Thursday, May 25, 2017

On sucker's deals

While my Leader-Post column won't be running this week, I'll take the opportunity to offer some context and an update on Geoff Leo's must-read report on Brightenview's founders who have become the Wall government's latest corporate darlings.

By way of background, Leo was also the one to break the news about how the Saskatchewan Party's campaign promise based on Brightenview was built on an incomplete deal, as well as the province's giveaway to CP which was supposed to provide an anchor tenant for the Global Transportation Hub to encourage other businesses to build without the need for massive public subsidies. And Julie Mintenko and David Giles reported on Brightenview's disappearance of its past promises of a Dundurn megamall.

With that in mind, should we expect anything different from Brightenview in the GTH? To answer that, let's take a photographic tour of its planned development.

First, here are artist's renderings of what it's supposed to look like (from Leo's report):


Second, the "breaking ground" photo op three weeks ago (also from CBC's report), showing what was advertised for public consumption as the start of work:


And for the punch line, the same site in its current condition:



Needless to say, the smart money looks to be on past performance predicting future results. But since Brightenview and the Saskatchewan Party each seem to have contributed to each other's confidence games, whether they lead to any benefit for the public is at most a secondary consideration.

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