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Cured
28-11-2007, 07:00 PM
Really starting to lose faith in the current Provincial Gov't...

Legislature revamp - shelved
Royal Alberta Museum expansion - reduced scope, on hold, maybe we'll get an ATCO trailer
New remand center - they have no problem spending $600M on this
Oil Royalties - Sounds like there will be some flip flopping over the next few months

and now...


Province discards plan to rebuild Lt.-Gov.'s residence
Jason Markusoff, edmontonjournal.com
Published: 3:51 pm
EDMONTON - The provincial government has discarded plans to rebuild an Edmonton residence for Alberta's lieutenant-governor, after spending $380,000 on design and consulting fees.

When the province demolished the royal representative's 54-year-old official house in 2004, a government spokesman said the $400,000 costs to repair the home made it a "money pit."

The government will also lose additional dollars in cancellation fees for the project, Infrastructure Minister Luke Ouellette told reporters today after announcing the residence was on "indefinite hold."

He insisted it was the right thing to do for taxpayers. The government had budgeted $5.3 million to build a new house in the Glenora neighbourhood, but inflation drove the price tag to anywhere from $8 million to $9 million, he said.

"Maybe it's time to cut our losses and maybe it's time to say we're just not happy to go there right now," Ouellette said.

For the foreseeable future, Lt.-Gov. Norman Kwong will continue to live in a $2.1 million "temporary" home the government purchased for him in 2005, on St. George's Crescent, a few doors away from the site where the official residence was to be rebuilt.

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said the Stelmach Tories shouldn't use an important Edmonton symbol as its example that they can cut corners where necessary.

"Symbolically, it's another blow to Edmonton as a capital city," Taft said.

[email protected]



Edmonton Journal 2007

mark
28-11-2007, 07:16 PM
well, at least the conservative government is consistent :roll:

I can't comment on the the design because i haven't seen it, but this is a shame nonetheless. I have to agree with Kevin Taft's remarks on this one.

Skyscraperz
28-11-2007, 08:33 PM
Very disappointed, as usual.

Face it. Edmonton will get nothing but bare bones from the provincial government. It's not a matter of asking them to help us. It's a matter of us persevering in spite of what happens, or doesn't happen, to us.

glasshead
28-11-2007, 09:08 PM
When the province demolished the royal representative's 54-year-old official house in 2004, a government spokesman said the $400,000 costs to repair the home made it a "money pit."

The government will also lose additional dollars in cancellation fees for the project, Infrastructure Minister Luke Ouellette told reporters today after announcing the residence was on "indefinite hold."

He insisted it was the right thing to do for taxpayers. The government had budgeted $5.3 million to build a new house in the Glenora neighbourhood, but inflation drove the price tag to anywhere from $8 million to $9 million, he said.


Maybe they can recoup some money by operating an impark type gravel parking lot at that location.

peeved
28-11-2007, 10:48 PM
Poor Norman Kwong now he's stuck living in a 2.1 million dollar temporary home that the government purchased for him; some people have all the bad luck,how will he ever survive.
There are people living in caddboard boxes and tents,mortages and rents are insane and this is a concern.If a few people took a little less a lot of people could have a lot more.

Cured
28-11-2007, 11:18 PM
Yes, you're right. Let's not maintain anything.

I like everything grey too.

snakes on a blog
29-11-2007, 09:54 AM
so it's ok for the conservatives to spend $380,000 on consulting fees, but throwing $400,000 into fixing up an older building is a "money pit".

... seriously, is that suppose to be a joke? How can you possibly say that and keep a straight face?

and again, it's ok to throw another $300 million into an OVERBUDGET remand centre in the middle of a farmer's field in the north west, but building or maintaining a proper residence for the Queen's representative in Edmonton, well, that's just a waste of taxpayer's money.

if this province and this city were not wasting so much money, i'd find this all extremely funny. but instead, it makes you want to cry. If stupidity had a political party, it would be the Conservatives of Alberta.

