Combing the publically-available PavCo materials right now.....It is not an enjoyable pursuit...



kootcoot said...

"Which, no matter how you slice it, makes a back-yard deck look like small potatoes."

The irony of how important that deck was never fails to amuse. That and how important just who was another Gordon's REAL family might be, or not. Though that other Gord and Jude have long ago come clean about everything - and apparently resolved things with mates who don't bother to pretend to be mates, anymore!