What do you do when you’re faced with a record $2.8-billion deficit and a half-billion in spending cuts?
Why … spend $485 million on a new roof for B.C. Place, of course.
Hats off to Premier Gordon Campbell and his merry band of spendthrifts — they make the New Democrats look like fiscal conservatives. The price tag for the stadium roof is roughly the same as the fast cats to nowhere, although if they try really hard, I’m sure they can surpass the former gold standard for wretched excess in B.C.
I admit, I’m staggered. The estimated price tag was bad enough: $365 million. Now, David Podmore, chairman of B.C. Pavilion Corp., the man in charge of this boondoggle, announces with a flourish that the cost is actually $485 million.
Not only that, he has the gall to present this spree as the result of careful and responsible consideration. He says he was pressed by reporters (those irresponsible hacks) to nail down a final price in May, but, unwilling to “play that game,” he waited until he was done figuring to tell us the “final” price exceeds the initial estimate by 120 million bucks. Chump change.
I would like to know what kind of happy drug Podmore is on because I’d like some. He even contends the new convention centre was finished $42 million under budget, so we can use some of that money on the roof. Of course, the final cost of the convention centre was a mere $400 million over its original estimate, but Podmore doesn’t like to dwell on the mistakes of the past when there are so many swell new mistakes to be made.
I guess it would be nice if we had a retractable roof over our heads at B.C. Place, but it would be even nicer if all those homeless people had a roof over their heads, too.
The last time I looked, there was already a roof over B.C. Place. It’s not the world’s greatest roof, but it keeps the rain off fans. Not so long ago, that was enough. Now that’s not enough.
As far as this government’s concerned, it’s never enough.
Well, let me say it again: Enough already!