Thursday, October 18, 2012
New Arena: Cease and Desist
Yesterday, Edmonton's City Council voted to cease all negotiations with the Katz Group. Apparently, they finally saw the light after years of spending time and money on negotiations with a private company that ultimately proved fruitless. Katz tried to change the terms of the deal, used the media to make these statements of change, and then refused to meet with City Council. Did City Council make the right decision in this instance? Yes. Do they deserve applause? No. We protest-types who were against the private-public partnership deal with the Katz Group from the beginning turned out to be right all along. Katz could not be trusted. Public money should not go to a private enterprise for its own profit. City Council spent way too much time and resources trying to appeal someone who really, in the long run, doesn't give a rat's posterior about Edmonton. Daryl Katz is a businessman who cares about the bottom line - his bottom line - not what is good for the city. Will there ever be a new arena? We don't know. If there is, it will hopefully be structured economically so that all profits go back to the City - not into the pockets of a billionaire. I am still of the mindset that Edmonton doesn't need a new arena. Rexall Place is doing us just fine (though admittedly it will need a facelift at some point) and there is more to life than hockey. In the meantime, there are roads that need to be repaired, neighbourhoods in need of revitalization, and an LRT that needs to be expanded. Let's spend OUR money on things that are important and will really make Edmonton a better place to live.