The Big OWE
- The athletes’ village rising in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics is casting a shadow over the city’s finances.
Vancouver may have to borrow C$458 million ($375 million) or more to finish the 1,100 units by November, Mayor Gregor Robertson said at a news conference this month. That would almost double the city’s debt to about C$928 million, said Stephen Ogilvie, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s in Toronto. The credit- rating company said Jan. 13 that it might cut Vancouver from AA+.
The city took over financing of the C$1.1 billion housing complex after New York-based lender Fortress Investment Group LLC halted funding to the builder when costs ran C$125 million over budget. Taxpayers are reminded of Canada’s last Olympic-sized fiasco: The 1976 summer games in Montreal, which left Quebec with a C$1.5 billion debt that took decades to pay.
We are so doomed.