Burke says Flames will leave without a new rink | Calgary Herald

In what has been the bluntest talk yet about the future of the Calgary Flames, president of hockey operations Brian Burke said the NHL team will move if a new arena is not built. “We’re not going to make the threat to leave. We’ll just leave,” Burke told a business luncheon at the Canadian Club…

Source: Burke says Flames will leave without a new rink | Calgary Herald

Right, leave Calgary and give up a Saddledome to which the Flames contributed zero dollars to build, pay zero dollars to rent, and for which Calgary receives zero taxes.  Where in the world could the Flames get such a sweet deal?

The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

BARRIE MCKENNA OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015 4:41PM EDT

Source: The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

The people of Quebec City and Edmonton are falling prey to one of the oldest con games – the notion that spending public money on pro sports venues is a sound investment.

Facts don’t seem to matter in this game. And your city could be fleeced next.

Stacks of independent research over many decades have shown that building a stadium or luring a new franchise does little for a city’s economy. They typically don’t generate significant new tax dollars, jobs or growth. In most cases, the money would be more wisely spent on badly needed public infrastructure, such as roads, transit or schools

Sign a petition for a referendum on the proposed Flames Olympic arena

Olympic referendum
The public has the final say.

Citizens of Calgary should MAKE THE DECISION about committing tax dollars to the Flames arena and the Olympics – not just 15 Councillors.

A referendum is the way for Citizens to decide extraordinary matters of this kind.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

 

 

Committee raises $207K to help Nenshi repay legal bill from defamation lawsuit – Calgary – CBC News

A committee has raised $207,000 to help Naheed Nenshi pay his legal bill from a settled defamation lawsuit.

Source: Committee raises $207K to help Nenshi repay legal bill from defamation lawsuit – Calgary – CBC News

This is insidious and wrong!.

  1. The City of Calgary should not have loaned Mr. Nenshi $300,00 in the first place;
  2. The City of Calgary should not be issuing tax receipts that can be used for tax deductions to people who donate money for repayment of the $300, 000; and
  3. The Council loan is a taxable benefit to Mr. Nenshi.

The entire Council, by approving this loan, is guilty by association of disrespect and contempt of citizen’s trust.

 

 

Time running out for current Calgary council to ink deal on new Flames arena, Nenshi says – Calgary – CBC News

If a deal isn’t reached on a new arena in Victoria Park in the next few weeks, it might have to wait until after this fall’s municipal election, Calgary’s mayor says.

Source: Time running out for current Calgary council to ink deal on new Flames arena, Nenshi says – Calgary – CBC News

A referendum is needed on this matter.  This is an end-of-term Council that has no right to commit taxpayers to massive long-term debt from a NHL hockey arena, Greenline LRT, and an Olympic bid.

Protesters oppose development next to Calgary’s Genesis Centre – Calgary | Globalnews.ca

Source: Protesters oppose development next to Calgary’s Genesis Centre – Calgary | Globalnews.ca

The community says NO – the Calgary Planning Commission says YES.  The community loses again.

Communities need to get their voice back.

 

BUY FLAMES, SAVE BIG MONEY

It would cost much less for Calgary to buy the Flames, than to build the Flames’ proposed NHL hockey rink.

The authoritative Forbes business magazine values the Flames at about $300 million USD (excluding the Saddledome, which the City owns).  The City estimates the Flames proposal around $1.8 billion Cdn.  Do the math:
$600 per taxpayer versus $3,600 per taxpayer.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

With community ownership of the Flames, the City could design a facility for the Stampede, Flames, and concerts ― not just a facility designed for hockey and concerts and the Stampede.

Then the City could charge the Flames rent, just as it does for amateur hockey teams.

The Flames contributed nothing to the building of the Saddledome, which Olympic advocated as an indispensable component of the 1988 Olympic bid, just as a new hockey arena is now being pitched as an indispensable component of a 2026 Olympic bid.

The Flames proposal was only partially prepared and amateurishly presented―clever but misleading.

Better that a hockey team focus on winning hockey games ― leave urban planning to the experts.

Developer and community clash over Highland Park Village

Nearby residents say plans to overhaul Calgary’s Highland Park golf course makes poor use of quality green space

Source: Developer and community clash over Highland Park Village – The Globe and Mail

Hot mess“A hot mess” is what Councillor Farrell calls this clash between developer and community.  What she doesn’t say is that it is Council’s process that is a big part of the problem.  Mayor Nenshi, after the clash over the development of Shawnee Slopes and the destruction of Paskapoo Slopes, said “the process is wrong”.

So Mr. Nenshi, you have been in office all these years, why haven’t you fixed the process.

A meaningful consultation between community and developer with a resulting impact assessment is needed before development applications are considered by Council.  If community and developer can not agree, then a Development Ombudsman should be brought in.

Private golf courses could see tax breaks if motion passed

Calgary golf courses could see their taxes trimmed by 20 per cent if a motion by Coun. Ward Sutherland is passed by council. Sutherland said courses inside the city are paying a large portion of their annual income in taxes because courses are taxed based on their annual property assessments, regardless of their seasonal operations. The city…

Source: Private golf courses could see tax breaks if motion passed

The quote above should read PRIVATE golf courses.  Public courses are owned by the City and are not taxed.

Golf courses are green space.  Protect them.

 

Calgary launches 2026 Olympic exploration bid website; million-dollar hosting plan [ie; party] underway

A potential bid may not face a lot of competition. Quebec City and Boston dropped out last year. No other cities in North America are in the running, so Calgary could be a shoo-in. But at what cost?

Source: Calgary launches 2026 Olympic exploration bid website; million-dollar hosting plan underway

SindlingerOther cities have dropped out, not because they don’t like sports, but because it costs money.  Our tax money – billions of tax dollars.

And forget about the “legacy” facilities.  The biggest “legacy” from the last Calgary Olympics was a rent-free, FREE NHL arena for the Flames.  Really.

The biggest “legacy” from a 2016 Calgary Olympics would be another FREE NHL arena for the Flames.

