Sports

Federal Government Reverses Position: Stadium Funding "Not Contingent" On Location

By Adrian Duyzer
Published August 07, 2010

We spoke up and they had no choice but to listen.

That's the inescapable conclusion from the most recent twist in the never-ending stadium saga: the federal Conservative government has reversed its position on the stadium location just 24 hours after shocking the Hamilton community with a pro-East Mountain veto, issuing a statement that says "Federal funding is not contingent upon the location of the stadium."

According to a Hamilton Spectator article, "the only conditions Ottawa has for funding the stadium is that the city own the stadium; the stadium must be used for the 2015 games; the stadium must be used for high-performance sport after the 2015 games; there is no objection to a professional football team (CFL franchise) using the stadium as tenants: and that the board for the 2015 Games approve the construction of the stadium and that it be ready on schedule and within budget."

The article says the statement issued by Sports Minister Gary Lunn denies that the federal government said they would not fund a stadium if City Council selected the West Harbour as its location.

So what's going on behind the scenes?

It seems likely that the feds floated this idea to see what would happen. Clearly, what happened was a clear and unmistakeable response from Hamiltonians that they would not tolerate outside interference with their preference for the West Harbour.

Pressure was applied and that's how we won this victory. But the crucial decision still lies ahead, as Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting has regained its significance.

The federal government heard us loud and clear. So did the province. Let's make sure that Council is still hearing from us right until the vote on Tuesday.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

46 Comments

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:20:06

I find it incredible they listened and responded. Good.

Now the question is, will council give that any meaning by voting for the West Harbour?

And will Bob Young finally be able to compromise on the issues he needs, and perhaps hire some people to find out how they can make revenue in other ways than parking (and also perhaps win a few?) I mean all the good in the world to him, despite how he's treated the city in this process - I hope he hires a couple really smart folks that make this into the best thing that ever happened for the team.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:25:48

Sorry to say it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with protecting their own.

Our newly appointed senator was about to get his butt handed to him on a platter. The feds did not want an investigation into the conflict of interest that was obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to what's going on.

Either way I am happy to see that they have come to their senses.

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:45:02

you may be a bit hasty in this assessment. In today's spec article (http://www.thespec.com/article/822172) on this latest twist - reminds me of Days of Our Lives - Ian Troop says:

"On Friday, I was informed by the federal government that funding for the PanAm Games stadium in Hamilton was contingent on having an anchor tenant, and that they would not be interested in funding a stadium at the West Harbour. I passed that information along to representatives of the provincial government, who are a major partner in the Games. I've now learned that Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn has clarified the federal position and stated that their funding is not contingent on the location of the stadium.

As I've said before, the organizing committee is looking for a long-term plan with viable future usage for this facility. The city's own report has said that an anchor tenant is required to make the stadium viable. The PanAm Games organizing committee looks forward to the decision from the City of Hamilton about the stadium later this week."

One way to read this is Troop misinterpreted Lunn's statement that the stadium needs an anchor tenant as being that the Ticats are this anchor tenant. He affirms this blinkered view of 'anchor tenant' in the next paragraph, where he again assumes this equals Ticats. Then it was his passing of this misinterpretation along to the Provincial government that led to yesterday's shocker.

Anyway, Braley may be involved but better not to levy a barrage of accusations, I did so myself and I'll gladly take them back.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 20:52:02

I'm in shock. And realizing that all this has long since passed the point where I understand what the hell is going on.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 07, 2010 at 21:01:34

Flippity, floppity.

If this is the kind of communication that goes into our stadium decision, then I want no part of it. We put out reports, they pass along vague sentences then make heavy-handed statements based on them. To wade into this debate with divisive rhetoric like this, and now retract it, just goes to show how little thought goes into these decisions.

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 21:44:02

The federal Conservatives do really seem to like their method of floating ideas and then responding with a "oh, just kidding" after a public uproar. Remember changing the lyrics of the National Anthem, changing the definition of sexual assault back to rape in the criminal code, reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 12 to 10, etc etc?

