As I was reading the first article in the weekend Vancouver Sun's "special information feature" on the $563-million facelift for B.C. Place, I came across a serious whopper.
"The total cost—$563 million dollars [sic]—is about half the more than one billion dollars it would have cost to build a new stadium. And as of this weekend BC Place is open again—on time, and on budget."
In 2009, the B.C. government approved a $365-billion budget, according to an article in the same paper that suggested $563 million was "on time, and on budget".
Even one of the major tenants, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, has posted an article from the Globe and Mail on its site mentioning the $365-million figure.
Back then, NDP MLA Rob Fleming was telling the Globe that the budget had soared.
"They were told three years ago that the lifespan of the current roof was nearing an end and needed to be replaced, but they avoided the decision for far too long," Fleming told the Globe in 2009. "This was originally supposed to be a $60-million project."
Based on Fleming's words, don't be surprised if some voters conclude that a $60-million roof has turned into a $563-million trip to the public trough.
The media's collective amnesia about the rising costs of this megaproject prompted a retired veteran journalist, Harvey Oberfeld, to suggest on his blog that truth has become a "casualty of inexperienced reporters".
In this province, circuses always come before bread.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.