Calgary council still not there on Highland Park development | Metro Calgary

Administration to work more on green space in the former golf course

Source: Calgary council still not there on Highland Park development | Metro Calgary

“I don’t think anybody thinks this is a great plan,” said the mayor. “It’s between those who think this is as good as it’s going to get, and those who said it’s got to get better.”

Why are community wishes secondary to developer interests?

The Mayor has to do better than this.  After a similar debacle with Shawnee Slopes and University Heights, he said “the process was flawed from the start”.

So, given the repeated subjugation of community wishes to developers’ interests, why hasn’t the process been fixed Mr. Mayor?

Calgary Flames say stand-alone fieldhouse would cost city $260M

The owners of the Calgary Flames are estimating the costs of a stand-alone fieldhouse will be substantially higher than the city has projected.

Source: Calgary Flames say stand-alone fieldhouse would cost city $260M

Tom SindlingerThe Flames and an amateur sports group, arguing about how much new facilities would cost, neither of which have any expertise in the matter other than they would be the beneficiaries of taxpayer expenditures.  Whatever number they use, it is like when a child wants $1 it asks for $5.

And having seen many public undertakings over years, we know that final costs are always multiples of original estimates.

Canada Cracks

Tom SindlingerBritish Columbia puts the cracks in Canada.  By extorting a toll on Alberta oil shipped across provincial borders, B.C. has dumped the Canadian Constitution.

The Canadian Constitution clearly gives absolute power over inter-provincial trade (Section 92[10][a]) to the federal government ― not B.C..

From a more fundamental point of view, the common interest binding people into countries is economics.  We share (trade) among each other for the common good.

B.C.’s precedent setting action means Alberta can toll (tax) every rail car to and from B.C.; every truck to and from B.C.; every air plane to and from B.C..

Where does it stop?

CalgaryNEXT project should sink or swim on its own merit, says political panel

Tying the CalgaryNEXT arena and fieldhouse proposal to a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics will be a gamble for the Calgary Flames organization, said members of a CBC Calgary News at 6 political panel.

Source: CalgaryNEXT project should sink or swim on its own merit, says political panel

Wrapping an NHL arena inside an Olympic bid is the same strategy used to get public money to build the Saddledome.  The NHL team in Calgary did not pay one cent towards the construction of the Saddledome, nor does it pay rent or leasing cost.  And the City does not tax the Saddledome because the City owns it!

No to tax payers dollars for an NHL arena.  For the Flames, you play, you pay.

Breakenridge: City needs to decide how much it’s willing to contribute to a new arena

Almost a year and a half after CalgaryNEXT was proposed, it now appears as though the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. has been the first to blink. It’s unclear whether the company, which owns the NHL’s Flames and CFL’s Stampeders, actually thought city council would accept their proposed West Village arena-stadium hybrid – and the accompanying…

Source: Breakenridge: City needs to decide how much it’s willing to contribute to a new arena

No tax dollars for a highly profitable private NHL hockey rink.  The flames want it, they can build it.

However, if building the rink also serves the Stampede, the cultural focus of Calgary for over a 100 years; and, if the Flames pay rent (which it does not at the Saddledome), then the City might consider an arena as a for-profit venture.

This article has a good discussion of the public pros and cons of using tax dollars to build the rink.

CalgaryNEXT project on pause, says Ken King

Ken King says the proposed arena-stadium-field house complex in the West Village, known as CalgaryNEXT, is on hold as Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. officials discuss an alternative plan with city hall. “We’re not talking about CalgaryNEXT; we put the pause button on that,” King, the CEO of the group that owns the Flames, Hitmen, Roughnecks…

Source: CalgaryNEXT project on pause, says Ken King

It would be helpful if the Flames understood that we are looking at a new facility for Calgary and not a new facility for the Calgary Flames.  If that is what they want, they should pay for it.

Mayor: Hands tied in helping businesses

Mayor Naheed Nenshi told Calgary’s business community he knows times are tough, but the tools available at a municipal level to help businesses are limited.

Source: Nenshi urges Calgarians to start businesses [Calgary Sun, Dec 14 2016]

Hands aren’t tied.

There is an urgent and immediate need for the Mayor of Calgary to be involved in more than snow removal and secondary suites approval.

The office of Mayor has the potential to lead large scale economic development ― and with the city’s current recession, that’s what we need the Mayor doing ― leading and initiating economic  development.

I believe the Mayor should serve as the Chief Economic Development Officer before the recession becomes a depression.  Here’s an example of how.

Secret briefing books link CalgaryNext and Olympics bid, despite official denials

CBC News has been given a look at the CalgaryNext briefing books given to city council members. They reveal the precise detail of the Flames’ owners plans for new sports facilities for professional athletes and Calgarians. They also show the 2026 winter Olympics are part of the plan.

Source: Secret briefing books link CalgaryNext and Olympics bid, despite official denials

Was there ever any doubt.  Connecting a new new NHL hockey arena with an Olympic bid is the same tactic used in 1988 – bid for the Olympics and oh, by the way, we can use the Olympic arena for an NHL arena.

And those Olympics cost tax payers.  The ONLY reason the ’88 Olympics didn’t “lose” money is because governments threw in millions of dollars.

Gender pay gap in Canada more than twice global average, study shows

Women doing equivalent work to men in Canada make $8,000 less per year, according to data compiled for B.C. report

Source: Gender pay gap in Canada more than twice global average, study shows

Gender pay gap is something that still lingers.  Some time in the future, there is a chance the pay gap will be reversed – women will be paid more than men.  Then, what you going to say Mister?

Council sets guidelines for proposed arena project

 

 

 

Project Guidelines
Set by Council

 

What Has Happened
So Far

1.      Public money must be used for public benefit    
2.      There must be extensive stakeholder consultation, public engagement and open and transparent communications with Calgarians

West Village

  Calgary’s city council secretly approved the $36.9-million purchase of contaminated land — now being pitched as part of the site for a new downtown arena and stadium complex … [CALGARY HERALD, August 18, 2015]

 

     
     
     
     

 

Incubators, apartments and conversions: How to give Calgary’s core a kickstart

Richard White on how other cities have weathered tough economic times and downturns, and what Calgary can learn from their success. From off the wall ideas, to stuff that’s already happening to keep our core vibrant.

