Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Taxpayers to be tapped for new hockey arena in Edmonton?

Well it depends on who you ask, or perhaps when you ask.

If you ask Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel on December 22, 2006, "we need to be creative and not burden the taxpayers"

And if you ask Mandel on February 22, 2007, "we're not going to burden our taxpayers with a $400-million or $300-million debt to have a new facility. That just won't happen."

And if you ask Mandel on April 24, 2007, "As for who is paying for this new arena, Best, Bouma and Mandel all indicated that taxpayers will have to chip in for at least part of the cost. 'But I don’t want it digging into taxpayers’ pockets all the time,' Mandel said."

And on April 25, 2007, "Mayor Stephen Mandel isn't ruling out using taxpayer dollars to make his dream of a new downtown arena a reality."

So, as many people suspected, when Mandel stomped his feet and said no to taxpayers funding a new arena, he actually meant 'maybe.'

For a complete timeline, and for by far the best commentary on this issue check out the Battle of Alberta blog, and the fine work of Andy Grabia.

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