Commonewealth Games, Halifax, HRM

In the smoking pile that was the Commonwealth Games

What’s left in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games bid?

Peter Kelly and Rodney MacDonald both look like tools, but that’s natural for them so it’s hard to say that the Games bid collapse is really to blame. By announcing the discontinuation of the bid process while city council was in session, Kelly firmly told council that their vote wasn’t worth a dime. The fact of the matter is that this could have easily been avoided had Kelly merely gone in front of council and said “the province has withdrawn support due to spiralling cost estimates. We need to do the same, can I call for a vote” and only then gone in front of the cameras to make the announcement. It’s pretty hard to screw up the announcement of a good decision, but Kelly managed to do it – well done, Mr. Mayor!

Any chance of accord within council chambers for the next year seems to be just about gone after Kelly’s bonehead move combined with Sheila Fougere’s faux huffiness immediately afterward. I’d love to find a link to this in print, but I heard her on Global News the other night saying that council had become as disfunctional as the HRM school board of yore. To me, it sounded more like a promise that she (and Sue Uteck, I fully expect) is going to spend the next year tarring and smearing Kelly at every opportunity rather than really trying to get anything done. Not that Kelly doesn’t deserve it, but governance in Halilfax is already a bit of a laughingstock nationally, we really don’t need any more of such treatment. It’s one thing to announce that you’re running for office next time around, but to do so with such bluster and fireworks bodes poorly for her and us. She will not win, and can only make an ass out of all of us over the next year. You read it here first.

Diana Whalen, candidate for Liberal leadership has decided to capitalize and has suggested that the provincial government should commit to spend the $300 million that it was prepared to spend on infrastructure development around the province. I’m not sure if this is one of those motherhood BS statements or not. The province will no doubt spend at least that on infrastructure and so could justifiably say that they are doing just that without lifting a finger. Or, as I have advocated in the past, we could spend on sensible developments, provided we still work hard at trimming the monstrous debt down, in the hope that they bear fruit. Time will tell all.

The “twisted sisters” downtown development appears to be a go, or at least harder to say “no” to now that council and the province has sent the Games to sleep with the fishes. If I was a developer with barely a half-decent proposal, I’d get in line now. Council can’t say no too often without seeming anti-development and reactionary.

Finally, Maureen MacDonald (NDP) has asked that an all-party committee look at how the Games Committee spent our money. I can’t support this enough – the Committee was overly secretive about everything associated with the bid and I would really like to know how much money was burned on travel junkets around the world in the name of the bid. Or using the bid as a smokescreen, more like.

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One thought on “In the smoking pile that was the Commonwealth Games

  1. Maybe this whole fiasco will shine a light on the consequences of truly uninspired leadership we have in HRM and NS. Good leaders would have secured more support from the feds, cultivated private partnerships and make taxpayers stakeholders rather than dupes to be kept in the dark. A comment in the Herald this morning summed it up well: Nova Scotia is a culture of managers, not leaders.

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