I don't quite understand the purpose of this trial balloon strategy, as any one with the slightest understanding of the issues could have predicted the uproar (and presumably the loss of confidence in the government that accompanies it). In any case, I'm glad that the Conservatives have run away from this issue and will now hopefully be the partners they claim to be and let our democratically elected representatives decide the issue based on the facts of the report prepared by city staff.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 22:30:23

He affirms this blinkered view of 'anchor tenant' in the next paragraph, where he again assumes this equals Ticats. Then it was his passing of this misinterpretation along to the Provincial government that led to yesterday's shocker.

The Feds have only said that they will honour Hostco's choice of location, not the city's, so blinker boy can still force the EM site.

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By JimmyS (registered) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 23:08:25

Ian Troop is a joke. He needs to resign now.
Politicians - what a bunch of fools.

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By josh t (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 00:04:51

Funding isnt contingent on the site its contingent on having a tenant for that site. east is still the only choice possible.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 01:00:27

Josh T, do you know something we don't?

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 02:46:29

'the facility must be used for high performance athletics after the games.' Pretty ambiguous statement. I don't read 'Legacy Tenant' anywhere in the Feds press release. Further 'a CFL Team is acceptable.' I don't see where it's required. Hamilton made a commitment to the PanAm games to build a 15,000 seat 'Track and Field' stadium at the West Harbour site. August 12th Hamilton needs to reaffirm that commitment. There are plenty 'High Performance Athletic Events' that a high quality stadium could attract. Professional Soccer, CIS Football Championship, CIS Track and Field, Canadian Track and Field, Lacrosse, Rugby, High School Football and the list goes on. Beyond August 12th we can continue to negotiate with the Ti-Cats and start to negotiate with Athletics Canada (Track and Field Governing Body). Athletics Canada was concerned the Track and Field components of the facility would be removed we have to assure them that they won't. Maybe they would be satisfied if the warm-up track was converted to a full-time training facility with appropriate seating for events. If so that might lead Mac University to create a sports medicine component....."I know, I'm getting a little carried away," but aren't these some of the elements that existed before the politics took over. For whatever reason HostCo tried to paint Hamilton into a corner, well now that the paint has dried we should put HostCo to the test. August 12th we need to reaffirm our original commitment to the 'WEST HARBOUR' site.

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By Go WH (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 03:09:56

Well stated. The 'tenant'' options were 'removed' late in the game. Hamilton has the
oldest track club in Canada and oldest
running race in North America. Build our amateur sports base.
Cleaner city, more active community.... Now that is a
legacy.....

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 04:19:03

My ballhockey team will offer to plsy. We are high performance ;)

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 07:48:55

Trust me, there will be a tenant at WH. The cats are a subsidized team in a subsidized league. This ain't the Dallas cowboys were talking about here.
Like Young said "well make it work, whatever the site". It wasn't until some of our local Liberal flunkies and crooks got involved that this mess erupted. Let's remind them that we're disgusted during our mayoral election and provincial election. Let's backfire their whole sleazy plan.

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 09:16:12

Unfortunately, Mayor Fred doesn't have any paying tenants lined up to use a 15,000 seat soccer/football stadium in the west end since track and field events were moved to Toronto. Troop will make a decision that is best for the Pan-Am games. After all is said and done there will be an election, vote accordingly. For a group that doesn't even want a stadium, your efforts have done more for the east mountain than you can imagine. To claim this flip-flopping by local Liberals was caused by your group is laughable, but quite entertaining. At least the Tiger-Cats won last night. 26,000 people attended and the game was exciting, if that's what you are into. HostCo calls the shots and is waiting for council to make the right decision for the good of the Pan-Am games. One site has a tenant willing to invest $15 million and carry the costs going forward for 10 to 25 years, the west harbour has not a single paying tenant lined up with cash in hand, nor do they have a business plan to give to Troop, as required. Instead of showing the public his business plan for the west end, Mayor Fred hollowly demands this of the Tiger-Cats, to deflect attention away from his lack of one. Let the down-voting begin, it's how this organization treats poster with an oppposing view no matter how sound and factual it is. That's Raise the Hammer, get used to it.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 09:27:30

What I don't understand is why every commenter against the West Harbour location feels the need to attack RTH at the same time, necessitating the downvoting that they then complain about, feeding the cycle. I'm happy to upvote sensible, reflective comments. I'm going to downvote attacks on the site. It's really that simple, but some people sadly just don't get it. That's the last I'll say about comment moderation.

