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Communities eager to upgrade arenas

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

'We have the projects identified, we have a list of priorities, and we are ready to go' ...Read the full article

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  1. A Leading Edge Boomer from Ottawa, Canada writes: The Ottawa CiviC Center and North Side Grandstand was one of the facilities built in 1967 that this article refers to . Here is our chance to upgrade it with federal funds. Add in the $120 million dollars from the Lansdowne Live group proposal and we have the opportunity to rebuild Lansdowne with minimum strain on the Ottawa property taxpayer.
  2. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: OK Leading Edge - that looks like a good idea, but I don't think that was in the minds of the politicians when they came up with this.

    I'm thinking more about the areana in Orillia that was closed last week as unsafe and the thousands of aging rinks in small town Canada that act as the social hub of the community. It will put cash into small towns and infuse the communities with renewed spirits. Great way for the local politicians to get some real return.
  3. A Leading Edge Boomer from Ottawa, Canada writes: Sure MB---I did the not suggest OCC gets the whole 500 million , But it is one of the larger projects the feds built in 1967 --that is a fact.

    And if you look at the details of the budget--there is another fund for small towns to repair and maintain various types of infrastructure. Earmarked for them , so that the big cities do not gobble up all the money. Plenty of opportunity in that fund for the pols to garner small town votes.

    And for university towns -2 billion dollars for uni and college repair and construction of buildings, including athletic facilities.
  4. Blue Line from Canada writes: Trouble is most small towns, and many cities too, will have trouble coming up with the other 50 per cent. Dumb rules. There are usually so many hoops the municipalities have to jump through it's a wonder any of these kinds of funds ever get spent.
  5. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: Blue Line - very true. Most of these facilities were originally built with a blend of money. That blend is beyond the reach of most communities today.

    I wonder if the will is also lacking within many communities to assist in rebuilding the focal point of small communities. Perhaps this offer is a test of the health of small villages, towns and cities across Canada.
  6. Kevin Go Riders from Canada writes: 90 million for a 6000 seat stadium is off the mark what we need we need nine 10 million dollar rinks.
  7. Chris Small from Canada writes: While I agree with funding recreational facilities, I hope this money is not just spent on hockey rinks and that other sport facilities benefit. Hockey is so huge in this country that municipalities should be pursuing corporate sponsorship to help build these facilities. Maybe the banks could cough up some of their massive profits.

    Also 25 million for ATV and snowmobile trails! What long term health and environmental benefits come from this investment? None. Put the money into cross-country skiing, mountain-biking, or other trails. Get the fat, lazy set off their toys.
  8. The Great Gazoo from Zatox, Canada writes: Just leave it to the local politicians to screw this up.

    It is always sexier to build hockey arenas that to rebuid the sewers and waste treatment facilities. The generation that came before us new better and built pretty good infrastructure that we all rely upon:

    - water treatment
    - roads
    - sewers
    - sewage treatment
    - electrical distribution
    - power plants

    We owe it to the next generation to build-up and replace this well-worn infrastructure.
  9. truth betold from Canada writes: Great Gazoo, that's because thousands of taxpayers will see the bronze plaque that the parasites will affix to each hockey arena they upgrade, whereas only a few teamsters will ever know or care that the local waste-water treatment plant has been upgraded.

    In Victoria, we will continue to flush our brownies untreated into the ocean, but we'll have a refurbished hockey rink in Esquimalt.

    I thought when we buried Trudeau that I'd seen the last of Keynesian flimflammery; alas, it is alive and well as of today's budget.
  10. Westcoast Dino from Canada writes: ya forget the arenas. do roads. water. bridges forget the arenas ..... 90 million dollar arenas, forget it.
  11. Robert Scarlett from Burlington, ON, Canada writes: The Great Gazoo from Zatox, Canada writes: Just leave it to the local politicians to screw this up.

    I agree - circus beats reality every time. Wake up Canada. The water you drink is more important than a sheet of ice or a place to play. Roads, sewers, power systems are reality, not culture ( ?) centres.

    Politicians - elect them, allow them to serve, try them for crimes against the state, and hang the guilty. A modest proposal.
  12. Jaded in Vancouver from Canada writes: I agree with Westcoast Dino . . . focus on the major infrastructure; let the communities deal with their local facilities.
  13. Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: We just suffered a huge increase in property assessments while the economy is in a tail spin. They have the nerve to encourage people to spend more (which they haven't got).