Source: Incubators, apartments and conversions: How to give Calgary’s core a kickstart

Reinventing Calgary – other cities have done it, out of economic necessity.  It’s time for Calgary to look at Plan B.

The steel that runs through Calgary’s heart: Debating the future of the city’s railway tracks

‘The track of the Canadian Pacific Railway is a fundamental part of our urban geography,’ says Richard White. But is it an economic link to the world, or a bit of urban blight? And what’s the future of the steel rails that run through Calgary’s core?

Source: The steel that runs through Calgary’s heart: Debating the future of the city’s railway tracks

Railway tracks through town are left-over history.  It’s time to move on by moving the tracks out.

Councillors approve Harvest Hills Golf Course rezoning needed for housing development

COMMUNITIES FIRST
COMMUNITIES FIRST

Despite growing opposition, a Calgary homebuilder’s plans to redevelop the shuttered Harvest Hills golf course have cleared a major hurdle.

Source: Councillors approve Harvest Hills Golf Course rezoning needed for housing development

This land was not needed for housing.  It was rezoned because the developer lobbied Council for a higher return on his investment.

This is another example of Council ignoring the wishes of the community, which loudly demonstrated it wanted the green space protected.

Fate of Harvest Hills Golf Course to be decided by council Monday

A major decision is expected Monday in a battle that’s spanned nearly two-years. City council will decide the fate of Harvest Hills Golf Course in Calgary’s northeast.

Source: Fate of Harvest Hills Golf Course to be decided by council Monday

Council need not approve this “rezoning”.  Its rational is always that it is private land, therefore the owner has the right to do with it as they please.  Of course they do, but within the current zoning, which they knew when they bought it.

Federal cash for CalgaryNEXT project? Hehr says no … and maybe

Liberal cabinet minister Kent Hehr says Ottawa won’t cough up cash for a new Calgary Flames arena but he left the door open to federal dollars for other aspects of the CalgaryNEXT proposal. In an interview this week, the Calgary Centre MP and Veterans Affairs Minister said the Trudeau government is maintaining the policy of the former Conservative…

Source: Federal cash for CalgaryNEXT project? Hehr says no … and maybe

“The government of Canada does not fund professional sports facilities. They’re not eligible under our infrastructure program,” said Hehr.  This is pretty clear.

CalgaryNext officials not troubled by poll | Calgary | News | Calgary Sun

Calgarians fretting about the ambitious CalgaryNEXT project should look at the excitement generated by new sports facilities in Edmonton and Regina, says a Calgary counicillor.

Source: CalgaryNext officials not troubled by poll | Calgary | News | Calgary Sun

Mr. King isn’t facing reality.  Calgarians do not want to  go further into debt during a recession for and NHL arena, regardless of the “enormous” return (for whom?) he sees from the arena’s construction.

Calgarians remain divided on CalgaryNEXT as Edmonton debuts new arena | CTV Calgary News

The introduction of a state-of-the-art professional hockey arena and concert venue in the provincial capital has prompted a review of the stance of Calgarians on a possible replacement for the Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium.

Source: Calgarians remain divided on CalgaryNEXT as Edmonton debuts new arena | CTV Calgary News

Just because someone else did it is no reason why Calgary should.

Some envy new sports facilities, but little appetite to spend tax dollars on CalgaryNEXT: Poll | Calgary Herald

While some sports fans may be green with envy of new facilities set to open in Edmonton and Regina, many Calgarians remain opposed to spending public money on the CalgaryNEXT proposal, according to a new poll. One year after ambitious visions of the sports mega-complex — with a price tag ranging from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion — on Calgary’s west…

Source: Some envy new sports facilities, but little appetite to spend tax dollars on CalgaryNEXT: Poll | Calgary Herald

Flames own original estimate of a proposed NHL rink for Calgary has risen  from $9 billion to $1.3 billion, a difference or $400.  I think the Flames should stick to hockey if this is the best they can do at urban planning.

Majority of Calgarians surveyed disapprove of CalgaryNEXT arena funding proposal: poll

A new poll suggests opposition to the financing proposal for a new arena and sports complex in Calgary has increased since last year.

Source: Majority of Calgarians surveyed disapprove of CalgaryNEXT arena funding proposal: poll

This is not surprising.  The CalgaryNext proposed NHL rink was not properly thought out and poorly presented.

Best to scrap the proposal and start over again identifying mutual benefits for the Stampede and the Flames.

CP Rail says human error likely the cause of train derailment in Calgary’s Alyth yard

The Transport Safety Board and CP Rail are investigating after a trail derailed in the city’s southeast Saturday.

Source: CP Rail says human error likely the cause of train derailment in Calgary’s Alyth yard

The error is ours if we don’t stop trains from going through our heavily populated (and growing) downtown.  Pray it doesn’t take a Lake Megantic (47 killed in Quebec town by train derailment) to make us relocate the railway tracks.

New arenas in Edmonton and Regina stoke debate over CalgaryNext project

In Edmonton, tens of thousands are lining up for a sneak preview of Rogers Place.

Source: New arenas in Edmonton and Regina stoke debate over CalgaryNext project

I had no problem with the concept, or $200 million

Councilor Keating is dreaming in technicolor if he thinks Calgary tax payers can get away with only a $200 million tax bite for an NHL hockey rink.  $200 is to get Calgary hooked; we’re looking at over a billion dollars that we don’t have.

Homes could replace holes on old Harvest Hills golf course

Nearly a year after the Harvest Hills golf course was closed by its new owners, a proposal is before the City’s Planning Committee. They are hoping for approval to add 700 residential units on the old fairways.

Source: Homes could replace holes on old Harvest Hills golf course

The committee will decide if the special purpose recreation designation on the land will be changed to allow homes.

