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B.C. government names Langley mayor as PavCo chair

Landscaper Kim Noble grooms the grass after it was given its annual mowing on the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The six acre roof is one of the 10 largest green roofs in the world with some 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses that includes four beehives.

Andy Clark/Reuters

Langley mayor Peter Fassbender has been named the chair of B.C. Pavilion Corp., the Crown corporation that runs BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The province announced Mr. Fassbender's appointment Friday, along with that of board members David Guscott and Frank Palmer, bringing the number of board members at the agency to 12.

Mr. Guscott is president and chief executive officer of Emergency Communications for southwest B.C., and Mr. Palmer is chair and CEO of marketing agency DDB Canada.

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The new management appointments follow major renovation and construction projects at both BC Place and the convention centre. Former PavCo president Warren Buckley and former chair David Podmore resigned earlier this year, with the province saying the Crown corporation would shift gears from expansion and construction to strategic marketing.

The expansion phase featured several controversies, including a naming deal for the stadium that went awry and a controversial proposal to include a major casino next to a renovated BC Place stadium.

Last year, city council approved relocation of an existing casino but turned down a proposed expanded operation.

PavCo also faced complaints about a new float plane terminal at the convention centre. Opened in May 2011 by a private-sector partnership, the $20-million Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre was supposed to replace a Coal Harbour terminal to which float plane operations had been bumped to make room for the convention centre expansion.

But float plane companies, including Vancouver-based Harbour Air, balked at moving from the Coal Harbour site to the new VHFC facility, arguing that rents were too high and citing potential safety issues with the new terminal.

After months of negotiations, Harbour Air in September agreed to move to the VHFC facility by the end of the year and is now operating from the new terminal.

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