VICTORIA – In the legislature today, New Democrats demanded information about drips and debris falling from B.C. Place’s wildly overpriced roof.
“The B.C. Liberals allowed B.C. Place to host public events while the roof leaked and pieces of it were falling off onto the playing field, and tried to hide these problems from the public for two years. As recently as last month, the roof was still leaking,” said David Eby, New Democrat spokesperson for B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo).
For two years, PavCo fought to conceal information about faulty circlips falling from the leaky roof onto the playing field and the stands – even after it was forced for several months in 2012 to not open or close the roof when people were below in the field of play.
The Crown corporation was finally forced to release a contractor’s report on the falling clips at the end of last month after a ruling from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commission.
“Instead of fixing the roof and telling the public the truth, PavCo had a very different strategy: it bought beer for those fans who were leaked on,” said Eby.
Despite the problems plaguing B.C. Place, PavCo President Ken Cretney received a $100,000 bonus last year.
“It’s hard to understand why Mr. Cretney deserved a bonus, because he failed at more than just keeping fans dry. While B.C. Place was supposed to see 1.5 million visitors and achieve $18 million in sales last year, it missed the mark by 20 per cent and 18 per cent respectively,” said Eby.
“Not only are the B.C. Liberals responsible for this Crown corporation, but two of their ministers – Peter Fassbender and Suzanne Anton – were recently sitting on its board. It’s clear the Liberals knew about these problems. Today we asked why they tried to keep them quiet, but the Liberals refused to answer our questions.”
Eby added that Anton and Fassbender collected nearly $30,000 in fees between them for attending PavCo meetings.
The B.C. Liberals’ renovation of B.C. Place, which included the installation of the retractable roof, came in $149 million over budget, and cost British Columbians $514 million.