It appears the s**t has hit the fan.
For years, every since a hotel was just a pipe dream, people have questioned the way things were done. Gail Hall was a thorn in the sides of the previous council, the CAO and the financial director of the time. Members of council asked questions and were stonewalled every step of the way. It appears that taxpayers were not allowed to question spending and sweetheart deals.
The only reason this would happen is because someone has something to hide. And it appears a whole lot has been hidden, either by design or by ignorance. But if it is ignorance then it wouldn’t have been hidden. You can’t hide over $650,000 in DCC revenues for long. Who’s to blame? Those who put their signatures on the dotted line and the financial officer, who was supposed to ensure financial obligations are met and the district is covered, are responsible. Every other developer has to pay DCCs, how is the hotel different and why? If the hotel had held up to their end of the deal, this would never have come to light. This is unconscionable.
Sooke gave Prestige everything they asked for and far more. We wanted a hotel but we weren’t that desperate — were we?
Now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s time to rectify the situation. Will there be legal consequences? Probably not, but there should be some serious decisions made as to who is administering our district. The District of Sooke is in an awkward and embarrassing position but issues can be rectified and they should be — as quickly as possible.