Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Late Breaking News on the Athlete's Village

Pulled off CTV news.

Final cost to tax-payers depends on how strong the property market is. Best case from Robertson = break even.

Worst case $1 billion in the hole.

As they said on CTV, politicians should not dabble in business.

More importantly who advised the previous council (only Susanne Anton is left in the boat from that administration) ? Which law firm, which accountants and financial advisers??

Should they not be held liable?

Does anyone have the time to ferret through City info and find out who these advisers were?

Meanwhile the RCMP have been questioning the friends of Olympics opponents. Be careful who you share that extra-hot skimmed late with :


And yes anon (from the last comments) I did see what happened to Canwest. The ire of the public prevented at least one tax-payer bail-out, though I do feel sorry for the employees

CanWest union decries bankruptcy protection

2009-10-06 16:01 ET - News Release

Mr. Peter Murdoch reports


After CanWest Global Communications Corp. filed for Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection for some of its operations, Peter Murdoch, vice-president of media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), said in reaction, "Media workers at Canwest stations should not be forced to pay the price with their pension and severance payments for financial problems that are of the company's own making."

"Employees have done everything they can to sustain this company," says Mr. Murdoch. "Thousands have already lost their jobs and there has been no wage increase for years.

Though management salaries have been excessive -- $49-million to eight people from 2001 to 2008, while during that same period over 1,000 Canwest employees lost their jobs.

Those who are left are on pins and needles, including pensioners." Mr. Murdoch adds that governments, banks and media conglomerates have all ignored the warnings about the dangers of massive media convergence and unsustainable debt. "CEP will be front and centre to ensure that employees are first in line for company obligations," says Mr. Murdoch.

Mr. Murdoch also says the federal government should step up to the plate. "The federal government has been irresponsible in monitoring and policing pension plans, and where is it now to backstop this?"

"Yet another major company has filed for bankruptcy protection under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's watch," says CEP president Dave Coles. "It's time for this government to stop congratulating itself and to take action to prevent more working people from falling victim to this recession."

CEP represents more than 25,000 newspaper and broadcast employees across Canada, including workers at the National Post and Global TV who are affected by the filing announcement.


  1. I still cant wrap my head around how they cant make money on this project. The recent run up of real estate prices is partially due to increasing land prices and partially due to rising construction costs. It is my understanding they already owned this land, so their only real cost is construction. Other companies are making money where they have to pay the inflated land prices as well as the inflated construction cost.

    I have heard the break even for this mess is close to $1000/sf and yet the new richards building is selling for around $600/sf and they had to pay $6million for just one house on the block! I think the city is getting scammed somewhere, or they are scamming the people of the city.

  2. Well it seems they are already $150 Million in the red with the current projections, and the 'break-even' is probabaly based on the rosey-est sales unachievable forecasts.

    Once again I think the city was badly advised. It was like putting lambs in a room full of wolves.

    Politicians who like to trumpet PPP deals forget that the private takes all the profit and the tax-payer all the loss.

    If there were professional advisers involved (and I am sure thre were) they should be held liable.

  3. Here we are RE Bears crying foul of Canwest media going belly up and crying for Harper to intervene? I really thought RE bears would have supported letting bad business fail to be rebuilt in time w/o gov't intervention.

  4. My bad on that- its a news release not a bears view...

  5. Looks like this bankrupt company needs to spend $10 Million in bonuses to retain key staff! Sheesh..


  6. Anon - this blog (and most bears) have tried to prevent Harper from bailing out his buddies in Canwest. See the poll on the right.

    However I feel bad for the rank and file employees who have been fired, will be fired and will lose pensions etc. They didn't make the bad decisions, like buying Alliance for an exhorbitant price, the senior management- who were very paid- did.

    Frank- this is Corporate world for you. We are in a recession, jobs are hard to find, the company is bankrupt - so what do they do?- pay retention bonuses to senior execs.

    AIG did exactly the same.

  7. @david - that's a really good point re: land costs. What'd they build with, titanium?

  8. So the auditor's report didn't include land costs in the analysis of the project? Only publicly concentrating on cash flow and ignoring that the balance sheet (which is what matters for the city in the future) will show a gargantuan loss for the city is extremely poor management. The former CEO of a locally founded corporation should know this.

    Perhaps ask the councilors what the cash flow would have looked like if they just sold the land to a developer for cash and stayed out of the development business altogether. Hmmm...