Will there be a witch hunt to find out who leaked Olympic Village loan info?

In-camera meetings are often held for the three "Ls": land, labour relations, and legal issues.

In fact, under  Section 165.2 of the Vancouver Charter, there is a much longer list of topics for which council must go in-camera.

So when someone in one of these in-camera meetings leaks information, it's considered a serious matter by many politicians.

I'm wondering if there will be a political witch hunt to find out who called the Globe and Mail's Gary Mason to leak the details of council's in-camera  decision to approve a $100-million loan to complete the Olympic Village on time.

There are members of council  who had motives for doing this, including:

a) Mayor Sam Sullivan, if he wanted to get even with Coun. Peter Ladner for snatching the NPA mayoral nomination. The leak makes Ladner, as head of the city's finance committee, look like he's covering up important financial information on the eve of an election.

b) Any of the Vision Vancouver councillors and COPE's David Cadman, because they have an interest in embarrassing Ladner.

c) Coun. B.C. Lee, a Sullivan loyalist, who is not seeking reelection. Somebody told Mason that the city's finance director, Estelle Lo, quit. Sullivan has denied that Lo has quit.  Could Lo have told Lee that she quit, and Lee conveyed this information to Mason?

Today after a news conference by deputy city manager Jody Andrews, the Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee told me that his newspaper wouldn't publish a news story based entirely on unnamed sources--which is precisely what Mason cited  in his front-page Globe and Mail story.

That prompted Courier columnist Allen Garr, who was standing next to Lee, to blurt out that this rule didn't  appear to apply to the Sun's provincial political columnist Vaughn Palmer, who often relies on unnamed sources.  

It's unlikely that NPA councillor Kim Capri was the source of  Mason's leak because she has gone on record with her vehement opposition to releasing confidential information from in-camera council meetings.

She introduced a notice of motion on January 30, 2007 calling upon the province to allow penalties to be imposed on anyone who violated the confidentiality of in-camera meetings.

Capri's notice of motion  began by urging  the province to amend the oath of office so that members of council know there is a duty to respect confidentiality.

The notice of motion also called upon the province to allow the banning of councillors who violate confidentiality from attending in-camera meetings.

In addition, Capri's notice called upon the province to disqualify a member of council for "deliberately breaching confidentiality".

The council minutes stated that the notice of motion was put off until the February 1, 2007 city services and budgets committee meeting.

There is no mention of this notice being heard at that meeting, according to the minutes of the city services and budget committee.

Perhaps the whole matter was discussed in-camera.




Nov 7, 2008 at 6:55am

Good reporting Charlie. What Grumpy can see is that Sam Sullivan's pet project is coming to grief and the Liberal farm team is taking one for the 'Premier'. With Estell Lo quitting, adds a new dimension in the growing scandal - has there been fiscal mismanagement on the project.

That the whole deal was supposed to be secret tell Grumpy something untoward happened or is about to happen and Campbell's cronies on council are making sure it was to be hushed up!


Nov 7, 2008 at 9:38am

I used to be alcoholic, drunk all the time and my house was in a mess. Ended in divorce. Those at City Hall are "drunk with power" and their 'house' (city hall) is in a mess. We must 'divorce' ourselves from these perfidious public servants.
Out with the old 'drunks'(vision, npa, cope) and in with a new and improved "FocusVancouver".


Nov 7, 2008 at 2:11pm

Maybe Hurky Jerky told Lucky Ducky and maybe the check is in the mail....but no matter who is sinking the ship, the NPA comes out of this smelling like the realtor/developer lichtspittles they have always been.

Caveat Emptor time voters.

David Wong

Nov 7, 2008 at 7:39pm

Oh boy oh boy... I *love* a good witch hunt. What d'ya say to the Straight setting up a good 'ol voting thing... you know, a survey - so we plebs can vote for the ugly witch.

Yup. Another election, except this time, someone will burn at the stake.