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Did you really think our rich uncle in Victoria and his buddies
at VANOC were going to make sure Whistler would have all the resources it needs
to protect the poor Whistler taxpayer? These same people I think also believe
the Godfathers at the IOC are just sweet old philanthropists working towards
Did you really think that we were going to have any control
over how this big party was going to go down? Did you think we were going to be
able to say “no” to the likes of the provincial government and its institutions
on things like what they can or cannot do with their land (B.C. Hydro buses),
or get the tax revenues we need, we deserve (VANOC sliding centre)?
While these now angry and surprised taxpayers are crying in
their martinis about the waste and injustice of it all, they are also leveling
charges of gross incompetence at virtually every soul at the RMOW and council.
I have never trusted governments to be great money managers with my hard earned
taxes (I am very good at wasting money on my own, thank you very much), and I
would never claim that the RMOW is a bastion of total efficiency and value.
However, blaming our council and staff at the RMOW for the record construction
costs for the last four or five years, record commodity prices, record land
costs, record pressure from developers… and on and on and on, is really a gross
distortion of reality and a selective interpretation of the facts.
You want to complain about the cost of the library or the
sewage treatment plant? Just ask anyone who tried to do a reno on their house
in Whistler in the last several years about how expensive it was. Why? Every
able-bodied trade and/or labourer was hijacked by exorbitant pay rates on must
do “Olympic” sites throughout the corridor. We had to pay $25-30/hr for labour
last fall because the Nordic centre, the athletes’ village, etc. were like a
deep black holes of cash for trades and a great sucking sound was heard
throughout the valley as my bank account was drained, along with our
Ask the builders in Vancouver about how expensive it was to
build anything over the last five years vs. the previous 100 years!
Construction costs were going up by an estimated 2-3 per cent per month! Just
ask the Millennium developers building the Olympic village in Vancouver about record
building costs and $60 million deficits. Wow, even the sophisticated, supremely
politically connected developer guys got it wrong.