I'll note that the Ticats haven't in fact put any money up to the table - I see no bond, escrow, or other commitment. What we have is a promise, from someone who has already broken several commitments about the new stadium (most notably, "we will make it work, whatever the site"). That, where I come from, is called an EMPTY promise. Not even worth the paper it's not written on.

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By damonallan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:16:54

Mark - Attendance was 23,000. You were 3000 off. ;)

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By NeverWynn (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:19:45

Mark-Allen, the attendance last night was actually 23,653.
Let's not forget that each Season Ticket holder also got one free ticket AND it was 'retro night' so regular tickets were only $7.50

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By Hunter (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:21:18

Hey, where was CHCH at the rally yesterday? or did I miss them?

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:21:51

If Fred has tenants for the west end, why haven't they come forward with $$$? Where's the cycling clubs lining up to support the Velodrome in the west end? Where's the paying soccer clubs willing to put their money where their mouths are for the west end? Why doesn't Raise the Hammer ask Mayor Fred these questions? He was at the west end rally in Hess village, where's the transcript of his and Bob Bratina's speeches, Bratina said the west end historical maps show this area was a filled in swamp and geologically unstable, where's that report the city promised? It hasn't even been done yet, for some strange reason. City hall has preferred this site since the 2003 Commowealth games bid, why hasn't deep core sampling been done? The west end site is contaminated with huge amounts of coal-tar, just like Randall Reef, a toxic disaster city hall refuses to remediate, despite federal and provincial funding already committed. Hamilton dropped the ball again. Hamilton council has more failures than wins, even when a win is handed to them on a silver platter, they manage to find a way to screw it up royally. That's Hamilton, get used to it or vote. That's democracy in action, unlike the latest twists and turns.

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By NeverWynn (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:38:16

Mark-Allen, Randal Reef is waiting on Federal money to clean it up. Hamilton & the Province have already committed funding towards this.

Bratina stated last night at the rally that the WH is not as contaminated as once thought, email your councilor for the reports. They will fwd to you if you actually care.

The fact is, Toxic soil or not, Friday's staff report confirms that the EM will cost $40-$80 Million MORE than WH while providing no economic spinoff and no downtown spinoff.

Get your facts straight, Mr Whittle! The EM is NOT SUSTAINABLE!

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By Hunter (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 10:45:44

Mark-Alan,

Your points about a business case and core sampling are valid enough and I would like to see the answers.

But the fact of the matter is that there is no business case for the city of Hamilton to invest $60 million on east mountain. None. Keeping the ti-cats are not worth that much money - period. I'm a huge ti-cat fan and season ticket holder but if the city cannot afford it they cannot afford it. Living beyond means is always disastrous.

The west harbour location suits all of the pan-am and city's goals, and is a tremendous business opportunity for the ticats. Unfortunatley the ticats have got involved with a certain development company with their own agenda. I'm not sure about this but the removal of the track should provide enough space for a Grey Cup sized venue at west harbour. Bratina did mention hundreds of millions of dollars were being pledged to develop around the harbour location. We'll see if there's any substance to that this week. Stay tuned.

H

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 11:16:50

Cleaning Up Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour - Part of the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Clean Water
With an investment of $30 million, our Government is taking real action to clean up one of the largest and most severely contaminated sites within the Canadian side of the Great Lakes - Hamilton Harbour. Through this commitment, our Government is addressing the principal environmental challenge facing the Harbour, the remediation of contaminated sediment in Randle Reef.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 11:24:58

That's Raise the Hammer, get used to it. - Mark Allan Whittle

Do you prefer the arbitrary behind the scenes censorship of The Hamiltonian?

Your opinions are downvoted because of their credibility. I guess everyone downvoting you could be wrong, or maybe your opinions aren't as enlightening (or accurate) as you like to think???

