Guess who’s the Olympic minister again?
Yes, Colin Hansen. The finance minister. He gave the reins to the Olympic Games Secretariat to rookie MLA Mary McNeil on June 9, 2009 — less than a month after the Liberals’ election win and six weeks before announcing the Harmonized Sales Tax would be forced on British Columbians on July 1, 2010.
On June 30 — the eve of the HST — Premier Gordon Campbell returned the OGS to Hansen’s hands by way of an order-in-council that was not publicized. I found out when a Freedom of Information clerk told me that the Ministry of Healthy Living’s Olympic records were transferred to Finance.
So the high huckster of the hated HST is now in charge of overseeing the wind-down of the government agency responsible for the Games and VANOC.
After VANOC dealt with a recession for which it was not prepared, it held its hand out to governments because sponsors were cutting budgets and tightening belts. Ultimately any red ink is the responsibility of provincial taxpayers.
Now, is it starting to become clear why the HST happened in the former host province?
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.