Sonic Death Monkey
29-11-2007, 11:31 AM
According to today's Journal article, four years ago the government spent $5.3 million to restore the Lougheed family's ancestral mansion in Calgary. And yet our Provincial Head of State in our Capital City gets sweet bugger-all. That...angers me.

kcantor
29-11-2007, 11:43 AM
so it's ok for the conservatives to spend $380,000 on consulting fees, but throwing $400,000 into fixing up an older building is a "money pit".

... seriously, is that suppose to be a joke? How can you possibly say that and keep a straight face?

and again, it's ok to throw another $300 million into an OVERBUDGET remand centre in the middle of a farmer's field in the north west, but building or maintaining a proper residence for the Queen's representative in Edmonton, well, that's just a waste of taxpayer's money.

if this province and this city were not wasting so much money, i'd find this all extremely funny. but instead, it makes you want to cry. If stupidity had a political party, it would be the Conservatives of Alberta.
the treatment of the residence has in my opinion been a mistake that is unfortunately too late to remedy. the same could be said of the pentecostal tabernacle - and many other lost buildings owned by the city and the private sector and the federal government as well as the province.

having said that, that should be the issue, not the cost of a study. it was reported this morning that the replacement lot that was purchased is potentially worth four or five times what was paid for it - a "profit" of 5 or 6 or 7 times the cost of the study. so to debate what is right or wrong in regard to the residence should be returned to the merits of the decisions made and those that must now be made as a result and what will come of that. to debate the merits of what has transpired soley on the basis of expenses occured - or profit made - would be self-defeating at this point.

newfangled
29-11-2007, 11:49 AM
having said that, that should be the issue, not the cost of a study. it was reported this morning that the replacement lot that was purchased is potentially worth four or five times what was paid for it - a "profit" of 5 or 6 or 7 times the cost of the study.

And equally:


...$2.1 million "temporary" home the government purchased for him in 2005.

Was it 2.1M when they bought it, or is it 2.1M now? Either way, it has probably significantly appreciated over the 2005 purchase price (not that governments should be in the business of real estate :))

snakes on a blog
29-11-2007, 12:33 PM
so it's ok for the conservatives to spend $380,000 on consulting fees, but throwing $400,000 into fixing up an older building is a "money pit".

... seriously, is that suppose to be a joke? How can you possibly say that and keep a straight face?

and again, it's ok to throw another $300 million into an OVERBUDGET remand centre in the middle of a farmer's field in the north west, but building or maintaining a proper residence for the Queen's representative in Edmonton, well, that's just a waste of taxpayer's money.

if this province and this city were not wasting so much money, i'd find this all extremely funny. but instead, it makes you want to cry. If stupidity had a political party, it would be the Conservatives of Alberta.
the treatment of the residence has in my opinion been a mistake that is unfortunately too late to remedy. the same could be said of the pentecostal tabernacle - and many other lost buildings owned by the city and the private sector and the federal government as well as the province.

having said that, that should be the issue, not the cost of a study. it was reported this morning that the replacement lot that was purchased is potentially worth four or five times what was paid for it - a "profit" of 5 or 6 or 7 times the cost of the study. so to debate what is right or wrong in regard to the residence should be returned to the merits of the decisions made and those that must now be made as a result and what will come of that. to debate the merits of what has transpired soley on the basis of expenses occured - or profit made - would be self-defeating at this point.
The issue is the complete mis-management of the official residence of the Queen's representative of Alberta. The government's property speculation is not all that relevant.
in the early part of the 20th century (back when you were a kid... joking !) the goverment of the day built Government House, which sits at the RAM. for whatever reason, that building was transformed into the government's caucus board room.
Another offical residence was constructed in the 50's, which was recently demolished because $00,000 for renovations was deemed "a money pit" by this current government. Now a new residence is going to cost upwards of $10 million! how can you not see the connection of stupid decision making?
regardless if the sale of the LG residence will make a few million, we'll still be in the hole of well over $5 million.

Bill
29-11-2007, 01:58 PM
Most likely, the funds will be redirected to build a Lt.-Gov.'s residence in Calgary.

I mean, let's face it guys, PC government's base is in Calgary, not Edmonton.

Skyscraperz
29-11-2007, 02:19 PM
According to today's Journal article, four years ago the government spent $5.3 million to restore the Lougheed family's ancestral mansion in Calgary. And yet our Provincial Head of State in our Capital City gets sweet bugger-all. That...angers me.


