Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Olympic Village players say too much, too little

First step when a political uproar hits: Check the websites. In the case of the Olympic Village, two key players are Millennium Development and Fortress Investment Group. One says too little by saying too much. The other says too much by saying too little.

Go to Millennium, and you get high-calorie eye-candy, complete with a sound track. In the left-hand sidebar, click on Millennium Water Belvedere (“Belvedere” means “pretty to look at”).

Now click on “Legacy” in the links strip at the bottom, and you find promises of a “green Utopia ... a showcase of master planning.”

Surf around the other links, and you’ll see why it will cost $850 million to finish this place. It looks like The Shire in the 21st century, complete with a hobbit kayaking down False Creek.

Now go to Fortress Investment Group LLC, who stopped lending to Millennium a few months ago. The less they tell you, the more you learn.

You can find out who’s on the board of directors, and you can download the 2007 annual report, but you won’t find anything about lending to Millennium, or the anxiety currently felt by the hobbits out in Vancouver.

You can learn, however, that Fortress didn’t pay a dividend in the last quarter of 2008, and that at the end of trading on January 12, its share price was US$1.56, down 69 cents (30 percent).

Go to the Vancouver city website, and you’ll at least find some documentation on what’s going on, including the 2002 Bid Book, the Host City Contract, and the details about how Millennium was selected to develop the Olympic Village.

But the folks lending and spending the money for the Olympic Village say very little...and too much.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus