“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money”… Senator Everett Dirksen


“…it’s going to run professionally. This will be built on time and on budget…Count on it.” Premier Gordon Campbell, November 8, 2004

According to the report of the BC Auditor General released today the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project is now budgeted at $883.2 million, a mere $388,200,000.00 over the original cost estimate of $495 million.

The race is now on in earnest to determine which provincial government can waste more taxpayers’ money on a marine mega-project, Glen Clark’s NDP (fast ferries) or Gordon Campbell’s Liberals (convention centre). So far the NDP is ahead by a nose, having frittered away $435 million on the fast ferries. However, as the Auditor General pointed out, there is no guarantee that the total cost of the convention centre expansion will come in at $883.2 million, and there is over a year to go before all the bills are tallied up.

Can the Liberals bridge the gap of $47.2 million? I’d say, given the history of this project, with six increased estimates to date, it’s a lock. A better question is whether both governments can reach an even billion in taxpayers’ money wasted on these two nightmares. Senator Dirksen, may he rest in peace, would be proud.