This is what always happens with this Council.  The green space would not be developed if the Council simply maintained the current zoning.  But it gives in to developers, like it did at Paskapoo slopes and Shawnee Slopes.

The council’s rationale is that the land is private, so the owners can do what they what with it.  However, the owners knew what the zoning was when they bought the land, so why should the Council bail them out by rezoning and oh, by the way, increasing the value of the land.

Letters for Thursday, Aug. 20

Let’s have a plebiscite on new sportsplex Re: “Flames reveal details of $890-million downtown arena-stadium plan,” Aug. 19. Spending billions for new arenas is touted by politicians and team owners as a sure win for the economy, but a plethora of studies show otherwise. Calgary taxpayers have a right to say either yes or no through…

Source: Letters for Thursday, Aug. 20

Re: “Flames reveal details of $890-million downtown arena-stadium plan,” Aug. 19.

Spending billions for new arenas is touted by politicians and team owners as a sure win for the economy, but a plethora of studies show otherwise.

Calgary taxpayers have a right to say either yes or no through a plebiscite on the Flames’ proposed new arena.

Tom Sindlinger, Calgary

Tom Sindlinger is a former MLA for Calgary-Buffalo.

Vancouver Olympics worth the $7-billion price tag, study says

A UBC study reports the Games did not provide a significant boost in tourism or image, but did contribute to infrastructure

Source: Vancouver Olympics worth the $7-billion price tag, study says

The report states that the Games did not provide a significant boost in tourism, nor did the event appear to significantly change the international images of Vancouver or Whistler

 

Responsibility not ours: Domtar

“Having never actually operated at the site, we don’t feel like we have any responsibility”  (successor of wood-preserving plant, Canada Creosote Company Ltd)

http://www.pressreader.com/canada/metro-canada-calgary/20160712/textview

figure_holding_up_rock_400_clr_14564 (1)If this is a successful way to dodge liability, then watch out for the liability of tens of thousands of abandoned well sites in Alberta, not to mention the environmental calamity at the oil sands.

Calgary 2026? Questions and answers on a potential Olympic bid

City councillors in Calgary voted 12-2 late Monday in favour of spending up to $5 million to support a plan from the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority to spend 14 months exploring a bid for the 2026 Olympic Games. A day after council took the first step toward bringing the Winter Games back to Calgary, Postmedia reporter Annalise Klingbeil…

Source: Calgary 2026? Questions and answers on a potential Olympic bid

This is the same approach used to get an NHL hockey rink for the Flames.  The Olympics required a large ice surface, so a new arena “just had to be built”.  It was just “coincidental” that the rink could be used for an NHL franchise.

This rational might have been okay, but the only way the 88 Olympics worked was if the city, provincial, and federal governments threw in money.  In other words, the Olympics were money losers until tax payer money was used.  This is the reason some major cities have refused to host the Games, and why Calgary should as well.

 

Braid: Second-class Calgary? Warning from Flames president won’t make CalgaryNEXT happen

Flames boss Ken King has two words for Calgary — “second place.” That’s where we’ll be, he says, without new sports and entertainment facilities. In an interview, King said that when Edmonton’s new arena opens this fall, “you should check the exit visas from Calgary going to Edmonton, because that’s where Calgarians are going to go to watch…

Source: Braid: Second-class Calgary? Warning from Flames president won’t make CalgaryNEXT happen

“Second place” for the City of Calgary is la lot better than “no place” where the Flames find themselves each year.

Nenshi happy a Plan B is being considered for CalgaryNEXT

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is glad the sports ownership group that pitched a new hockey arena, covered football stadium and multi-sport field house in the West Village is now exploring a so-called Plan B.    Last summer, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. unveiled its Plan A to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium with an…

Source: Nenshi happy a Plan B is being considered for CalgaryNEXT

Flames denial of the $1.8 billion City cost estimate for the CalgaryNext proposal is amateur public relations.

Nenshi fires back over criticism of Calgary’s skyrocketing property tax bills

The war of words continued Monday between Calgary’s mayor and an outspoken business lobbyist over skyrocketing property taxes. After tax bills landed in mailboxes earlier this month, business owners across the city came forward with stories of massive tax increases. Some said the bills, combined with escalating costs and fewer patrons amid the continuing economic…

Source: Nenshi fires back over criticism of Calgary’s skyrocketing property tax bills

With friends (Nenshi) like this, who needs enemies?

Flames’ ‘Plan B’ would see new arena built on Stampede grounds

The obvious choice
The obvious choice

The company that owns the Flames and Stampeders has acknowledged it’s open to considering an alternative for its proposed hybrid arena-stadium-field house complex known as CalgaryNEXT. The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. has “accepted an offer from the City to examine a Plan B,” according to a letter to season ticket holders signed by Ken…

Source: Flames’ ‘Plan B’ would see new arena built on Stampede grounds

Why do the Flames persist in urban planning by telling us where to build a field house. Leave urban planning to our experts at City Hall and focus on trying to win a Stanley Cup (or just try to make the playoffs).

The Calgary Stampede has been the city’s focus for a 100 years, and will be for another 100 years.  Therefore, any City initiatives should reinforce and support the Calgary stampede.

 

Fieldhouse society refloats Foothills Athletic Park with CalgaryNext in doubt

The Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society says it can’t continue to rely on the city to come up with the money to build a fieldhouse if it wants to see a multi-sport indoor facility built anytime soon.

Source: Fieldhouse society refloats Foothills Athletic Park with CalgaryNext in doubt

Foothills Athletic Park was the site selected for a field house years ago by civic planners.  The Flames field-house promotion was an arrogant grab for public funds by a private enterprise (the Flames).

 

It was an arrogant grab for funds by a  private enterprise (the Flames) the height of arrogance for the Flames to promot West Village as a new sit for the project; this was a blatant grab by a

City of Calgary fronts Naheed Nenshi’s $300K legal bill | Metro News

The Calgary mayor plans to pay back the amount in full through fundraising, but is waiting for rules to be set before he begins soliciting funds

Source: City of Calgary fronts Naheed Nenshi’s $300K legal bill | Metro News

This is clearly a personal benefit for Mr. Nenshi and it is wrong for Council to pay the fees.  His avowal to pay back the money indicates something is wrong.

