Premier Horgan not match fit for FIFA World Cup action

Listen, John Horgan, we thought you at least knew we wanted to have fun.

Sure, you were going to tax the bejeezus out of us.

Sure, you were going to confuse us with your one-day-for-Site-C, one-day-against-Kinder-Morgan thing. And that deal with Andrew Weaver? To quote Ricky Ricardo: some “splainin’ to do.”

But, for Pete’s sake, are you telling us you can’t deal with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its mercurial, mystic, mind-numbing demands for money to stage a few games for the 2026 World Cup?

What kind of premier are you? We thought you were one of us, not some schoolmarm or bean-counter. We saw that photo-opportunity of you and Weaver at a rugby game and thought: they must love the beautiful game if they love the ugly one. Some of my friends of friends of friends even voted for you.

We had a good-times premier in Christy Clark. She knew how to celebrate. No expense spared: Bollywood festival, Women’s World Cup, pretty much everyday a smile and a ka-ching. Her predecessor Gordon Campbell, need I tell you? 2010. Case closed.

So now, as you sign seemingly interminable cheques for escalating expenses in education, in health care, for Site C, and soon in your clubby relations with unions for public servants – you can’t sign off on something eight years away?

Eight years, John?

If you’re still premier by then, you will be an ancient wise elder. Prime ministers will bow instead of ignore you. Sure, you will have a limited runway. But you will not, I repeat not, be remembered as the guy who foisted the World Cup on an ungrateful city. Face it: you will have done much more damage if you’re at that point vilified.

If you are lucky, you will have:

a) Done something majestic to earn undying gratitude;

b) Vanquished opposition through some sort of disgrace or scandal;

c) More like option A.

Listen, your government already has gripped our private parts in a tax vortex that appears to have no end. Your speculation tax has us speculating about your longevity in the office. You are taking our economy into a netherworld. You are spending it into the netherworld and beyond. Elon Musk won’t take us there.

What? You can’t finance a few soccer games at BC Place? In eight years?

By 2026, we will have autonomous vehicles, we will have lost our jobs to the robots, we will have $4 million 400-square-foot condos we share with four people, and we will be on the cusp of a Canucks comeback. A week is an eternity in politics; eight years is, well, 416 eternities.

OK, it’s likely that the meagre three or four games allotted to Vancouver, which will have them allotted after Toronto and Montreal pick the Canadian games carcass, which will have them allotted after every pretentious soccer city in the United States gets to host an event about which it knows little, will not exactly feature the eventual 2026 winner. Unless Tunisia is a sleeping giant.

We get that. It’s going to be thin gruel. But have you been to a Whitecaps game? It’s like watching hockey in Brazil. Lovely effort. I’m a season’s ticket holder. Love them, truly, but . . .

OK, the FIFA folks are still sorting through their unorthodox governance. It will take a generation of reform, and let’s face it, that’s just not going to happen. Sure, we’re overpaying and stuffing them into BC Place, which is a provincial sinkhole and will need natural turf by then. How will we do that? Get on it instead of getting on your high horse!

John, buddy, don’t be a downer so early in your realm. We always thought you were angry, sure, and you’ve given off a different vibe since the election, but put a little extra love into that remake. Fix ICBC, fix BC Hydro, but leave little things like a few million for muscle at the games and glad tidings for the FIFA board alone.

John, we don’t want to take the hyperloop to Seattle to watch a game. 

Yours Truly,

A Fan.

Kirk LaPointe is editor-in-chief of Business in Vancouver Media Group and vice-president of Glacier Media.