    Ottawa says here's some money take it an add to it and spend it. All on the backs of the taxpayer.

    How can the budget off set such a huge increase in property assessments. Or the starving seniors who are lining up at the food banks looking for handouts just to be able to stay alive.
  14. D Kanaschwiiz from Switzerland writes:
    Are arenas really a priority? Apparently the crisis is not so critical... .

    Surely municipal infrastructure (roads, waste-water systems, bridges, etc.), schools, hospitals, internet infrastructure, public transportation materials, etc. are a priority. Buses first, circuses later.
  15. Rollo 8>) from Belgium writes:

    No guarantee of the food supply, clean water or transportation, but the kids can play hockey.

    Hooey.
  16. Doug F. from Hanmer, Canada writes: I agree with all the previous commenters that ANY spending should be on water/sewer/electricity generation.You know things that MATTER.
    Spending on arenas as the system spirals downward is just typical of a certain generation's attitude toward reality.

    Toys NOW.
    Essentials -- What me Worry ?

    This is becoming depressing. If societies really do eventually get what they deserve, we are in for very unfortunate future experiences.
  17. Paul Lawrence from Oakville, Canada writes: I believe the idea with the money is to rejuvenate public works that serve as a form of revenue stream for municipalities. While also providing a way of reducing extra costs to the city.

    Whatever money the municipalities spend on upgrading these, the municipalities should be putting a value somewhere equal; to projects that would help with reducing the items that cost the city money, or of course things that would support the city long term.

    Re-build sewer systems that need it, resurface worn down roads, purchase new transit buses that are fuel efficient, add solar panels to school roofs, and other civic buildings.

    revamp social housing buildings to be more energy efficient, with newer windows, water-less water heaters, better insulation. (who else funds the cost-overruns of these buildings but tax-payers).
  18. Paul Lawrence from Oakville, Canada writes: I'm pretty confident to see that this will change the programs that allow municipalities to receive 1/3 from the government to now receive 1/2 the money from the government.

    That's roughly 17 dollars for every 100 dollars spent that's being dolled out to municipalities.

    I don't see municipalities spending any more next year because they're still cash strapped.
  19. Child of the North in Canada from Canada writes: While all Canadians use roads, sewer and water, health centres, hospitals...What percentage of the community uses an arena? In virtually every community, these centres run in the red year after year. Tiny towns that can't afford to plow their streets are scraping together taxpayer dollars to keep the lights on at the arena. Maybe it is time to turn out the lights in some of these small communities and go back to outdoor rinks. A town that has a hard time finding the funds to pay the basics cannot afford a community centre. Just because a community can get the funding to build or upgrade an arena doesn't mean they should.
  20. Canadians Write from COAST TO COAST, Canada writes: Sorry don't understand, That's roughly 17 dollars for every 100 dollars spent that's being dolled out to municipalities. will this put Oakville in competition for the $ 160 Million Sewage treatment plant Burlington wants & what of Oakville projects are there as it says maybe a month to know the figures ?
  21. Roger Cooper from Canada writes: Curling rinks and hockey arenas are great, but they aren't infrastructure. The better investment is in civil works that make the production and transportation of energy, goods and people more efficient in Canada. If we are creating debts for future generations to pay, it is better to invest in something that will give them the jobs to do it.
  22. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: Some mayors ,and councils they can control ,will jump on this and incur a large deficit for the property tax payers to pay off . Assessments are dropping like a stone - property taxes will follow unless they raise the rate . Building a modest rink / arena that has multiple uses is fine , but building a monument that has high operating costs and limited use as has been proposed by our own municipality is just wrong .

    This would be a case of Mayors buying votes from a few hockey fans at the expense of all the rest of the taxpayers .
  23. NL Patriot from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes: Roger Cooper from Canada writes: Curling rinks and hockey arenas are great, but they aren't infrastructure. The better investment is in civil works that make the production and transportation of energy, goods and people more efficient in Canada. If we are creating debts for future generations to pay, it is better to invest in something that will give them the jobs to do it.

