Sports

Fresh Aberdeen/Longwood Stadium Rumour

By RTH Staff
Published August 25, 2010

this blog entry has been updated

Here we go again. On the heels of today's report that Mayor Fred Eisenberger has agreed to a special Council meeting on the never-ending Pan Am stadium, today a fresh rumour has stirred up about a possible fallback location at Aberdeen and Longwood.

RTH has sent an email request to David Adames, head of the City's Pan Am organizing committee, and Chris Murray, the City's general manager, to comment on the rumour. More to come if and when they respond.

Update - this blog entry originally listed the City's general manager as Glen Murray. RTH regrets the error.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 13:16:15

anyone else hearing the rumours of a possible land swap between the city and McMaster? Some WHID land for WH land. IF this is true (which I doubt) I'm intrigued by the idea of a Mac presence at the WH, and I very much like the idea of 'spreading the wealth' so to speak instead of always keeping all of their facilities as isolated, stand alone campuses in the far west end.

However, any Mac presence at WH would need to be urban. No more of these small suburban office park style buildings surrounded by parking. There needs to be a massive residential component at WH whether Mac or a stadium goes there. How about a new Mac Innovation Tower at WH? 20 floors of new economy jobs in the heart of the city and a new landmark on the skyline.....

Comment edited by jason on 2010-08-25 12:18:53

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 13:28:46

Jason's got the right idea. At the very least our Future Fund money must be used to remediate the WH lands. Even if they don't get developed by the city, remediating the soil takes the burden off any future developer which makes those lands much more attractive and valuable (and since the city owns the land we might be able to get a good ROI).

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-08-25 12:43:06

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By Mark-Alan Whittle (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:01:26

Cap it (the failed west harbour site) with a Pan-Am Park and Amphitheatre, like Mr. Young originally proposed when the east mountain compromise was put forward by Mr. Fenn. Hopefully, Young's $15 million cash, and $60 million economic package will be put back on the table. What a city, never a dull moment.

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By birdie (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:06:51

FFS we really are about to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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By AndreaC (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:17:38

A downtown stadium at the Aberdeen site and mixed office/residential/retail space at the WH would be fantastic! I'm a North End (WH) resident, who thinks there are better uses for the WH than a stadium...but supported the stadium because we need to kickstart development somehow.

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By birdie (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:19:09

Great...except we don't need to kickstart development at MIP.

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:39:43

If MIP were to partner with the City and Tiger-Cats on this site it would seem to be a viable alternate site. That's a big 'IF.' The McMaster Innovation Park is of far greater importance to our future than a stadium.

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By Tecumseh (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 14:51:29

While not as good as the original West Harbour stadium location, it's still better than an East Mountain location. Right now I've lowered my expectations so far that I'll be relieved if the stadium is ANYWHERE other than the East Mountain, even the MIP site if there's a land swap for the WH.

That being said, I can't imagine the city permitting anything more than a few hundred parking spots at the MIP site for the stadium. Does anyone think Bob Young would settle for that? It's just speculation, but it really seems like his business case was based on an expensive parking monopoly around the stadium.

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By Jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:00:26

The MIP site is 0.4 km from Main and Longwood so hopefully this location would still keep the pressure on Metrolinx for LRT. MIP is a big part of our future but I'd be fine with some of that future locating at WH instead of MIP. Instant condo purchasers for the new condo developments at WH.

Comment edited by Jason on 2010-08-25 14:23:42

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By George (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:02:54

Longwood and Aberdeen talk.

Councillor Ferguson discusses that site in today's interview

http://www.900chml.com/Station/BillKelly...

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:18:08

Somewhere else downtown rather them EM. if they happens and the TiCats agree I woulden't count on Bobs extra cash for WH projects (understandably so).

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:24:25

Robbie, Bob's "extra cash" was in fact his generous offer to let us spend $7m of our own Future Fund money on an unnecessary amphitheatre at WH instead of on his EM monstrosity. What a guy. I think we'll find a way to survive without his "extra cash".

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:37:31

Not a big fan of the "Pan Am Park and Amphitheatre" for many reasons.

Obviously these ideas were introduced by someone that has not already been down to see the evolution of the waterfront area.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:43:52

My future includes jobs. MIP is the only chance we have at attracting jobs in my field, so I'd have to oppose a stadium there on the grounds that it decreases the land available for those jobs.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 15:55:32

Jason - I was wondering about your comment regarding a massive residential component to the WH site. How do you envision the stadium leading to a massive residential component?

The MIP site could use the parking already in place for the McMaster buildings it looks like their are probably over 1000 spots there.

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By No free rides for the downtown (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:02:28

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By F. Ward Cleat (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:08:05

At best MIP lands could be put forward as an alternate site. The special council meeting is 1 day before the deadline for the stadium business plan. Having said that, we can expect the unexpected from the usual suspects. West Harbour is still the preferred stadium site until something viable is proposed. I don't believe EM or Confederation Park would have any real support from council and MIP won't either if McMaster is not on board......

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By Lettie (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:29:20

Wasn't there supposed to be a highrise parking lot built at MIP anyway? Lots of parking there for football amongst other venues and public transit. The LRT would not be far away, if we are still getting it. Who knows LRT may be part of a gov "bribe" at this point.