To me you just come across as a perpetual whinger.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 08, 2010 at 11:42:46

I don't understand how the ticats can be considered a legacy tenant in the sense that a legacy tenant makes the stadium financially sustainable.

Am I the only one who remembers that the only way the ticats remain sustainable themselves is through ongoing taxpayer subsidies?

Now we are to believe that the ticats will suddenly not only become profitable, but become SO profitable that they alone will carry the costs of a brand new stadium? Good luck.

We would be in better financial shape without the cats.

I'd like to hear how all of the fanatical ticat supporters on here would feel if they actually had to pay ticket prices that would make the team sustainable. My guess is that their blind support would wane significantly.

We need to call the cats out on this sustainability issue. How can anyone take this tax drain of an organization's threats seriously?

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:05:38

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:07:00

The whole cfl is subsidized and the cats will continue to be regardless of where they play. Council needs to call their bluff and build it at the WH. Plain and simple. I don't care if the province dangles an extra $100 million in front of council tomorow. Vote 16-0 in favour of WH and send all these lowlives a message.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:16:19

Seancb, I do think that the Ticats have a cultural role in Hamilton, and I love the fact that they are a part of our identity. If we had to pay admission to the many beautiful parks in the City, to make them financially viable, they would in all likeliness cease to exist. Ditto for conservation areas. But, to be sure, supporting the Ticats shouldn't be at a detrimental cost. And Young's/Mitchell's/Cohon's actions of late are reprehensible. I am willing, if the City is, to call their bluff. Such posturing and bullying is unnecessary, unproductive and anti-community. I'm betting that the Hamilton Ticats will outlive Young's ownership

Mark Alan, there was double the 350 people in attendance yesterday that someone reported to you, and I didn't hear an iota of bashing. I heard passion and vision and common sense.

I'm no expert on Council matters, but I presume that the Mayor has provided feasibility studies and forecasts to Council, or they would be demanding them now. The problem, as I see it, is that the Ticats are making irrational demands based upon an absence of said studies (excluding those of an anecdotal type).

Comment edited by goin'downtown on 2010-08-08 11:27:31

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By ceesvang (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:39:15

Are people not agreeing with RTH's relentless support of the w.harbor site (Ryan , Jason, etc.)lowlives???

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:55:46

According to the cities own report the Rheem site is contaminated with coal-tar wastes from a coal gassification plant and a former roofing material amnufacturer. In order to put a park there, the entire site needs to be capped with cement and vented. Fred intended to hide this mess under a stadium, instead of spending $36 million to remove all the contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill from other projects being built in and around Hamilton. No wonder the feds are worried. Hamilton still hasn't got on with remediating and capping Randall Reef. I guess when Raise the Hammer staff read this report, they missed page 54 out of the 243 page report. No development can happen there without soil remediation. No developer will take that risk. The site has to be shovel ready, and the west harbour will never be in time to host the Pan-Am games. Fred tried to pull a fast one, and got caught. As to the west end rally, here's a link to the story I quoted the attendance from. I guess they are liars to, according to posters here.
--
“I haven’t backed down and I won’t back down,” Eisenberger told a cheering pro-west harbour crowd of about 350 people along the street and jammed into patio bars.

http://www.hamiltonmountainnews.com/news/article/216698

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By Hunter (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 12:58:20

@ceesvang: No. People who manipulate the interests of a few over the interests of many are lowlifes. Council and the Mayor represent the interests of many. Osmington Corp represents the interests of a few.

@Mark-Alan Whittle: RTH does not blindly support anyone. RTH supports those working to make downtown a better place to live, visit and do business. I've said it here before, making the downtown desirable makes the suburbs desirable but not the other way around.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 13:06:18

Mark,

Quoting the Mountain News is about as credible as quoting the National Enquirer. The Mountain News at one time was a fairly credible weekly. But ever since the now managing editor has taken over their credibility has gone down the tubes. The only story that gets told in the Mountain News now is the one he wants everyone to hear. He has an agenda. There is no balance.

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By Reid (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 13:18:04

Any idea who would have paid Angus-Reid to run a survey on the stadium location?
Angus-Reid commisioned polls are expensive.
Was it The City? The Cats? Katz & AEG?

