Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wrong Investments

No story more clearly illustrates the Campbell government than the one I meant to post yesterday.

Being a 2000-year old man, I got caught up in other matters (The Lady and the Library really had me going...) and I plain forgot.

Here is the story.

Victoria promised money to build a maritime centre in North Vancouver. This would replace the hopelessly inadequate Maritime Museum currently languishing on Kits Point.

For those who continue to live in the Popsicle delusion that this is a city fueled by latter and real estate, surprise.

We are a port.

Potash and compact cars, that's who we are, kids.

So, a multi-purpose centre on the waterfront that celebrates our very nature and offers educational, historical, archival, entertainment, shopping and dining opportunities is a no-brainer.


That is if you're not putting all of your eggs into a 12 day event in one February, and anything that's left over into a new Teflon roof for your stadium.

With much fanfare, including a 2008 announcement by Premier Gordon Campbell, the province put up $9-million in funding, and was expected to contribute an additional $20-million to $25-million in capital costs for the 110,000-square-foot centre.

The federal government pledged $20-million in funding, contingent on provincial support.

Kiss that goodbye.

“I was afraid something like this would happen, given that it had been taking so long,” said James Delgado, president and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology based in Bodrum, Turkey.

“[I'm] heartsick, absolutely heartsick.”

Delgado, who was one of the best people we have ever had plying these local waters, left because he saw the handwriting on the wall years ago.

Jim was Executive Director of the Maritime Museum. He was also a wonderful writer, world-famous deep sea diver and relentless booster for Vancouver.

We lost his terrific energy because of this kind of short-sightedness.

Did you know that in the basement of the current Museum are actual relics from the Titanic?

I've seen them, but that's because I've bothered to go down there.

Me and 12 other people in the last 20 years.

So...back to Gorgeous Gord.

The priorities are clear and unmistakable.

Billions for the Big O, which used to mean something else altogether.

But when it comes to the relative lunch money for something that truly speaks of Vancouver and British Columbia heritage, the cupboard is bare.

Let's just rename the fellow Short Stick Gord.

Long-Term Solutions for Haiti

The Haiti disaster is horrifying and the rescue and relief responses are encouraging.

But Haiti has long been a hideous nightmare.

Will the Have Nations now truly do what they can to help lift these poor souls into a new life?

I cannot write any more clearly about this necessity than the editorial writers have today in the Globe, or the guest columnists have in their piece.

Please read both. They are important and spot on.