To maintain that the alleged defamation  occurred within the “scope of their duties” (and these duties have not been revealed) is unfounded.  As just a candidate for mayor at the time of the alleged defamation he had no duties.

When is a mayor not a mayor?  Nenshi’s  $300,000 in legal fees battling homebuilder’s defamation lawsuit paid by City

Council passed a motion in March granting the city solicitor the authority to determine whether councillors, members of city boards, commissions, committees and authorities should be indemnified by taxpayers should they land in legal hot water. They also agreed then to cover Nenshi’s legal bill provided he reimburse the city out of pocket or by soliciting donations.

Source: Nenshi racked up $300,000 in legal fees battling homebuilder’s defamation lawsuit | Calgary Herald

 

A very important question: was Nenshi mayor when he allegedly defamed Wenzel?  Because a news report describes “a statement of claim alleging the mayor defamed him during the municipal election campaign“.  [City fronts Nenshi tab, Calgary Metro, May 11, 2015, p. 1] This means that by law Nenshi was not Mayor, he was a just a candidate for Mayor.

Therefore, the Council should not have approved payment of his legal tab.  It is  clearly beyond Council’s authority; and is a personal benefit for the mayor.

Seattle Council rejects multi-purpose arena

Seattle Councilors voting against a new arena said “that financial arguments had swayed them. They said that giving over city resources for the project ….  made the arena terms questionable” [N.Y. Times, May 7, 2016]

“Reasonable people may disagree with their vote, but these council members were fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to Seattle residents and acting in good faith”.  [Seattle Times, Letters to the Editor, May 5, 2016]

Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan sent back to drawing board by council

City officials will huddle with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., the company that owns the Flames and Stampeders, to find the best fit for the CalgaryNEXT arena-stadium proposal. A week after city bureaucrats determined the ambitious project would cost in the range of $1.8 billion — significantly more than the initial pitch of $890 million — and declared…

Source: Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan sent back to drawing board by council

Flames put positive media spin on  administration’s rejection of proposed arena.  Says admin’s rejection is opportunity for new talks on a new arena.

Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan sent back to drawing board by council

City officials will huddle with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., the company that owns the Flames and Stampeders, to find the best fit for the CalgaryNEXT arena-stadium proposal. A week after city bureaucrats determined the ambitious project would cost in the range of $1.8 billion — significantly more than the initial pitch of $890 million — and declared…

Source: Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan sent back to drawing board by council

This is scary.  Although it says the current arena proposal is not feasible, come back with something new, and it will be considered, but it is quiet on who will pay for it, which means look out Calgary tax payers.

Kelly McParland: Calgary’s dream arena lands with a thunk in the middle of meltdown

Just as Alberta is trying to keep the roof from falling in, along comes CalgaryNEXT with a plan for a $1.8 billion sports development, largely at public expense

Source: Kelly McParland: Calgary’s dream arena lands with a thunk in the middle of meltdown

This article says look out, the proposed CalgaryNEXT was just for openers.  The arena advocates will be back with a modified proposal that they will tout as being just what we asked for.  But, tax payers will still be expected to pay for it.

‘There’s lots of potential that remains,’ King says of CalgaryNext as councillors look for alternatives

A major report deeming the CalgaryNext proposal “not feasible” has some city councillors looking for other ideas to replace the Saddledome and McMahon Stadium, but Ken King isn’t willing to give up on the idea just yet.

Source: ‘There’s lots of potential that remains,’ King says of CalgaryNext as councillors look for alternatives

Mr. King needs more than a new arena to save his job.  He needs a Stanley Cup.

Why CalgaryNext was rejected by city staff who studied the proposal for months

After months of study, city staff released a report concluding the CalgaryNext proposal for a downtown arena and stadium is “not feasible.” Here’s why they think it won’t work.

Source: Why CalgaryNext was rejected by city staff who studied the proposal for months

Bottom line, it costs Calgary tax payers too much.

The Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan could cost $1.8 billion, double the original estimate, says a city report

The Calgary Flames’ ambitious vision to build a professional and amateur sports complex in the West Village hit a major roadblock Wednesday following the release of a city analysis showing CalgaryNEXT could cost ultimately about $1.8 billion and have taxpayers pay up to two-thirds of the tab.   It’s a staggering sum that city hall insiders believe…

Source: The Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan could cost $1.8 billion, double the original estimate, says a city report

No experienced independent, objective viewpoint saw, from the beginning, this proposal being less than $2 billion, with the City being on the hook for most of it.

But, don’t expect the Flames to stop here; and, there will be some Councilors supporting them.  Furthermore, the creosote soil contamination will be judged manageable and the health risk negligible.  After all, the land has been continuously occupied and no one has dies yet.

Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

While city officials say that Calgary does indeed need a new arena, they’ve found that the CalgaryNEXT proposal may not be the way to go.

Source: Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

The Flames proposed arena in the West Village was poorly conceived and amateurishly presented.  The financial projections were dubious from the start and the site selection ill advised.

(The report to Council may be seen here.)

 

“If business does well so will our city … if we can build a downtown with more density … it will be good for business.”

Really.  There’s more to life and living than just business as a criterion for what we do.

This Business In Calgary article, March 2016, promotes the proposed CalgaryNEXT project, although it purports to be an objective analysis.  The publisher of the magazine states that if “business does well so will our city” (page 36).

The owners contribution to the proposed project would be borrowed money, which, “if the city is unwilling to grant this loan“, they will seek another source.

The CalgaryNEXT proposal should be rejected.  No city planner has envisioned a hockey arena for this part of our city; and, we should not be subsidizing private business.

