"It's not a blank cheque."
Remember those words.
They come from Premier Gordon Campbell and they refer, of course, to the ramrod job he intends this weekend to change the Vancouver Charter to allow the City to borrow scads and scads of money to clean up the Olympic Village fiasco.
You should remember these words because in the coming years, as Vancouver sinks into the same habit as you and I have with our Visa cards, the City will become the King, Queen and Joker of Deficit Financing.
First of all, a change of this kind, a negative undertaking of this kind, is by current law, supposed to be put to public referendum.
But that's what governments do. When they don't like the rules, they change them.
As if you no longer appreciate your spouse and change the rules so a little arsenic in the corn flakes would no longer be considered homicide.
Opposition House Leader, Adrian Dix, has added that a no discussion vote in the Legislature today is a no go. He has declared this unacceptable and intends to push for a full argument.
Good luck with all of that, Adrian.
Note also that the wording of the suggested change to the City Charter calls for "unlimited borrowing powers."
Yes, be alarmed.
If you are not, you are as big a rube and sucker than the city council that signed us all in for this deal in the first place.
Financial writer, David Baines, writing in the Sun today echoes what I said here yesterday. He just says it better and in more detail.
Olympic village on shaky ground from start
City politicians and staff failed to ensure the project had sound financing from the outsetDazzled by bigger numbers from the less solid Millenium, Council ignored good offers from two more accomplished players.
Meanwhile back at the optometrist, in the rose-colored glasses aisle, former Mayor Philip Owen is begging everyone to stop being so negative and realize what a joy this really is.
What can we do when the tab shows up on our property tax assessments? Or the new One Way Street Tax or Parking on a Residential Street for More than 12 Minutes Tax or whatever scam will be used to recover from this sinkhole?
Can we say, "Sorry. You voted for this in secret and we weren't consulted?"
Can we get Phil to pay for us?
Can we get a blank cheque from Gord?
The punch line is this.
You and I will pay for the Jamaican bobsled team to share marble counters for 10 days and for off-shore clients to pay the highest square-foot costs in history for condos they will occupy 3 days a year.