British Columbia Lottery Corporation is no longer on the pursuit of a new headquarters location and relocation, as it was confirmed this Thursday. Change of plans triggered fierce criticism from Todd Stone, Kamloops-South Thompson Member of the Legislative Assembly, expressing disappointment with the change of plans. However, the financial side of things should not be underestimated, as demolition of the current headquarters building would surpass the CA$100 million mark.
The Canadian Crown gaming corporation pointed out it has scrapped all previously considered plans for a new location in downtown Kamloops. For the time being, BCLC is going to maintain its current headquarters building which has been in use for the past 54 years. Before becoming the corporation’s headquarter, the building was home of Woodward’s department store. It was pointed out that even though it might leave something to be desired, the location is nevertheless fully functioning and reliable.
Headquarters Will Remain on Seymour Street West
In the upcoming weeks, the corporation is going to refrain from further discussing the subject. It is no secret to anyone that the BCLC is responsible for the employment of a large portion of the local community. At the moment there are nearly 450 individuals relying on a steady income coming from the Crown corporation, in addition to more than 60 contractors.
This was a fact that was taken into account when the relocation was previously considered. The discussed project was projected to cost some CA$50 million. However, Jim Lightbody, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCLC revealed more about the financial cost of this project, pointing out that when all is said and done, the project could end up much more expensive. Plans called for building demolition, as well as the construction of a new multistory car park, essentially swelling the overall cost to more than CA$100 million.
This figure concerned the corporation. President Lightbody stated that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation has the responsibility to be mindful when it comes to spending, especially if its taxpayers’ cash that is on the line. This is the reason why for the time being there will be no relocation and the corporation shall remain at its current address on Seymour Street West.
Liberal MLA Concerned about 250 New Job Positions
Recently a thorough assessment and inspection of the building took place concluding that the current location is still capable of providing the corporation with a reliable home. Furthermore, British Columbia Lottery Corporation made a business case to the Treasury Board seeking further review into the proposed plan. The central agency that evaluates spending by the Government of Canada concluded that no move is required for the time being.
However, reactions to this final decision were negative, to say the least, as Mayor Ken Christian expressed his disappointment following the announcement. Liberal MLA Stone went as far as to point out that the Crown corporation is letting the community down by changing plans. According to estimations he cited, this new project had the potential to create some 250 new job positions within the structure of the BCLC. Temporary employment around the building also had the potential to benefit the community.
Another day, another NDP broken promise – Less than 6 months ago @Dave_Eby told us the @BCLC HQ in #Kamloops “Is full speed ahead.” Today, we find out the NDP have killed this project, along with the almost 250 jobs that would have gone with it. @PeterMilobar #bcpoli
— Todd Stone (@toddstonebc) January 17, 2019
Mr. Stone is concerned that now those jobs would be taken by individuals from the Lower Mainland, as remote job positions are a possibility. CEO Lightbody stated that employees of the company based in Kamloops could apply for such and the lack of new building would not stand in the way of providing up to 250 new individuals with employment. It could be recalled that August 2018 saw Attorney-General David Eby claim that the CA$50-million project is ready to commence.