January 13, 2009

Vancouver needs 2010 Olympic bailout

The western Canadian city of Vancouver is seeking a $458 million bailout loan to complete building Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Games.

Mayor Gregor Robertson e-mailed British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell last week saying construction money will dry up next month, the Vancouver Sun reported Tuesday.

Robertson said the last of a $100 million civic loan to the project developer will be exhausted by Feb. 14, and the project's principal lenders, Fortress Investment Group, has cut off construction funding for undetermined reasons.

In correspondence seen by the Sun, provincial officials seemed open to providing loan funds, but with strict contractual terms in place. The provincial legislature is scheduled to reconvene Feb. 10.

Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in nearby Surrey, and was adamant federal funds would only be used for security measures.

The federal government will not be financing cost overruns with the Olympic village, Harper said.