I’ll always remember the first day of Occupy Vancouver, and how impressed I was with the city’s level of preparedness. They grounds were cleaned-up, there were professionally made signs warning people not to use tent pegs, and there was steel fencing installed over a what I think was a stairwell- protecting people from falling into it.
I met one of the senior members of the Engineering department that day- the same man who later told me how the city believes Occupy Vancouver was co-opted by a potentially dangerous group of people. I congratulated him for having the foresight to install the fencing- assuming it was to keep us safe. His response was “I’ve been wanting to do that one for a while now!”
One thing I really noticed at OV is how happy and friendly the city staff were with us. I expected them to be unhappy that they were being distracted from their daily grinds- it didn’t make any sense until this evening when I read an article in the Vancouver Sun that discusses a ‘leaked’ memorandum from Penny Ballem and Sadhu Johnston about the CoV’s costs that were related to OV.
Emergency Management: $28,494
Fire and Rescue Services: $16,730
The article states that the CoV was able to significantly reduce costs by using fire crews as the “Key interface” for OV, therefore reducing the costs of having more police on-site. Curiously, there was always a large contingent of city engineers on-site too!
Oodles of extra overtime! What a most perfect way to keep city staff happy during the middle of an election! And, while we’re at it, how about a pet-project like the fencing over the stairway on the grounds of the VAG!
And we can blame it on the dirty hippies! Brilliant!
Which reminds me, has the CoV dug into the issue of the incompetent architect they hired to build the vault for our city’s art treasures? Because, there must have been some overtime donated towards that project too. And, it appears the General Manager of Engineering Services negotiates with CUPE on overtime!