Whispered leaks say that PavCo’s professional managers are arm wrestling with political hacks who want only happy talk reaching ears of the public. Trouble is, good news at PavCo is mostly spin that won’t hold up to scrutiny. The result, at least until Liberals create a workable survival strategy, is no news. Given the quiet turmoil, we’re not surprised that directors are distancing themselves through resignations.
After the Auditor General loudly expressed concerns about BC Hydro’s accounting tricks, PavCo must step carefully if it chooses to hide losses by using deferral accounts or by shifting operating costs to capital accounts.
Despite financial clouds, executive bonuses are not at risk. Boys in the corner offices rewrote their own performance targets to include “event days” as a prime measure. However, a single function on a single day may add numerous event days to the count, even when not a single dollar of revenue is generated on the extra days. They do this by counting “move-in” and “move-out” times, rehearsals and non-revenue events. Hosting a high school football tournament before an audience of hundreds might result in numerous event days even though the facility loses additional money by opening its doors.
Three months ago, journalist Bob Mackin asked this question about BC Place:
What is the final cost of the stadium for taxpayers? How much is it over the $563 million figure that PavCo has mysteriously stopped quoting?
Will it require the auditor general to investigate?
Despite completion of the stadium rebuild almost 7 months ago, the question remains unanswered.
Bill Good did an “in-depth” piece with David Podmore recently but meaningful questions about PavCo budgets and governance were not asked. Now, Bob Mackin repeats his question after asking why the February resignations of two directors went unannounced:
We still have no update on the cost of the B.C. Place renovations, which were budgeted at $563 million. The government is not likely to tell us the truth while it’s contesting by-elections in Port Moody and Chilliwack, for fear of losing two seats in the Legislature.