UPDATED: September 23, 2011
Watch Live webcast of Allard Hall Opening Ceremony Today
(Friday, Sept 23/11: 10am British Columbia time, 1pm Barbados time)
Chief Justice of Canada, other dignitaries to open UBC’s Allard Hall
Peter Allard to speak live on webcast
We see that the British Columbia University law school has moved into their new building, Allard Hall. The official opening is Friday, September 23, 2011 10am British Columbia, 1pm Barbados time.
“The building was named Allard Hall in honour of UBC graduate Peter Allard, a Vancouver businessman, former lawyer, and principal at Peterco Holdings Ltd., who in July contributed $11.86 million to the faculty — one of the largest donations to a law school in Canadian history. Of the donation, $9.83 million will go towards the new building.” … from Canadian Lawyer Mag
UBC website: About Allard Hall
“Our profession has more impact on our society than any other. When we do our job well, we see that the Rule of Law is upheld and we protect our clients, our neighbors and fellow citizens against the vagaries of unchecked abuses of power and corruption.”
… taken from Peter Allard’s remarks to be delivered live today via webcast. (PDF of Allard’s speech here.)
Our original story below tells the of Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard and his history with Barbados.
If anyone out there has any updates on the situation with the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Graeme Hall Wetlands, we’d love to hear about it.
A sad, sad tale for ordinary Barbadians as our government ‘leaders’ sell off and develop the last major green space between the airport and the city. Why don’t we just pave over the whole damn island and be done with it?
Original story below…
Philanthropist Peter Allard donates CDN$12 million to Canadian university
Why not to Barbados?
We haven’t heard much lately about Canadian businessman and philanthropist Peter Allard. The owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.
As Allard said in a May 6, 2010 press release:
“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland. The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”
… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.
We at BFP don’t understand why there has been such hostility by some in government towards Peter Allard – or maybe we do understand. Let us explain…
As we reported on July 7, 2007, the Owen Arthur government at one time out and out refused Mr. Allard’s kind offer to build a million dollar AIDS and cancer hospice. It must be some kind of warped agenda or hate to fuel a decision like that where the overall good towards Bajans was tossed aside to serve a narrow purpose by land developer friends of government. A million dollar hospice with no strings and no agenda other than helping Bajans and our so-called leaders wouldn’t give Allard the time of day.
Our “leaders” denied Bajans a million dollar AIDS/Cancer hospice to show their displeasure against Mr. Allard. Why? Well, that goes to the heart of the matter…
It was not so much an attack against the person Peter Allard as an attack against any principled individual standing in the way of corrupt government officials who wished to profit from the destruction and development of our last major mangrove wetlands. The government of Barbados apparently provided certain assurances to Peter Allard when he invested tens of millions in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, but then reneged when the government’s greedy developer friends started sniffing around. Ha! Nobody told Allard that the product on this rock isn’t exactly as advertised!
After the BLP government was tossed, the DLP Thompson government changed the law to “legalize” the rape of the wetlands by their own developer friends. Nothing much changes ’bout hey with the election of a new government. Same old, same old – just a new bunch.
Unlike some other foreign investors though, Peter Allard was one chicken who refused to be plucked. Owen Arthur, Liz Thompson and their minions in government service refused to maintain the sluice gate at Graeme Hall. They knew that the sluice gate allowed the mangrove wetlands to breathe and be refreshed by the sea flow. Kill the gate, kill the mangrove wetlands. Kill the mangrove wetlands and sell the land to developers. That was the plan.
Except that the chicken named Allard refused to be plucked and he had the wherewithal to fight. Wuhloss! He launched an international lawsuit. Them foreign investor chickens usually get plucked and head back home without a squawk! What a surprise when the chicken dug in and fought for the interests of ordinary Bajans when our leaders wanted to sell off our environmental heritage and future.
Now we see that Peter Allard gave almost $12 million (Canadian) dollars to the University of British Columbia law school. He’s building them a new world-class facility and giving it as a gift. A while ago we saw another big gift from Allard to a medical foundation.
Coulda, shoulda, would been a gift to Barbados but our leaders abused the man. We don’t have to bow to anyone on this island and we won’t and shouldn’t – but the truth is that Peter Allard has been a better friend to ordinary Bajans than our own leadership.
We’ll continue to follow the saga, but we can’t help but thinking, “woulda, coulda, shoulda”.