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By Hunter (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 13:21:28

Whether you support the Mayor or not, I think we can agree that 'pulling a fast one' is not his MO... this site has been planned for years...

It is true that remediation standards are lower for a stadium then for a park or residential development. Doesn't that indicate that building a stadium there is a more efficient use of scarce resources while being enitrely safe and responsible?

I realise that no one ever ever ever changes their mind during these types of discussions but come on...

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 13:21:38

-Mark-Allen - RTH seems to be supporting the west harbour not the Mayor. So does the Spectator (not exactly a voice for left-wingers) and countless other people who have put forward thoughtful, outwardly-focussed reasons for their support, most of which are about the common good and in the public interest.

Sounds to me like you have some personal beef with the Mayor.

As far as a "business plan" is concerned, the staff report reflecting $50-$80 million greater cost for an east mountain site seems to have done that from a taxpayers perspective.

Do you really think it's reasonable to expect Mayor Eisenberger to have a tenant in the wings when everyone knows that the Tiger-Cats would have a better venue at the west harbour than every other CFL team has at its current stadium, especially when it's self-evident that they have nowhere to go but Ivor Wynne? Just look around.

I've hardly heard a thoughtful argument from the East Mountain side. Sure we've heard from people who will profit directly from the expenditure of public money (Bob Young and the guy who runs Carmen's) and the swiftly diminishing generation whose idea of work/shopping/recreation/community is pressing their garage door opener, driving on a superhighway to an asphalt mecca and then doing the reverse two hours later. But none of these people seem to address, or perhaps even care, about how this decison will effect our city as a whole. That, in a nutshell, is the difference.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 13:33:29

To claim this flip-flopping by local Liberals was caused by your group is laughable, but quite entertaining.

When I wrote "we spoke up" I think it was obvious to most people that I was referring to the scores - probably hundreds, perhaps even thousands - of outraged Hamiltonians who spoke up when it appeared that federal and provincial governments were interfering in our local democratic process.

If the federal government didn't flip-flop in 24 hours because of massive public outrage, then what do you suppose caused it? Because anyone with a grain of political sense can see what happened here. They put out a trial balloon and it attracted a hornet's nest.

Of course, the 3200+ people who are now signatories to our resolution on OurCityOurFuture.ca, are nothing to mock either. That's well over three thousand people who think you're dead wrong on this. The opinions of three thousand passionate, articulate and involved citizens may be "laughable" to you, but I assure you, many elected representatives have taken note of a grassroots campaign that is likely without precedent in Hamilton's history.

Let the down-voting begin, it's how this organization treats poster with an oppposing view no matter how sound and factual it is.

Two points to consider here. First, you write comments with a mocking tone and you disparage the people who write for and comment on this website, so surely you expect a downvote or two.

Second, with around two thousand unique visitors a day, literally hundreds of readers per day are seeing your comment and letting it go without a downvote, in spite of the insulting tone. So don't be so sensitive. It's only the most blatant trolling that gets buried under a heap of downvotes.

Fred intended to hide this mess under a stadium, instead of spending $36 million to remove all the contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill from other projects being built in and around Hamilton.

So you'd prefer that we take all of the contaminated soil and put it...where? In whose backyard should we deposit it? The modern architectural approach with contaminated soil is to fold it back into its new use, locking it away and sealing it. This is a good approach for large civic projects, but does not work nearly as well for residential.

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By JimmyS (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 14:30:39

Sure we've heard from people who will profit directly from the expenditure of public money (Bob Young and the guy who runs Carmen's)

You forgot friends of the guy who runs Carmens. Did you see those CHCH vidoes the other day from Carmens? I don't think you were allowed in unless you were over 60, bald as an eagle and with a scowly look on your face.