 

Breakenridge: Flames should share their Plan B for a new arena with Calgarians

Murray Edwards is certainly free to live wherever he chooses, but his timing couldn’t be worse. Edwards, of course, is chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and is also chairman and part-owner of the Calgary Flames. He also happens to be chairman of Magellan Aerospace Corp., and that company’s recent tax filings show that Edwards has…

Source: Breakenridge: Flames should share their Plan B for a new arena with Calgarians

“many Calgarians see this as corporate welfare”

We cannot afford to do nothing

I was always in favour of the CalgaryNEXT project, which would see all of Calgary’s major sports teams play in new facilities in the West Village.

Source: We cannot afford to do nothing

Calgary has an urban development plan for West Village; and, a plan for field-houses in north Calgary and Glenmore Park in the south.

The Flames should stick to playing hockey and leave urban planning to the experts at the City.

Highland Park residents weigh in on plans to transform former golf course | High

Facing a loss of hundreds of trees, historic valleys and hectares of green space, Highland Park residents say inner-city parkland is too precious to give away to 2,100 condos and apartments.

Source: Highland Park residents weigh in on plans to transform former golf course | High

Another unfortunate loss for Calgary’s green space.   Add to Shawnee Slopes and Paskapoo slopes.  Is your neighborhood next?

Paying for NHL arenas: How does CalgaryNEXT compare? | Metro News

Mix of public, private and other money involved in funding nine most recent NHL arenas.

Source: Paying for NHL arenas: How does CalgaryNEXT compare? | Metro News

This analysis fails to include the cost of infrastructure, such as the rebuilding of Crowchild Trail and Bow Trail; electrical and gas lines; and the capability fo the Bow River to absorb the additional effluent.

Survey says Calgarians not in favour of CalgaryNEXT | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Source: Survey says Calgarians not in favour of CalgaryNEXT | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

The answer would be 100% NO if the survey question was “Would you pay $4,000 per taxpayer for a new proposed Flames arena?”

Leave urban planning to the experts at the City.  The Flames should stick to hockey and making the playoffs (asking for a Stanley Cup would be too much to ask of this bunch).

Wildrose suggests province should stay on fringe of CalgaryNext proposal | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Source: Wildrose suggests province should stay on fringe of CalgaryNext proposal | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Opposed, maybe?  This is a bit of prevaricating by wild Rose.  Com’ on guys, you’re either for it or against it!

Provincial money not ruled out for CalgaryNext arena project

Alberta’s municipal affairs minister says she’s not inclined to use taxpayer money for a new professional sports complex in Calgary, but she’s not closing the door either.

Source: Provincial money not ruled out for CalgaryNext arena project

This is an example of a politician talking about something outside her range of expertise.  She should talk to the finance minister who will tell her that there isn’t any money for a proposed Flames arena.

Sport Calgary watching CalgaryNEXT from the sidelines, for now – 660 NEWS

The debate over the massive CalgaryNEXT arena, football stadium, fieldhouse project, really heated up this week when the NHL commissioner was in town. So what does Sport Calgary think? Murray Sigler is with the umbrella organization for several amateur sport groups in the city. He was on Sportsnet 960 The Fan with Rob Kerr. Sigler […]

Source: Sport Calgary watching CalgaryNEXT from the sidelines, for now – 660 NEWS

The expert urban planners and city recreation department have been planning file houses for Foothills and North Glenmore for years.  They have the demographic data and the city vision that the flames do not.  the Flames should stick to hockey and try to win a Stanley cup

Ewart: As Harper was to Keystone XL, Bettman is to CalgaryNEXT

What Stephen Harper was to the Keystone XL pipeline debate, Gary Bettman is to the Calgary Flames’ proposal for a new arena and football stadium complex for the city. As an advocate for the high-profile infrastructure project, Bettman is a minor character in a complex process who has a lot to say but only a marginal influence on the eventual decision. The National Hockey League’s…

Source: Ewart: As Harper was to Keystone XL, Bettman is to CalgaryNEXT

“the core message [from Bettman] is directly from Murray Edwards, Al Markin, Clay Riddell and the other partners in Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., which owns the Flames and Stamps.”

Economists say subsidies (tax dollars) for arenas not justified

“The evidence reveals a great deal of consistency among economists doing research in this area. That evidence is that sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates. The paper also relates survey evidence showing that economists in general oppose sports subsidies.”

http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/CoatesHumphreys_LitReview.pdf

Gary Bettman’s push for public funds for Calgary Flames arena — for benefit of wealthy owners — displays next-level gumption | National Post

the city thinks it is gaining a valuable new asset and a few short years later it realizes it bought a lemon.But teams want new arenas because they provide many new revenue streams for the team in question: luxury suites, seat licenses, bars, shops, basically everywhere but the loo is set up to steer money toward ownership. If the public can help offset the initial investment in such a facility, all the better for the team. And, when the new building is completed, the value of the team is instantly much higher. That supplements the growth in franchise values that has already been driven by the huge jump in broadcasting fees.

Source: Gary Bettman’s push for public funds for Calgary Flames arena — for benefit of wealthy owners — displays next-level gumption | National Post

War of words over Flames’ CalgaryNEXT proposal not ‘useful,’ says city manager | Calgary Herald

“It is not an overstatement to say the future stability, viability and continuity of the Calgary Flames, and perhaps the city of Calgary, rests on the achievement of CalgaryNEXT,” Bettman told the crowd.

Source: War of words over Flames’ CalgaryNEXT proposal not ‘useful,’ says city manager | Calgary Herald

“It is not an overstatement to say the future stability, viability and continuity of the Calgary Flames, and perhaps the city of Calgary, rests on the achievement of CalgaryNEXT,” Bettman told the crowd.

Oh oh, Calgary is going to slip into the Pacific Ocean if it doesn’t build the proposed arena.

Gary Bettman push for CalgaryNext has locals hot under the collar – Calgary – CBC News

The NHL commissioner’s heated conversation Tuesday morning on the Calgary Eyeopener did not sit well with some of our listeners.

Source: Gary Bettman push for CalgaryNext has locals hot under the collar – Calgary – CBC News

The Flames attempt to boast support for its sagging proposal for a new arena by bringing in the NHL commissioner backfires.