    -------

    Roger this is about more than just hockey rinks. The fact is that this is for all recreation type facilities which is desperatly needed in this country. These facilities will give kids a place to go to get excercise and to keep fit. With the state of our childrens health and how obese people in North America have become this is a good thing.

    There are other funds earmarked for those water and sewer and roads projects.

    That being said, I think this budget is nothing more than a big shell game. There are strings attached to most of these funds that will be impossible for some municipalities to meet. I suspect when all is said and done most of these monies will not be spent and that is what Harper is hoping for.
  24. Naomi Y from Canada writes: NL Patriot from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes:
    Roger this is about more than just hockey rinks. The fact is that this is for all recreation type facilities which is desperatly needed in this country. These facilities will give kids a place to go to get excercise and to keep fit. With the state of our childrens health and how obese people in North America have become this is a good thing.
    ------------------------------------------
    This is ridiculous, first you already said it's a recreation facilities so it's NOT a investment but pure consumption. There's no difference from using the money to buy a Wii fit except with a Wii fit, you get more bang for the buck.

    Second, our children are 100% capable of playing sport outside WITHOUT an arena. This is all about vanity and the arena are a pure waste of money.
  25. Stephen P from Cambridge, Canada writes: Doug F. from Hanmer, Canada writes: I agree with all the previous commenters that ANY spending should be on water/sewer/electricity generation.You know things that MATTER.

    I agree. So much for the separation of church and state....
  26. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: I agree with the Great Gazoo (with the exception of roads). Hockey arenas have enough built-in demand in Canada to subsist on corporate support.

    It's the public infrastructure that underpins daily life and is falling apart that we need to build...sewers, water mains, transit...all the unsexy stuff.

    Not new infrastructure which entails greater operating costs to be added on top of the existing municipal tax burden.

    We are in for a wave of municipal bankruptcies in the very near future. If anything gets built, it needs to be infrastructure which lowers the existing operating costs, and is more efficient than what we have at present.

    We already have way more infrastructure than we can afford.

    From an early age, we were taught it is better to buy fewer things, and make sure to take good care of them so they last forever. This is the essence of conservatism. When it comes to our public infrastructure, we have not lived those principles.
  27. Tetchy Citizen from Canada writes: Hockey rinks! Yeah, that'll fix the economy.

    This is vote buying for the Tim Horton's crowd, not infrastructure building.
  28. MR. oz from Canada writes: The worst imaginable case scenario being, if the citizens are asked to build an Arena for a private Citizens who might contribute a few Dollars and who will then pocket the profits but the upkeep will be charged to the taxpayers of that muncipality!
  29. Dom Bevilacqua from Toronto, Canada writes: We shouldn't be spending money of sports facilities. We should be spending it on things which make a difference to ALL canadians not hockey moms and dads.
  30. Jody Greening from Burlington, Canada writes: I thought this was a joke... sadly I was mistaken.
  31. Todd Mac from Halifax, Canada writes: I believe rinks are a good investment, I know here in Halifax we have a real shortage of rinks. Hockey does give back to the communities in a number of ways. There will be the initial direct benefits of construction jobs for building or upgrading facilities. Secondly there are the many spin-offs that go along with a rink. Every night that our local junior team play the restaurants are full, it is one of the main regular events in the city. Then their are the other numerous events that occur in rinks during the off season. Hockey is a fairly expensive sport so with more hockey there will be more spin offs associated with team travel and people buying equipment which benefits hotels and sports stores, as well as restaurants, etc. There is the benefit that Canada produces a large number of the professional players, not only in the NHL but also the other pro leagues AHL, ECHL, european leagues, etc in addition to the many coaches and staff, plus the spin-off jobs in marketing, equipment manufacturing; plus all the kids who get free university degrees in top US colleges due to playing hockey. The people who do make it to the NHL generally are good to give back to their communities. Many people don't realize the number of people that are employed directly in hockey. A more sizable benefit to the greater society is that although there are injuries in hockey which require costs to the health care system. I would estimate that the fact that many people stay in shape to play competitive sports such as hockey that the reduction to long term health costs would be very significant. It is my understanding the a big chunk of health care costs, which is amoung the largest if not the largest cost to our governments, relates to people that are out of shape and therefore overweight. By further encouraging health prevention and promotion, I believe the indirect benefits in the long term has potential to outweigh even the short term benefits of the construction of rinks.
  32. Stephen P from Cambridge, Canada writes: Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson noted there have been 1,093 proposals put forward by cities and communities across Canada looking for infrastructure improvements. As he sees it, the government has addressed "an issue that's a major concern.

