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Endowment fund bolstering 'struggling' Olympic Village: Ladner

NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner said last week that the City of Vancouver has dipped “heavily” into its property endowment fund to make sure the Olympic Village project gets finished in time for the 2010 games.

“That project, as everybody knows, is struggling right now,” Ladner said during an October 22 homelessness debate against Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson. “The city is investing heavily through the property endowment fund to just get it finished.”

Here is a video recording of the comments:

The Tyee called the City of Vancouver to verify Ladner’s allegation that the city has dipped into its endowment fund to ensure a timely completion of Millennium Development’s 1,100-unit project at Southeast False Creek.

General manager of business planning and services Ken Bayne said it was public knowledge that the city has relied heavily on its endowment fund to finance the Olympic Village. The development sits on endowment-owned land and key services such as road construction depend on the fund.

“Comments that the PEF is investing heavily are absolutely right,” Bayne said.

When pressed about whether or not the city has provided additional funds because the project is struggling, Bayne said the mayoral candidate should clarify his own remarks.

“I’d suggest you’d need to talk to Councillor Ladner about what his reference was,” he said.

Non-Partisan Association spokesman Michael Meneer fielded The Tyee's question about the source of Ladner's claim:

“Well, he’s probably not going to tell you because it would be an in-camera reference," Meneer told The Tyee.

“For those comments?” The Tyee asked.

“Right,” Meneer said.

In-camera sessions are meetings that are closed to the public. Vancouver City Council conduced an in-camera meeting on Oct. 14, according to its minutes.

The Vancouver Charter does not set out penalties for making sensitive or in-camera information public.

Geoff Dembicki is a staff reporter for the Hook.

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