Arena consideration defies logic
Re: City drafts terms for arena talks; Details won’t be released in bid to avoid acrimony of last attempt, Feb. 21
There is no need for a new arena. Saddledome mechanical systems were replaced after the 2013 flood. IOC spendthrifts deemed the Saddledome just fine for the Olympics. And the Flames had the eighth highest NHL attendance last year.
A few extra concerts a year can hardly justify taxpayers’ “cash contribution” to a new arena. Claims that replacing one arena with another would “build our tax base” defy logic.
Council has forgotten that one-third of downtown offices sit empty, businesses outside the core are closing due to massive tax increases, new malls are built outside the city to avoid our high taxes, and thousands of unemployed struggle to pay property taxes. Council should find ways to reduce costs; not waste money on an unneeded arena.
Today, council will vote whether to negotiate with the Flames on the basis of a secret “term sheet,” without public debate of the costs, benefits, risks, or need. No surprise for a council that conducts far more of its business in-camera than any other city in Canada. And no surprise from councillors who obscure the true nature of the project with terms like “events centre” (arena), “community revitalization levy” (debt), and “cash contribution” (subsidy).
Council should vote “no” to their secret term sheet. At minimum, taxpayers deserve a plebiscite before any public money is committed to a new arena.
S. Emond, Calgary
Edmonton arena deal set the bar for public contribution
Am I missing something? Why would the provincial government or the City of Calgary contribute any more or any less (time-adjusted) funds to the new arena than were contributed in Edmonton by the province or that city? Those are the publicly available funding amounts with the Flames responsible for the rest.
Now don’t get me started on how the new Seattle franchise can manage their new arena without any public funds at all. Financial math in the U.S. must be entirely different than the math we have up here. I know, I know. The U.S. dollar salaries explain it all.
Alan Maslen, Calgary
Poisoning wildlife a barbaric solution
Re: ‘One of the worst ways to die on Earth’; Feds ask if cruelty should be weighed in wildlife culls, Feb. 21
I have never been a proponent of culling. I feel that nature should take its course. Death by starvation or disease isn’t pretty, but poisoning, particularly described in this article is horrific. And, the thing is, it doesn’t stop once the targeted number is reached. It doesn’t single out the weaker animals, it doesn’t affect only the designated species.
Humankind can do better, and not just take the easy way. If those allowing this process were witness to the act of dying rather than the end results, I would hope they would be sickened enough to advocate for a better solution if they still deem it necessary to cull.
Cindy Risi, Calgary