Let’s assume, for a moment, that Premier Dennis Fentie is right. That the Canada Games athletes’ village has been completed on time and, most importantly, on budget.
The simple dorm, an assemblage of Alberta-made camp trailers framed by lumber, cost $31 million.
Its sole mission: to accommodate 3,600 athletes, coaches and managers for two weeks.
That’s $31 million for two weeks.
The village will cost the territory $8,600 per athlete. Each will stay within its walls for one week.
So — sans room service — the cost is $1,230 a night.
That’s an elegant five-star penthouse suite in any other city.
Here, athletes will be crammed, cheek-by-jowl, into retrofitted camp trailers.
Surely, there had to be another way. A better way.
With a little foresight, dare we say a little leadership, such an extravagant expense could have been avoided.
But it wasn’t, and the territory is stuck with the outcome.
We’ll eat the cost, renovate the trailers once the Games are over — still more money — and move on.
But citizens have a right to question the decision, to ask whether the Yukon received value for its money.
Did they witness good governance?
Or was someone simply buying themselves out of a pickle? (RM)