Fred MacGillivray and Trade Centre Limited

There are so many things to say about the Trade Centre fiasco that it’s hard to know where to start. But maybe we step back and look at the global picture.

There’s obvioulsy an unclear vision and purpose for the Trade Centre; it basically comes down to “let’s give Fred MacGillivray a bunch of money and he’ll bring bazillions of visitors to town and we’ll all get rich.” But, so far as I can tell, there’s no real strategy, no concrete goals and, most important, no written or defined performance standards for “success.” This isn’t unique to Trade Centre; I’ve long felt that the entire economic development industry--- a multi-billion dollar industry in Canada--- is essentially self-assessed: we’re valuable because we tell you we’re valuable. When it comes down to it, politicians are hesitant to question the value for taxpayer dollars because they’ll be accused of being “anti-business” and not fully supportive of “economic development.” This, I think, is the fundamental problem with the entire industry: no one can say, exactly, what it’s supposed to be doing, nor why, nor how, nor how to measure its performance. I have lots to say about this, and will, no doubt, in the future.

But given that perspective, Roger Taylor gets it mostly right. Don’t get me wrong: I’d put much more stress on MacGillivray’s job performance and the internal workings of Trade Centre. But in the end, this is the fault of the politicians who oversee the workings of the crown corporation.

Adding, that the five-year delay on approval of MacGillivray’s pension plan is entirely the fault of the PC government, and that blame can be laid directly at John Hamm’s and Rodney MacDonald’s feet.

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