Commonewealth Games, Halifax, HRM

HRM Council meets on Games – update!

Today should be a big day for Scott Logan and the rest of the Halifax Commonwealth Games bid committee – Mayor Peter Kelly has announced a meeting in which he will “share new information about the cost of the Games”. Whether this means real numbers or not is unclear, but I have a feeling that this will presage further announcements by the Committee.

I’m thankful that some members of Council have expressed reservations about the Games based on cost and that this meeting might not be a rubber stamp to continue for the Committee. Will it kill the Games bid? Probably not, although the CBC article does say that they are going to “decide the fate” of the bid, but there is hope.

In a related note, the Chronicle Herald mentions today that their online poll on Tuesday which asked if people thought whether the Commonwealth Games bid was getting unfairly treated by the press was itself polluted by repeated votes from four IP addresses. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one computer from each site was tampering with the vote (i.e. by automated vote casting), but that many people from a single domain merely might have voted. Interestingly, two of these sites voted dominantly “No” and two “Yes” to the question, and even more interestingly, one of the sites voting “Yes” was from the Atlantic Canada Oportunities Agency (ACOA), the agency through which all funds from the federal government would be funnelled.

In the same article it mentions that a spokeswoman for the Games committee had her assistant send out an email to urge people to vote in the online poll.

The Chronicle Herald mentions how many votes came from the four IP addresses in total, but not how they broke down. It would be interesting, but not really useful, to see just how many votes came from ACOA, particularly since the vote split relatively evenly, with the “No” side with a slight advantage. I’m just curious, what can I say?

It appears that there are many out there in the city that share my concern over the Games.

Edit to add: Just got thinking about ACOA handling all of the federal contribution. Could this affect the amount of money that ACOA has for other programs? Might this not be a bit of a shell game to hide cuts to ACOA’s main operating funds? Nah, they wouldn’t hide a program cut like that would they? Never.

In addition: I just noticed that asshats at Corporate Research Associates have come out in condemnation of Peter Kelly’s handling of the Games bid and the fact that they are allowing public debate of the costs.

Democracy can get pretty fucking messy, can’t it? And it can’t be a conflict of interest at all that these comments came from Don Mills, the president of CRA, who have run polls showing high public support for the Games, and who is also chairman of the Bring on the Games committee, the local business coalition supporting the bid?

Naturally, local businesses await with pouty lips the federal teat of fortune that would be dropped before them and they would just about do anything to get a taste of that milk.

Edited to add: Oh my. Just oh my.

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