Most likely, the funds will be redirected to build a Lt.-Gov.'s residence in Calgary. I mean, let's face it guys, PC government's base is in Calgary, not Edmonton.

One plus one equals... "Lougheed House" becoming the new Lt-Gov residence.

Continuing a tradition of recent slights including the municipality funding debacle and the symbolic location of the government's royalty announcement from Calgary... Lougheed House could be next... And then? The RAM reborn in Calgary with the old Provincial Museum falling into disrepair only to slide into the river valley?

Bill
29-11-2007, 04:27 PM
It appears that the land in Alberta is sloped towards the South, and everything is slipping towards Calgary. No offense to them, they have the political base there. Historically, the PC Government has never been a good government for Edmonton. In contrast, it's been excellent for Calgary.

Doesn't matter who comes in as Premier - Lougheed, Klein, Stelmach - without some strong political backing in Edmonton, these types of announcements will keep coming.

In Calgary, $5.3 Million our years ago was acceptable (b.t.w. which is now about $13 Million in today's dollars), but it is unacceptable in Edmonton.

I am sorry to say that Prem. Stelmach has been very useless for Edmonton (also Ref. recent municipal funding report discussing no cost sharing).

I hope this is courage for Edmonton to blossom into something bigger and better.

Jeff
29-11-2007, 05:28 PM
Most likely, the funds will be redirected to build a Lt.-Gov.'s residence in Calgary.

Normie just wants to go home to Calgary

Queens Representative? At the provincial level, no less. For duties that are strictly symbolic, why do we need this - anyway?

lux
29-11-2007, 06:12 PM
The part that really bothers me:

we were told they were "wasting" $60 000 a year on maintenance for an empty building


and yet for $60 000 per year they still managed to neglect the building so that it filled with water, mice, and mildew.

So not only were they figuratively wasting money on maintenance costs for an empty building, but they actually were not buying any maintenance for their (I mean our) $60 000...

Someone ministerial needs to lose their job.

Skyscraperz
29-11-2007, 07:16 PM
I am sorry to say that Prem. Stelmach has been very useless for Edmonton (also Ref. recent municipal funding report discussing no cost sharing).

I remember being in Toronto when I heard Stelmach had won the PC convention. I was sitting on the airport shuttle bus and looking out at Toronto's museums and galleries and thinking, "Finally! A premier from Edmonton (Fort Sask... close enough). Finally we'll have protected history and culture like this too." Now I feel like such a dumbass for being so hopeful.

McCauley resident
29-11-2007, 10:55 PM
The government had budgeted $5.3 million to build a new house in the Glenora neighbourhood, but inflation drove the price tag to anywhere from $8 million to $9 million, he said.

We all know the homeless would have set up camp on the land to embarrass the PC government - there would be daily news stories on how the upper class gets a $9 million home - meanwhile the homeless get nothing...

It was a politically astute decision - damage control..........

MylesC
30-11-2007, 12:20 AM
Good heavens....

First of all, the Lougheed house renovation had DECADES of planning behind it and a citizen operating society. Any talk of slippage to Calgary is getting really conspiracy-ish. Yes, Klein used his power to benefit Calgary. Saying Lougheed did so? Utter nonsense. Lougheed respected the seat of government and the Legislature.

On a second note, Government House was closed by the government as basic revenge against then L.G. Bowen who refused royal assent to three Social Credit bills. However, the motion itself went back to UFA days when it was noted that New Brunswick had closed their House. Ontario did the same in 1937.

From 1951 to 1964 it was owned by the Federal dept. of Vetran Affairs. Full scale renovations occured in the 1970s.

TerryH
01-12-2007, 05:41 PM
Good heavens....

First of all, the Lougheed house renovation had DECADES of planning behind it and a citizen operating society. Any talk of slippage to Calgary is getting really conspiracy-ish. Yes, Klein used his power to benefit Calgary. Saying Lougheed did so? Utter nonsense. Lougheed respected the seat of government and the Legislature.

