Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Fund the Arena!

Ignatieff said yesterday that he would fund an arena for Quebec City and anywhere else for that matter as long as its purpose is to "present the culture, to present the economic success of the region." That's great, except that this arena will not be for this purpose. It's no secret: the goal is to lure an NHL team to Quebec City.

But don't get me wrong. I'm all for the government contributing to the new Colisée, except not substantially. It's not in the interest of the government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a pro-sports venue. That money would be better spent on local sports facilities, to provide health benefits to all Canadians. The Quebec arena project could provide benefits to the region including an NHL team. But, the money spent on this project by the federal government should be reasonable and relatively little.
A Liberal government would support infrastructure projects including hockey arenas, party leader Michael Ignatieff said Monday. 
Speaking in Quebec City, the Liberal leader says he supports funding for a new arena if it's a multifunctional public space, and that he's said so for more than a year. He admits he hasn't seen the business plan but says there are a number of options and he's open to all of them.
Read more at CBC.

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  1. 300 mil for an arena. NHL team salary at 50 mil.
    Half of the 50 mil goes back in taxes, defered yes, but, it goes back. Half of the original 300 mil will go back to Fed, Prov and Muni taxes to build the thing. Contractors pay salarys, buy tools, pay rent, buy trucks, eat at restaurants and buy homes. The areana will have full time and part time staff. Add in local bars and restaurants, taxis not only for NHL games, but, concerts and shows. 300 mill investment for all that employment and enjoyment and, the taxpayer gets all of it back and, if it stays longer then 10 years we make money. Iggy gets it, so does Harper, but, on this issue Iggys got some serious gonads and Harper does not. To me, this is a no brainer. Help Quebec and Winnipeg bring back the NHL.

  2. But Anonymous, Ignatieff could promise to help fund local community arenas and still receive tax money back from the contractors, builders, and employees of the new arenas. Not only that, people will get healthier using the rinks and other facilities in the arenas that health costs may go down.

    If people can't spend money at pro-sports events, they will still spend it in the community.

  3. What a stupid political move by Ignatieff! He has been setting himself up to be the guy opposed to stupid spending: fighter jets, corporate tax cuts, etc. Now, with one totally useless promise, he completely undermines this 'branding' of himself that he had been working so hard to create. The bottom line is that Ignatieff has the worst political instincts of any Liberal leader so far, even worse than Dion and Martin.

  4. Iggy has nothing to lose in this promise. It won't cost him votes in ROC since there are no more for him to lose there in the first place.

    The election is likely, as far as the Libs are concerned to be about raising funds through getting votes. Promising an arena in Que. City might get some votes and therefore cash (although it won't lead to extra seats).

    I'd expect to see a lot of these locally "populist promises" in the near future.

  5. Iggy is just trying to get votes in the "Belle Province", what an idiot.

  6. Liberals win seats in Quebec city?! Anonymous, you're either joking or have absolutely no idea about politics. There is zero chance of the Liberals winning a seat in Quebec city. And as for this promise not costing them any votes in the ROC that isn't very comforting given their recent polling shows them at 23% nationwide. That is, not losing votes isn't anywhere near acceptable - they need to win votes. From a political strategy point of view this is dumb, DUMB, D-U-M-B! From a policy point of view this is equally dumb.


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