Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Millennium Hotel Deal Just Gets Better!

Who Was Looking Out For
Nanaimo Taxpayers?

Based on different reports in the press over the years I was always under the impression that Millennium had put up some kind of guarantee or performance bond if you will, to see that they would build a hotel downtown next to the conference centre.

In fact if you go over the records available it would appear that in June 2007, Millennium put up a letter of credit for $150,000.00. Then another one in Oct. 2007 for $450,000.00 and finally another $100,000.00 in March 2009. At first glance this would appear as if they put up $700,000.00 to guarantee the building of the hotel. Offsetting this of course is the over $3,000,000.00 the city paid Millennium for their part in overseeing the construction of the VICC.

When I contacted city hall to find out if I had my facts straight, the city manager Mr. Kenning informed me that the $150,000 LOC was replaced by the $450,000 LOC which was actually returned to Millennium as it was felt they had completed their end of the deal which the $450,000 was supposed to guarantee. Mr. Kenning went on to explain that the $100,000.00 was in fact kept by the city.

To sum up, the city of Nanaimo paid Millennium over $3,000,000.00 with the understanding they were to build a hotel. The city managers at the time never insisted on a guarantee from Millennium to see they would complete their end of the deal. In March of 2009 Millennium gave up $100,000 of the $3,000,000 they had already collected; in an attempt to stall even longer than they had on the hotel deal.

So, I repeat, who was and is taking care of the interests of the Nanaimo taxpayer? The city manager at the time was Mr. Jerry Berry, the assistant manager was Mr. A. Kenning, councillors at the time included Mr.Sherry, Mr.Holdom, Mr. McNabb and possibly Mr. Unger. With the exception of Mr. Berry, the other members are still looking out for the interests of Nanaimo taxpayers.

In addition there are a few other familiar names including Mr. Ron Cantelon, Mr. Jeet Manhas, Ms. Diane Brennan and of course Mr. Gary Korpan who would have played a part in over seeing this project.

To sum up, they made a deal with a company which apparently is nothing but a shell company with no assets. They paid this company $3,000,000.00 to build a hotel which never was built and never did have any solid guarantee of performance. A mulit-million dollar project which had no competing bids!

In the private sector this type of performance would end up with the responsible parties 'kicking a can to the employment office'. Not so, in the public sector. The public sector gets half million dollar handshakes!



  1. I think that you forgot to mention the names of the other councillors involved, who are, or have been in office:

    Councillors Bill Bestwick, Joy Cameron and Dawn Tyndall.

    Have you seen the plaque at the northeast corner of the exterior (rear) of the VICC on Gordon Street that lists the names of the City Councillors? It has been there for some time.

  2. I heard City is working with another developer or investor to build this hotel. Does anyone know that is the latest situatioon on this vacant site?

  3. The council of the day when this whole Millennium deal got underway was G. Korpan, D. Brennan, R. Cantelon, W.Holdom, T. Krall, L. McNabb, C. Manhas, L. Sherry., D. Tyndall.

  4. FYI the first council I listed was from 2003 which is when the Millennium 'die was cast' so to speak. The 2005 council were:
    G. Korpan, B. Bestwick, L. McNabb, B. Holdom, Jeet Manhas,L. Sherry,D. Brennan, Joy Cameron, M. Unger.

    Throughout the whole deal, Mr. Berry was the highly praised city manager and I believe Mr. Kenning was also involved with the deal as well.


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