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Public does not need to know about $100 million loan: city

The City of Vancouver said taxpayers’ interests trump the public’s right to know about a $100 million loan the city has reportedly provided to the developer of the Olympic Village at Southeast False Creek.

“There’s a difference between the public and the taxpayer,” Deputy City Manager Jodi Andrews told reporters outside the construction site on Thursday.

“It’s not in the taxpayers’ best interest to talk about the day-to-day dealings,” Andrews said “It really is inappropriate and is harmful to the taxpayer.”

Andrews also refused to comment on reports that the city’s top financial officer has resigned her position and flown to Hong Kong.

Mayor Sam Sullivan declined to discuss the issue with reporters on Thursday.

Coun. Peter Ladner, who chairs the city’s finance committee, mentioned the loan during an Oct. 22 homelessness debate, but refused to respond to The Tyee's follow-up questions.

Ladner, who as the Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral candidate has been anything but camera-shy, refused to speak to reporters yesterday. NPA campaign spokesman Michael Meneer said Ladner was waiting on a City of Vancouver announcement that would clarify the situation.

But the cryptic news release issued by the city shortly after 2 p.m. provided no answers.

“Staff has kept all council members informed,” the release continued. “The City will continue to make information publicly available when appropriate…”

Vision Vancouver opponent Gregor Robertson called on Ladner to disclose the loan.

Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason, who broke the story yesterday, called for full disclosure today.

Monte Paulsen is investigative editor of The Tyee.

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