VICTORIA, B.C.— City council has inked a deal with a private corporation which literally sells the city’s arena facility down the tubes, says a new analytical report.
“The City of Victoria has signed a deal with RG Properties Ltd. that is so flawed it should be cancelled entirely,” says a CUPE research document that CUPE Local 388 hopes to present to council this week.
“The best opportunity for the city is to cancel everything, pay the minor penalties involved, and start again on a new plan,” adds the 25-page document entitled Thirty Reasons – Why Victoria should vote No to the arena deal.
The flaws in this deal are typical of public-private partnerships (P3s), says the report, and if the city wants to avoid these mistakes in future, it should consider creating a new plan that excludes private partners.
Some of the deal’s many flaws have huge implications. For example, the deal:
- actually costs far more than $30 million,
- exposes the city to major risks,
- leaves little remedy for default of payment, and
- fails to index to inflation some key financial figures.
“The community needs a better deal and the workers need a better deal,” said CUPE Local 388 president Susan Jansen. “We hope this information will help the public see that we can, and should, keep the arena services in public hands.”
“It is a sad day for the people who’ve provided a quality public service for fifty years,” said Lionel Anker, business manager, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 882. “Our members could provide the service just as successfully in a new facility.”
Workers from the arena are calling for a NO vote in the referendum scheduled April 20, 2002.
EDITOR’S NOTE: CUPE Local 388 hopes to present its brief to city council on Thursday, March 28, 2002.
Susan Jansen, Local 388 president
(250) 385-6023 or 386-0039