Calgarians and the mayor must ’embrace’ Flames’ arena project, says NHL commissioner | Calgary Herald

The National Hockey League’s top boss begged Calgary’s elected officials, business and community leaders Monday to back the Flames’ pitch to build a $890-million sports complex in the city’s west downtown. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made his remarks at a sold-out luncheon address to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in which he talked about the…

Source: Calgarians and the mayor must ’embrace’ Flames’ arena project, says NHL commissioner | Calgary Herald

Calgary “must” not do anything, least of all pay for a arena that benefits a private business more than the City.

The Flames are a hockey team and should stick to trying to win a Stanley Cup.  Leave the urban development to the expert city planners at City Hall.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says ‘Flames need a new arena,’ puts pressure on Calgary to complete project | National Post

Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘I know that Calgarians require very wealthy people from New York to come and tell us what we need to do’

Source: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says ‘Flames need a new arena,’ puts pressure on Calgary to complete project | National Post

Bettman says he can’t understand why Calgary isn’t moving ahead on the Flames proposed new arena.  Well, it’s because it’s a poorly thought out and presented idea, that’s why Mr. Bettman.  It’s for the wrong part of town and it costs too much taxpayer dollars.

Bettman Lobbies for CalgaryNext, Mayor Responds

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Calgary lobbying for the CalgaryNext arena project Monday. Mayor Naheed Nenshi continued to stand up to the league.

Source: Bettman Lobbies for CalgaryNext, Mayor Responds

In an effort to light a fire under flagging support for its proposed new arena, the Flames brought in the NHL’s commissioner to issue veiled threats of opportunities lost and the team leaving Calgary if we don’t build it a new arena.  It the proposed arena is such a good deal, the Flames should build it itself.

Obviously it isn’t a good deal, that’s why the Flames want taxpayers to pay for it.

Nenshi to Bettman’s push of CalgaryNEXT: “that’s not how we operate” – 660 NEWS

Calgary’s mayor is standing firm on the City’s review of the CalgaryNEXT project, after the NHL commissioner gave a presentation urging the local government to embrace it. Gary Bettman told a Calgary Chamber of Commerce audience the project needs to happen, noting the Flames will be in the oldest NHL arena by 2017 and won’t […]

Source: Nenshi to Bettman’s push of CalgaryNEXT: “that’s not how we operate” – 660 NEWS

Good to see the Mayor is taking a practical approach to a very poorly thought out proposal for a new arena.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman urges city to get moving on CalgaryNext

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made a rallying cry — even referencing the “Battle of Alberta” — about the urgency to make the CalgaryNext arena project a reality sooner rather than later.

Source: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman urges city to get moving on CalgaryNext

Arenas built with public money are losers.  If the NHL needs a new arena, it can move very quickly by itself by putting up its own money.

New poll finds Calgarians are torn on CalgaryNext plan for multi-sport complex

The poll suggests that Calgarians are split on whether to support a proposed plan for a $1 billion sports complex for the Flames and Stampeders and whether public money should be used to build it.

Source: New poll finds Calgarians are torn on CalgaryNext plan for multi-sport complex

Dig into this a bit more, and it is clear that the issue is “who pays”?  If it is the Flames, the response is go ahead, it’s private money for a private business.

If it is taxpayers to the tune of between $2,000 and $4,000 each, forget about it!

Guiding principles for downtown Flames arena development

Project Guidelines
Set by Council *
What Has Happened
So Far
1.      Public money must be used for public benefit This is wiggle room for Councillors to say an NHL franchise is good for City pride.  It should say that Public money must not be used for a Flames hockey arena.
2.      There must be extensive stakeholder consultation, public engagement and open and transparent communications with Calgarians Calgary’s city council secretly approved the $36.9-million purchase of contaminated land — now being pitched as part of the site for a new downtown arena and stadium complex … [MATT MCCLURE, CALGARY HERALD, August 18, 2015]
3.      West Village must be designed and developed as a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood City of Calgary urban planners know more about this than a hockey club pitching for a free arena.
4.      Any new fieldhouse must meet the needs of key stake-holders ― including but not limited to the University of Calgary, amateur sports groups and the general public City Recreation, after lengthy demographic study, concluded that a fieldhouse should be at Foothills and another at Glenmore, not downtown.
5.      Any new arena-stadium/event facility located within of near Calgary’s city centre must complement the existing amenities of the city centre, and contribute to its long-term vibrancy and appeal. Would you like a hockey arena in your neighborhood?  I don’t think so.
6.      The cost of remediating contamination of the West Village site should be the responsibility of the polluter(s) to the extent that such recovery is legally possible. Why hasn’t it already been cleaned: is it physically possible?
*Helen Pike, Calgary metroNEWS, November 12, 2015

CalgaryNext plebiscite: Your responses to the idea of a public vote on new complex – Calgary – CBC News

Here’s what you had to say about the idea of putting a proposal for a new sports complex to a public vote. And boy, did you have a lot to say.

Source: CalgaryNext plebiscite: Your responses to the idea of a public vote on new complex – Calgary – CBC News

We do not elect Councilors to build billion dollar arenas.  We elect them to build parks and roads, provide water and electricity, and remove snow.  They do not have a mandate to commit massive public funds for private business (the Flames).

Let the public decide in a binding plebiscite or referendum.  Better yet, make it a major election issue in the next civic election1

Should Calgary’s new arena and stadium project go to a plebiscite? – Calgary – CBC News

When it comes to a new sports complex, and whether it’s in “the public benefit,” the question could be put to a plebiscite. But Mayor Naheed Nenshi doesn’t want to go there, so CBC’s Rob Brown takes a look at our options.

Source: Should Calgary’s new arena and stadium project go to a plebiscite? – Calgary – CBC News

A public vote should be binding, whether it is a plebiscite or a referendum.  The question should be “Would you pay more than $2,000 each for a professional hockey arena?” and not “Would you like a new hockey arena?”

Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Early analysis suggests using a $200-million community revitalization levy to partially bankroll the Calgary Flames group’s mega sports complex in west downtown won’t work, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a recent year-end interview.  This summer, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. pitched an ambitious plan to build a new NHL arena, CFL stadium and public field…

Source: Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Flames’ $890-million CalgaryNEXT proposal ‘not even half baked,’ says Nenshi

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says council has a duty to carefully scrutinize the Flames’ “half-baked” proposal to build an $890-million sports complex in the West Village. On Monday, the mayor’s office was set to present a report to council that suggested a multi-phase analysis of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. proposal for a new NHL arena,…

Source: Flames’ $890-million CalgaryNEXT proposal ‘not even half baked,’ says Nenshi

Councilor Farrell notes that when all costs are considered, this is more likely to cost $1.5 BILLION.  Given our experience with cost estimates for public works, I have no doubt we are looking at an ultimate cost of $2 Billion, and you know it will be the Calgary taxpayer bearing this.

Residents pack town hall discussing future of Harvest Hills Golf Course

Hundreds of people packed a town hall meeting at a northeast hotel on Wednesday to voice their concern over the proposed development of the Harvest Hills Golf Course.

Source: Residents pack town hall discussing future of Harvest Hills Golf Course

The threat to Harvest Hills green space is endemic to Calgary.  The last two major loses (Shawnee Slopes and McCall Lake), were both breezily dismissed by the major as being doomed from the start by a flawed process.  Hardly consolation to residents – just ask those that tried to save Paskapoo Slopes from development.

Calgary needs a change of attitude at the Council level: communities first.

Flames CEO says city is helping move CalgaryNEXT forward – 660 NEWS

There has been some progress in the CalgaryNEXT project. That news comes from Calgary Flames president and CEO, Ken King, who spoke to Sportsnet 960 The Fan on Thursday. King said the city has taken a few steps to help the project move forward. “The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation has hired a consultant to review […]

Source: Flames CEO says city is helping move CalgaryNEXT forward – 660 NEWS

The Flames should stick to trying to win hockey games, and let the experts at City Hall do the urban planning.

Should sports arenas get public money?

The Calgary Flames are asking for public money to build a new arena. CBC business reporter Paul Haavardsrud takes a look at what sports arenas do — and don’t — contribute to cities.

Source: Should sports arenas get public money?

The Calgary Flames want a new arena, and while it’s not likely to be federally funded, the team’s owners are hoping for some support at the city level.

Since they know that can be a hard sell, when the plan was presented earlier this year, the head of the Flames compared the arena to something else that benefits the public good: a library.

CBC business reporter Paul Haavardsrud takes a look at what sports arenas do for their cities and finds that the economic case for new arenas has been overstated.

A tale of two cities: Comparison between Edmonton’s Rogers Place and proposed Calgary arena development

As Edmonton’s downtown arena takes shape following years of wrangling, Calgary is looking to create a new home for its own sports teams.

Source: A tale of two cities: Comparison between Edmonton’s Rogers Place and proposed Calgary arena development

With Calgary taxpayers possibly on hook for most of CalgaryNEXT’s estimated $890

Taxpapyers "on the hook"
Taxpayers “on the hook”

With Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corp. formally requesting to build Ca
lgary­NEXT on a 130-acre plot known as West Village next to downtown — a project which could require up to $690 million in taxpayer funding to cover the estimated $890 million tab — the Sun decided to take a look at some other major stadium projects completed and under constr

Source: With Calgary taxpayers possibly on hook for most of CalgaryNEXT’s estimated $890

CalgaryNEXT sure to be an election issue

voting_line_ballot_box_1600_clr_9468In announcing plans for the CalgaryNEXT project, the Flames organization has likely also launched a $250 million election issue in the 2017 civic campaign.

Source: CalgaryNEXT sure to be an election issue

Evan Woolley and Gian-Carlo Carra saying they are at least open to having the conversation, and others, like Coun. Druh Farrell saying she is dead set against it.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says arenas lack economic benefit for cities

Arenas don’t provide much in the way of economic benefit for cities, but that’s no reason not to build them, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Monday.

Source: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says arenas lack economic benefit for cities

“So when you hear me say, ‘public money must be for public benefit, not for private profit,’ which you’ve heard me say about a million times … that’s really what we’re talking about.

“How do we define and balance that question of public sector benefit?”

West Village creosote: What is it and who’s to blame?

One of the biggest hurdles to be cleared before Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation’s proposal for an $890-million arena, event centre and fieldhouse can move forward will be the environmental remediation of the West Village.

Source: West Village creosote: What is it and who’s to blame?

Is CalgaryNEXT a good idea?

stick_figure_in_deep_thought_1600_clr_8120“I have consistently expressed that I am not in favour of public money or free land going toward for-profit organizations. Calgarians would have to see a significant public benefit from CalgaryNEXT, for money or free land to be given.”  Councilor Druh farrell

Source: The City of Calgary – Ward 7 News: Blog – Is CalgaryNEXT a good idea?

City can’t ‘wing it’ with revitalization levy for proposed CalgaryNEXT sports complex

Consultants and politicians say extensive market and economic feasibility studies must be done before a $240-million community revitalization levy is approved to partially finance a proposed multi-sport complex in downtown Calgary’s west end. Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., which owns the Calgary Flames, Stampeders, Hitmen and Roughnecks, has proposed using the levy to help fund…

Source: City can’t ‘wing it’ with revitalization levy for proposed CalgaryNEXT sports complex

Don’t be so quick to dismiss CalgaryNEXT’s merits | Diane Colley-Urquhart

Re: “No corporate welfare for CalgaryNEXT,” Paige MacPherson, Opinion, Sept. 9Well — they do intend to pay for their “flashy arena desires” — not taxpayers! There were so many ill-founded politically expedient statements and assumptions in this piece that I felt compelled to respond.

Continue reading “Don’t be so quick to dismiss CalgaryNEXT’s merits | Diane Colley-Urquhart”

Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post

Scott Stinson: That’s the problem with arenas, in sum: they attract money, but only money that would have been spent locally anyway

Source: Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post