On a second note, Government House was closed by the government as basic revenge against then L.G. Bowen who refused royal assent to three Social Credit bills. However, the motion itself went back to UFA days when it was noted that New Brunswick had closed their House. Ontario did the same in 1937.

From 1951 to 1964 it was owned by the Federal dept. of Vetran Affairs. Full scale renovations occured in the 1970s.

As well, the people didn't care much for it during the hard days during and after WW1, as they looked at it as an unnecessary extravagance when much of the province was struggling.

http://www.rewedmonton.ca/content_view2?CONTENT_ID=394

MylesC
01-12-2007, 09:28 PM
I can trump that link. I worked as a historical researcher on a certain book series that was put together for the LGs, premiers, etc ;)

The mention of WWI really oversimplifies the issue. More relevant is the fact that the government at the time was the UFA - a bunch of farmers, basically.

TerryH
03-12-2007, 07:12 PM
I've been thinking of going for a history degree through Athabasca U.

The work you did sounds like it was pretty interesting.

For now, though, I'll just have to read the news from long ago. :-D

LindseyT
03-12-2007, 07:38 PM
Poor Norman Kwong now he's stuck living in a 2.1 million dollar temporary home that the government purchased for him; some people have all the bad luck,how will he ever survive.
There are people living in caddboard boxes and tents,mortages and rents are insane and this is a concern.If a few people took a little less a lot of people could have a lot more.

The irony of Norman Kwong rising above the rascism that he without question faced to reach this point would certainly be lost on many of those "living in cardboard boxes" and their advocates who love to play the race card as a reason for their misfortune.

McCauley resident
03-12-2007, 08:08 PM
The irony of Norman Kwong rising above the rascism that he without question faced to reach this point would certainly be lost on many of those "living in cardboard boxes" and their advocates who love to play the race card as a reason for their misfortune.

Bingo.......... The advocates are too busy tattooing "V"'s (for Victim) on peoples foreheads instead of telling them to quit whining, get off their butts & improve their lives....

peeved
03-12-2007, 08:37 PM
Norman Kwong is not the focus here(he just happens to be the Lt Gov.at this time),it's the money that could be better spent. I'm sure Mr. Kwong would be the first to tell you that he doesn,t want or need a new 5-9 million dollar residences. Many people rise above things that stand in their way on the raod to success;some are lucky enough to be born with a gift or a God given talent that is instrumental in them acchieving success.

moahunter
04-12-2007, 09:08 AM
For once, I agree with you peeved. While it is nice seeing expensive homes being built and renovated in my neighborhood, we don't really need the Province contributing to this. The fact that money may or may not have been spent on a residence in Calgary, or somewhere else, is irrelevant IMO. This should be assessed on whether there is a need, and whether it makes sense right now (in this market). Personally, I don't think it does make sense. I would rather see the Province rent a nice high rise condo penthouse, or just retain the 2.1 million temporary home.

grish
04-12-2007, 10:54 AM
to me the issue isn't so much the amount of cash etc.

The issue is the downplaying of the significance of the post. I am in no way a "royalist"or a "traditionalist", but the governing party made an assumption on behalf of all of us without the proper consultation that we, the people don't view the honorary post and all that comes with it as important.

Another issue is the issue of the location and Edmonton. Most projects that are slated to be completed by the government in the Alberta's Capital are being delayed, cancelled, put on hold. I think the capital does deserve what any capital usually gets--nice grounds at the legislature, provincial museum, and the official residence for the head of the province. In our case it is the premier and the representative of the queen. Both need to be befitting the post until we, the people, change our collective minds and ask the government to remove one or both official residences.

moahunter
04-12-2007, 12:08 PM
I think the capital does deserve what any capital usually gets--nice grounds at the legislature, provincial museum, and the official residence for the head of the province.
Yes, we are lucky to be the capital. But we don't deserve anything IMO, we should get something not because of who we are, but who it will benefit. I hope our Province isn't in the game of, "they got this", so "they should get that", etc. These decisions should be made on their own merit. If things are working fine now (I think they are - the temporary residence seems fine), I don't see why our Province should spend money to tinker, when there are other priorities, even in the same neighborhood (the Museum jumps to mind), that will benefit a lot more people.

