Allan Garr of the Courier has a very worthwhile piece this week concerning the ongoing clean up at City Hall of the mess Penny Ballem’s reign left behind. In Garr’s opinion, Ballem deserves the blame — both directly and indirectly through her senior hires — for untold administrative errors, delays, and costs aplenty.
I cannot disagree with Garr on any point. However he doesn’t complete the story; nor does he even hint that a bigger story lies behind the one he told so well.
The fact that so many of the development, planning, and other decisions in the Ballem years happened to fall in favour of Vision Vancouver’s financiers and masters cannot be just a coincidence. We are the least affordable city in North America by design. Ballem faithfully executed the game plan she was brought in to manage — and we live with the consequences today.
But Penny Ballem didn’t appear out of thin air. If she has to accept responsibility for the failures of the Jacksons and Latifs, then the Billionaire Boy’s Club affiliate known as Vision Vancouver has to take the rap for Ballem’s disasters; they hired her. She was either following the script given her by Magee and Robertson and their cronies, or they were incompetent in continuing to allow her to move forward so disastrously for so long.
Ballem was very well paid for the job she was doing, and she was even better paid to go away. Now we need to excavate the deeper dirt beneath her policies and actions.