Public money, private players

I was extremely disappointed and shocked to read the article written by Tim Bousquet and published by The Coast ("Pubic money, private players," March 13). My disappointment came with the insistence on representing the regret of the Commonwealth Games 2014 bid long after it was over (when a community is trying to move past the embarrassment), while slandering respectable community leaders with information that is speculative.

My shock was overwhelming when Bousquet wrote my work was "perhaps best demonstrat" of the what he calls "the twisted path of Halifax 2014 connections."

A bit of background to please your author (and to properly inform the public): My involvement with the bid began when I saw a posting online for a position working with the Halifax 2014 communications team. The position looked for a graphic designer to develop bid creative such as venue booklets for the international audience (as a required element in the bid process). I went through an interview process that included three interviews with three different bid staff members (none of whom I had ever worked with or met before).

It might be surprising to Tim, but my experience as the owner/creative director of a local creative collective and as an Olympic athlete made me someone to consider forthe position.

The public should also know that, as someone committed to sport and the constructive growth of our community, I took great pride and pain in offering my services at a rate in the best interest of the bid. If your author's research was as ferocious as his reporting, he would have found out that my billing rate was $20/hour-$87/hour less than the average billing rate for a partner of a creative firm in Canada, according to the 2006 "National Survey of Graphic Design Salaries and Billing Practices," by the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.

As a small business owner and community volunteer, I rarely have time to kiss my kids at night, so I apologize that returning a phone call from your reporter looking to review my job applications and inspect my billing practices was not at the top of my priorities that day. Tim Bousquet made some stretched assumptions in his article about my work with the Halifax 2014 bid that ask the public to question my honesty as a business person. His reporting without adequate research is, at the minimum, irresponsible, and in my opinion, defamatory. I suggest that the article be denounced for its harmful and speculative inferences and that a public apology be made to me for the damage it has the potential to cause.

By Julia Rivard

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