To the editor:
Mr. Angus has preposterously restated yet again his commitment to the event centre. Incumbent councilors had to know last election, when they ran on their event centre, that it had no chance of senior government funding. A review of the rules of the infrastructure programs in question and public statements from 2011 onward from Ministers’ offices and the Prime Minister himself, taken together, preponderantly and overwhelmingly affirm this. There can be no controversy about it with the city presenting absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
A devastating blow to the credibility of Angus and incumbent councilors comes from the city’s own consultant, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. In their feasibility study for Sudbury’s arena published last year, they chart the dismal prospect for federal government funding for professional arenas. Thunder Bay’s approach to funding a professional sports arena was noted in the Pricewaterhouse study - as an example to affirm their advice to Sudbury that they should not expect federal or provincial financial support for their arena. In other words, Thunder Bay city council’s approach was considered a way not to do it.
Let us not lowball the tax dollars spent on this fiasco. The city admits to “about” $2.5 million of city money. Add $1.8 million of senior government tax dollars. That is $4.3 million of taxpayer’s money from all levels of government. Not exactly chump change.
City council twisted itself into a pretzel over this fiasco. From a commitment to “three-way funding”, to added debenture (loan); from “equal cost share” from all governments - to any kind of contribution at all, from “if there is no senior funding we won’t do it” to its on the agenda forever. As to those studies that allegedly prove these facilities are economic drivers – new meta-studies demonstrate they are anything but, and have been reported on widely in the national press.
Angus and company with their 2014 election contrivance laid a trap that would inevitably spring on them today. Now they are caught. As they are unrepentant, they must continue to present this broken record ludicrous nonsense. We should give them the opportunity to reflect on this after the election at their leisure as private citizens, watching council proceedings at home on television.