Just the facts please

Everywhere you look these days it's about money and accountability.

Even the Vancouver Canucks are being "advised" by their many armchair coaches to be accountable and calm as they continue their push for the Stanley Cup.

Taxpayers, though excited about the Canuck celebration sites set up across the Lower Mainland and beyond - though not in Whistler - are also now facing up to the costs involved.

Media outlets are reporting that Surrey's celebrations are costing about $48,000 a game, including $12,000 a night to project the game on a giant screen outside SFU's Surrey campus at the Central City Plaza.

CBC reports that policing the plaza costs about $6,000 a night. But what seems to be ratcheting up the police costs is keeping crowd control in place at Scott Road and 72nd post games. Price tag: about $30,000 a game. All this money is to come from existing budgets.

Vancouver was hoping the province would step up to help with its celebration costs with policing alone expected to cost $650,000 if the Canucks go all the way to Game 7.

But said new Premier Christy Clark this week: "When the Canucks bring home the Stanley Cup we are certainly going to be part of the celebrations. It's not just a Vancouver win, it's a win for the entire province and the entire country."

But for now celebration sites are on their own.

Last week it was decided in Whistler at a municipal level that a giant TV screen would not be placed in Whistler Olympic Plaza for the Canuck playoffs saving townsfolk lots of money but making us feel a bit like the kid who wasn't invited to the party.

That feeling of being an outsider is apparent in many places just now in the municipality. It's almost patronizing as if citizens aren't able to reach sensible conclusions given all the facts - so only some of the facts are shared.

One might consider the recent discussions around tendering contracts in that light.

While on the face of it the municipality has the right not to tender certain contracts logic and experience would generally suggest that this process might lead to a better deal for the citizen.

There are "watchdog" approaches in place and under the "sole source" process for procurement the municipality must prepare a "sole source justification report" for any contract over $25,000. But when Pique asked to see a couple of these for paving we were told we had to submit a Freedom of Information request. Stay tuned.


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