Sunday, May 22, 2011

Arena Plebiscite Question

There are a lot of unanswered issues on the proposed downtown arena "complex" for the Oilers and others use and development. So many, that it begs for the truth to come out. I honestly have no clue if it is even needed. My main concern is how the facts have been presented, and more importantly the facts that have not had the complete truth told, and even more so, the facts that the City have hidden citing "Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy" as mentioned in the post on May 22nd on site.

The number of articles written by many who know sports and economics (those with degrees in these areas, working at Institutions and Universities all over North America) have repeatedly stated that the type of thing that the City of Edmonton is doing, has never worked in the past. The horror stories of how taxpayers have ended up on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars seems to be endless.

Unless we know the full truth, all of the good points and all of the bad points, there is no possible way we can really know for sure if this really is a good thing or not. So with that thought in mind, it seems like the only way to get at the truth is to force a plebiscite. Because the issues ARE so complex, trying to come up with the appropriate legal wording is a huge deal. I have no idea of what would be right or wrong, but I am going to propose something along this line...

I believe that the amount of relevant information has not been properly presented to me, and as a citizen of the City of Edmonton, I am formally requesting that the current arrangements for the proposed downtown complex be placed on hold. I am requesting that all information on the costs of the project, including who currently owns the land, the costs to purchase the necessary land, what the service costs would be, how the Community Revitalization Levy impacts services and education taxes, and any other information that is known or critical to finalizing this deal be made public, including how this would affect the taxpayers of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. Once all of the information has been presented, I ask for a public vote to be held, and that the result of that vote determine if the City shall proceed with this development.

Please feel free to offer alternate suggestions... Thanks for your time.


  1. Out of curiosity, as someone living far, far away from Edmonton: wouldn't a plebiscite cost quite a bit in taxpayer money anyway?

  2. All plebiscites cost money. Preparing them, having them validated, and if the requirements have been met, having them voted on. It seems that there is too much being hidden, folks (including it seems several Council members) aren't aware of the truth in how the CRL works. None of this would be needed, if city council reported the complete facts to both the citizens of Edmonton, and the rest of the council members.

  3. Looks good, Gary. Some minor points: "Levey" should be "Levy". "Down town" should be one word, "downtown". Maybe alter the wording of the first sentence; "the required amount of completely truthful information," is a little wordy. "All the necessary and relevant facts", maybe? Otherwise great!

  4. Thanks Danny... I've corrected the "spelling" mistakes, and changed the first part around.