tkoe
05-12-2007, 12:05 PM
I think the capital does deserve what any capital usually gets--nice grounds at the legislature, provincial museum, and the official residence for the head of the province.
Yes, we are lucky to be the capital. But we don't deserve anything IMO, we should get something not because of who we are, but who it will benefit. I hope our Province isn't in the game of, "they got this", so "they should get that", etc. These decisions should be made on their own merit. If things are working fine now (I think they are - the temporary residence seems fine), I don't see why our Province should spend money to tinker, when there are other priorities, even in the same neighborhood (the Museum jumps to mind), that will benefit a lot more people.

Then why did the Government tear down the old residence? Of course the capital city deserves to a residence befitting of the head of the province. There will always be competing demands for limited resources; I don't think that is a good reason to cancel this project.

What aggravates me the most about this whole thing is that we already have so little built heritage and history in Edmonton and we are so quick to destroy what we do have. Then, when we do try to create something that is timeless or more significant than the newest McMansion people whine and *****. London, Paris and Venice didn't get where they are today by ripping thier old buildings down and then refusing to invest in their urban architecture.

Sonic Death Monkey
05-12-2007, 01:34 PM
Simplest solution: turn Government House into the Lt. Gov's mansion again.

moahunter
05-12-2007, 02:07 PM
Simplest solution: turn Government House into the Lt. Gov's mansion again.
To me that is the point. Government House performs the required function's already for dignitaries. It is a beautiful building that should be used.

I am not sure it is neccesary that the Lt Gov actually sleeps in Government house, or that the Lt Gov sleeps in a fancy building, which is a bit of an old fashioned idea IMO. The "temporary home" seems fine. The Lt Gov seems happy. Maybe a future Lt Gov will want to sleep in a high rise condo? I wouldn't have a problem with that, as long as Government House is available for the required functions / visitors.

peeved
05-12-2007, 04:00 PM
What does Canada have 13 Lt. Governors 12 provincial and 1 Federal,isn't this a bite of over kill.Does the Queen even know who these people are or care;I think that these positions are a thing of the past and it's time to abolish them.

noodle
05-12-2007, 04:07 PM
What does Canada have 13 Lt. Governors 12 provincial and 1 Federal,isn't this a bite of over kill.Does the Queen even know who these people are or care;I think that this position is a thing of the past and it's time to abolish them.

The three territories don't have Lt. Governors, they have Commissioners who are agents of The Government, not The Crown. The Federal position is actually called the Governor General, and they're our Head of State.

Whether or not we should be a constitutional monarchy is a different debate entirely that I'll avoid entirely.

Dusty Bear
05-12-2007, 06:52 PM
What does Canada have 13 Lt. Governors 12 provincial and 1 Federal,isn't this a bite of over kill.Does the Queen even know who these people are or care;I think that these positions are a thing of the past and it's time to abolish them.

You'd have to amend the constitution to do that. And any constitutional amendments affecting the Governor General or Lieutenant Governors requires unanimous consent from the provinces and the federal assembly - no minor feat.

LindseyT
06-12-2007, 04:08 PM
What does Canada have 13 Lt. Governors 12 provincial and 1 Federal,isn't this a bite of over kill.Does the Queen even know who these people are or care;I think that these positions are a thing of the past and it's time to abolish them.

The queen, or any ties to the queen, are irrelevant.

The Lt. Goveners and GG are basicallt there to mingle and be seen on behalf of the government at high profile events. You can't expect Stelmach or Harper to show up to these events cause they have more important stiff to do...like running a country or province. "Public relations" I suppose.

peeved
06-12-2007, 04:51 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't these people the Queens Representative or are they Stelmach and Harpers representatives;where does the Queen fit into all this.
The other thing that kind of ticks me off are these senate appointments ;look at Tommy Banks(nothing against him) appointment was he ever involved in politics and what does he do besides collect a pay check like the rest of them. Do we really need a senate, I understand(I could be wrong) that you hold this position until you drop dead and your attendance is not monitored.

Sonic Death Monkey
06-12-2007, 10:10 PM
Can we not stay on topic here?