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 14:33:12

When it comes to mocking tones, Raise the Hammer are not slouches, that's for sure. If the city hall brain trust wants to build a 15,000 seat stadium down there with no paying users, I could care less as the Mayor promised the public taxes would not be raised to carry it. I take the Mayor at his word. Ivor Wynne will still be open for business, and the taxpayers will continue to subsidize the stadium, we own it. Ian Troop is waiting for Fred's west harbour business plan that has to be approved by Hostco. Unfortunately, he doesn't have one, but demands one from the Tiger-Cats, pure self-serving spin, that is. That stadium report said the west harbour is not viable without paying users. You can demonize Troop all you want, he will make the best decision for the Pan-Am games after Tuesday's vote. If Hamilton is left out in the cold, who will Raise the Hammer blame for that boondoggle? Everybody but Mayor Fred, your hero, who fought the good fight and lost? The whole point and spirit of the games has been lost in ther fog of the stadium war. No wonder businesses won't locate here, look what kind of council they have to deal with? Hamilton councillors dream big, and never deliver. Bummer, that is.

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By arcadia (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:33:21

Mark you're forgetting that an East Mountain stadium will deliver as little as the Harbour, even with the Ticats playing there, and will take up space that could actually be developed. How much have your 'paying users' contributed to the city recently at Ivor Wynne? The Harbour's 'business plan' is about remediating the site and thereby increasing the tax base of the entire neighbourhood, not about the tiny rent that will be paid by one small private interest that will never make money.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:37:05

Mark,

If your so dissatisfied with the mayor and council why don't you run.

Doh!

I almost forgot you did run, what 8 or 10 times wasn't it. If you added up all the votes you got in all of those elections, would you have enough to win even one election. Didn't you run for mayor and get less votes than Baldasaro.

Before you profess to speak for anyone, think about how badly you did in those elections. Based on the results of those elections I think we can safely assume that your views are not those of the main stream or majority of Hamiltonians.

Edit: Just to add, I do respect the fact that you had the courage of your convictions to run for office and I appreciate that you do try to contribute to this community. Thats all the people here are trying to do as well.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2010-08-08 14:49:01

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 15:59:36

Remediating the site should never have been part of the stadium costs, the city jumped the gun by buying the toxified Rheem property before the bid was won, they had no idea of how bad it actually was, they do now, it's in the report. No developers are interested down there because of this cost, never have been, although pipe-dreams are plentiful (White Star Group). If a stadium is no good at either site, why does Raise the Hammer support the west harbour? If you don't support a stadium, why pick one site over the other? All this will be moot Tuesday, one way or the other. Bratina speaks about information that came up in-camera on your video post, why is that information not made public, so people can decide for themselves? The Rheem site cost taxpayers 5 million to buy. We got hosed, period. Rheem laughed all the way to the bank, and got over $600,000 in back-taxes written off when they left town. Sweet deal, but bad for taxpayers, since we are now on the hook for remediation. Cleaning up Brownfields is a noble cause, Hamilton has been at it for years, cleaning them up so taxpaying businesses will buy them, at a huge up-front cost to the city, in the hope that someone might be interested. Unfortunately, big companies like Canada Bread prefer greenfields, and that's exactly what Hamilton gave Canada Bread at a deep, subsidized discount out of desparation. They put in all the infrastructure too, sewers, water and hydro.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 16:15:27

Big announcement coming Tuesday. Bratina referred to it here. Stay tuned.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 21:41:47

I can't wait for Tuesday!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 08, 2010 at 23:21:28

I can't wait to get Tuesday and Thursday over with.
I just wish we could muzzle everyone who doesn't live in Hamilton for the next 4 days and let us decide the future of our city.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2010 at 11:02:11

Let the down-voting begin, it's how this organization treats poster with an oppposing view no matter how sound and factual it is.

This isn't an organization, it's a website full of people discussing politics. We disagree all the time. If you're not popular here, it isn't because of our policy, it's because of what you're writing.

I have yet to hear any of our concerns addressed by the EM crowd, especially since the City Staff report vindicated so many of them. The East Mountain site is clearly not going to be better for traffic. There's little or no potential for development, oh, and the toxic contamination needs to be cleaned up anyway. City staff, the Future Fund Board and the community all agree. If we are frustrated, it's because everyone's tired of rational arguments going unanswered.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2010 at 03:17:08

Just wondering..Does anybody know who holds the title to that East Mountain cornfield?
I'd really like to know. (sometimes a small question can get you a lot of answers.)

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