New installments April 2013
The crisis of bridge financing is in the eye of the beholder. Accounting idiosyncrasies and scope changes supported by a majority of council have evolved through reasonable project timelines. Choices have been transparent – presented in public to those at the table, mindful of the expectation that distinct elements of the project and its management require due diligence at every decision point.
Critics need to choose between journalism and advocacy, though it seems the two are cross-pollinating, with those investigating the story clearly advocates for an alternate agenda and storyline, and predictably less interested in the facts that don’t echo their view of history.
Costs of the referendum and an alternate design project are now in the budget, as are scope changes like the project to move Telus lines, and new features aimed at protecting structures from new traffic that may be generated by a post-referendum ship building program, among other line items. Endorsed as a package, council dissenters could have asked for separate motions to consider each distinct accounting change or substantive cost element. They had a voice, and a vote, not a veto.
Council chose, as it should have, to remain “focused” on value for money and voted to support clear, if sometimes mundane budget additions to protect taxpayers and the city’s capital investment, though nothing that could be characterized as inflationary, irresponsible or aimed at conspiratorial subterfuge.
The contractor will be in the water soon enough, even as those who lost the referendum and continue to lose votes at council, sometimes by proxy, continue to launch torpedoes aimed at scuttling the project.