Commonewealth Games, Halifax

Requeim for a bid…

Scott Logan is so full of shit I have to wonder what his morning toast tastes like. In what will hopefully be the last press report about the failed Commonwealth Games embarassment bid, he said:

To my grave, I will say that the responsible thing to do was to give accurate information for accurate decision-making and I’m very proud of the fact that that’s exactly what we did.

This from the head of the committee that lost the public’s trust by doing exactly the opposite, maintaining all along that it would be a “competitive disadvantage” to divulge costs and budgets. Unless of course he was referring to giving the provincial and municiple governments accurate information, as they would be the ones handing over our money. However, if I remember correctly, city and provincial officials were still in the dark about the actual numbers until the days leading up to their eventual pull-out.

Well, if little white lies like this are what helps Logan sleep at night, fine – he’s wasted enough taxpayers money and I don’t want us to have to foot health care dollars because he turned into an alcoholic or something in his guilt. However I don’t think I want him so much as planning my next vacation to PEI. Wherever he came from in the bowels of the provincial government is welcome to have him back – give him his parking spot, Blackberry and upholstered chair back.

In addition to his little mea non-culpa, the committee released pictures of what the facilities they had dreamed up might have looked like. I’m not sure if that was done in petulance (“Nyah nyah nyah – look what you’re not getting!”) or an attempt to show us what they did with their allowance for the past two years. Man, what am I going to do without my velodrome?

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4 thoughts on “Requeim for a bid…

  1. I too choked on my Cheerios this morning when I read/heard the earnest “To my grave” speech. I was waiting for the big Churchillian finish: “We shall never surrender”.

    But then this would be the same Scott Logan who wrote OpEd pieces defending video gambling while he worked for the Dept of Health Promotions. I wonder if he ever spotted the irony in that. Probably not.

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  2. Colin Powell had some really nice artist’s renditions too and look where that got him. That press conference was Logan’s childish attempt at getting in the last word in an argument that he’d already lost. If he had stood in front of city hall and stuck out his tongue at it to further his case it would have had the same effect and wasted less time.

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  3. What’s surprising is that they were about to LEVEL the existing concrete PMQs in Shannon Park and build a stadium there … not utilizing the space in an “economically feasible” way in the least … and they wonder why the public was in an uproar over the cost. (Well, at least Fred MacGillvray would have gotten his CFL stadium…)

    It’s unfortunate because “what could have been” has been ruined for those of us who supported the Games WITHIN REASON and the bid committee CLEARLY stepped outside the boundaries of what was reasonable for taxpayers.

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  4. Jennifer,
    You make a good point about Shannon Park, but I’m not sure that there are a lot of options except levelling the place. For one, there is some unused space there for facilities as it is, but the Committee wanted to pack a whole lot more into the place and at least some of the Q’s would have had to be torn down.

    Arguably some could have remained for an Athlete’s Village, but the place has been effectively uninhabited for a decade or more during which time they sufferred fairly extensive vandalism and general neglect. Even those that were serviceable up to the very end, they were not probably of a level that would have sufficed for an international venue. Friends of mine were, I believe, the second last couple to live in there, they were officially closed in 2002 I think. I was there quite a lot and can attest to the conditions.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Games Committee boned this up from the get-go. The decisions to go without a real business analysis and then to not trust the public with the information they needed to make up their minds were fatal. Fatal, avoidable, and stupid.

    In the end, I don’t think that there is any way that a cash-strapped province like ours is going to be able to afford anything like this, with or without idiots running the affair. Ultimately, putting a doofus like Logan in charge was a favour to us all. If the ultimate goal is to leave the city with some useful facilities, and the political will exists to build them, then let’s build them without wrapping them up in a money-losing billion-dollar-plus orgy at the public expense.

    However, before we build a bloody velodrome, how about some bike paths around the city so cyclists can stay the hell away from the idiot drivers around here that can’t even avoid lawn-darting into teenage girls on marked crosswalks.

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