    "Five-hundred million is a huge hit," he said. "But it's only half for the arena requests across the country. We're going to continue to work with government agencies and sponsors to do more."

    So they want a billion? This clown must have played too many games without a helmet.
  33. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: Here's a concrete example of how our messed up our priorities have been.

    http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/503254

    Most cities in Canada have the same issues.
  34. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: Todd Mac from Halifax, Canada writes: I believe rinks are a good investment...

    Then please feel free to fund them with your money. Hopefully you earn a better return than what GICs are paying.
  35. John Fedup from Canada writes: Rinks yes, arenas no.
  36. Stephen P from Cambridge, Canada writes: Todd Mac from Halifax, Canada writes: Hockey is a fairly expensive sport so with more hockey there will be more spin offs....
    With bad roads there are spinoffs, increased auto maintenance etc. Let's invest to make our roads bad. Investing in one area to increase costs in another isn't investing. It's blowing money and then blowing more of it.
  37. B G from Ontario, Canada writes: I believe winter recreation is more than skating. The fees to participate, equipment ,wow!! It's not your average kid thing. Plus two hours in a car eating fast food so as to move for 2-4 minutes and sit on the bench for 4-6 min is not recreation. Nor is sitting on any seat moving your thumb on a throttle part of active living for the heart while using trails. These are old ideas of what is healthy for winter living. Beside most recreation that is organized gets hijacked by adult leagues pushing kids out of rinks ( there are no scouts in the bleachers- never were) , gyms and what child should safely operate motor vehicles in the woods. Recreation is moving your own self under your own steam. Perhaps walkers and cross country skiers need to be willing to pay annual permit fees to use trails to have the attention and support of gov't ( I license my car in the winter and see the revenue that skidoo permits brings in. It's not about kisses hugs and recreation $$)but this is where the support should go to reach more people in a more health-a-ful use of money for recreation. IF recreation should be supported at this time, ice surfaces like glaciers receeded some time ago. Arenas suck money while they are built and after to maintain. Canada is far more than hockey. Hockey is a far off whine that blends in with all the other wailing of dinasuars dieing in the distance. Costs is what killed it, it is not a value product for the money it demands -evolve. Besides the money needs to be spent on necessary municiple products ,games are for after the important stuff is covered.
  38. Joe V from Canada writes: Arenas are a luxury, not a necessity, and are not worth going further into debt to fund. There are more important things to spend money on, such as infrastructure, education, and health care. Let's worry about the extras once our economic situation improves.
  39. Joe V from Canada writes: "These facilities will give kids a place to go to get excercise and to keep fit."

    My god, just go outside. Is it that hard? All that you need to exercise is your two legs.
  40. Luke R from Toronto, Canada writes: Are you f@cking kidding me? $84 bill deficit for new arenas? The only infrastructure projects worth investing in are ones that will pay off for years and years like transit, energy generation, etc. why are we using this money to build roads? Are there places in this country where people are roadless? Their house is in a bush with no vehicular access? Give me a break! And as far as future growth - weren't those roads planned and going to be built anyway or were these communities going to remain roadless and isolated. Such a pathetic budget.
  41. Misty Blue from Calgary, Canada writes: Hockey arenas...whatever. What about building homes for the elderly and the homeless that everyone was so concerned about? What about building more daycares? How about treatment centers for any number of needs? How about widening roads for bike paths? Upgrading sewer systems and infrastructure? What about commissioning creative people to make projects that future generations will enjoy as they did in the 30's in New York?

    Who can afford to pay for the kiddies to play hockey anyway? Build skate parks, bike paths, walking trails in cities and towns... Way more affordable...and inclusive.
  42. Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: I'm still confused as to what is a worse use of money, this or the cruise ships on the St. Lawrence... Thoughts?
  43. MR. oz from Canada writes: In order to stay in power or to get at the through politicians will do anything including bankrupting a country without any regrets. It does not matter to which party the lun@t**s belong to. After all, it is not their money they are spending, it is yours and mine!

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