Comment edited by Lettie on 2010-08-25 15:29:48

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:30:02

Meister, I view the stadium as the catalyst to begin cleaning up the WH lands which will open the door for the condo builders to come in and start to build up the area. The Skydome was built on industrial land and surrounded by industrial land and CN tracks when it was built and now we see gobs of condo towers around it.

San Diego and Baltimore are other examples of cities that have leveraged stadium projects into surrounding high density condo projects.

Jon Dalton - I agree with you 100%, but I wonder if guys like you and I can be convinced that MIP works for the stadium if it involves a WH land swap which will see many of those new jobs built at the WH instead of all being located at MIP? I certainly like the sound of it.

Obviously I would be completely against any surface parking in MIP. Their long term master plan shows virtually no surface lots, but rather parking garages and facilities. Considering the B-Line LRT would pass by the site it would still be a good 'urban' site. Far superior to Conf. Park or EM. Imagine the leafy views of Hamilton, the downtown skyline and Hamilton Harbour from an MIP stadium? Talk about an image-buster. Folks would be 3 or 4 stops away from Hess Village and downtown after the game and a 15 minute walk to Locke Street.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:31:14

@ no free rides Just wondering - by that logic, if the Stadium was put on the Mountain or in the West end, or by Confederation Park - should the corresponding property taxes also be in increased?

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By Lettie (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:31:57

"If downtown property owners wants this new stadium, they should also be willing to pay higher taxes. Call it a stadium tax, or a renewal tax, this levy would ensure the Future fund has enough resources to fund future projects." Our downtown taxes are already high enough. I pay more now in taxes in my condo than I did in my house up the hill 2K away! And I don't even own any land! Go figure!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:35:34

What is it with everyone else thinking they know where a stadium should go?

Longwood Aberdeen has been studied even less than the East Mountain site, which has been studied less than the West Harbour site. Nevermind the fact that we shouldn't be opening up the site selection issue again, we definitely should not be talking about new unstudied sites.

Accessibility is my number one concern for this supposed site. My second concern is the fact that it's location will allow virtually not opportunities for mixed use. It will be a stadium, and it will be empty when there are no events. There's no opportunity to mix in walkable street level commercial, or hotel development. We just fought a battle last year over a big box retailer trying to buy up those lands for shopping, now we're going to put a stadium surrounded by parking there instead? How is this even an option that deserves to be discussed?

With any team working together it is inevitable that there will be conflict, it is a healthy part of any good team debate, but once a decision has been made, if a team wants to move forward everyone needs to move forward together and be satisfied with the decision the team made. Holdouts dragging their feet, or being contrary merely because their side was not selected contribute nothing useful, and hold back the entire team.

If circumstances change, and plans need to be re-evaluated, debate may have to be reopened, but "I told you so" and reopening debates about what should have been done are not productive. I for one have seen nor heard anything that would warrant re-opening this debate. Nothing has changed between the date of the original decision and today.

The only person I'm interested in hearing from right now, is our Pan Am liason, who apparently has "important information" to present to council at their emergency meeting Thursday. Let's see what he has to say.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:35:54

w00t, I called it in a past thread - that's Steelcare Plant 20, AKA the Careport Centre. A big warehouse-cum-convention-centre. Although apparently the land itself is owned by Mac.

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/1820/...

It has its problems though - the land is pretty cut-off from the city by bridges.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-08-25 15:38:03

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:42:50

Robert D - I agree 100%, WH is by far the best site in the city. It'll be a shame if we miss out on this chance to locate our stadium in such a great location. MIP isn't nearly as good IMO. Although on the surface it certainly appears better than Conf. Park and EM, and I would ONLY support it if it involved some massive redevelopment at the WH with McMaster/velodrome/condos/retail etc.....

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:55:59

Robert D - extremely well stated!

We must stay focused. The Cats remain silent, so what do some of our Councillors do? Take the "spin again" approach to negotiation, hoping at some point they'll come up with something Bob Young likes such that he'll break his silence.

I like Council's decision. In fact, I've liked it every single time they've made it.

We have a clear and progressive position based on facts, not emotions. Let's keep the position and focus on generating creative ways to to make the WH work.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 16:57:08

WH is the worst site possible for a 25,000 seater to be expanded to 45,000 + for a Grey Cup. The sooner the city realizes the Cats will never play at that site the better but I guess with calling a meeting for next Tuesday, they finally realize Bob Young isn't bluffing and the WH is not going to happen with the TigerCats.

At least they are finally realizing reality here with the situation.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 17:00:09

@H+H

Imho, the best site was the John/King William/Wilson vacant lots that Bratina liked.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 17:33:02

WH is the worst site possible for a 25,000 seater to be expanded to 45,000 + for a Grey Cup.

Is this all Bob Young supporters have left?? Repeating false info over and over.

Don't let the facts get in the way of your agenda:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/96th_Grey_C...

http://awards07.trbto.com/ctc/usbfiles/M...

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 17:43:04

Yes it is Wedensday. Now wait for tomorrow!

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 18:01:55

CH is reporting that the City's Pan Am Plan is potentially a small soccer stadium.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 18:33:05

Here's a link to the audo clip of Councillor Ferguson on CHML today, talking about an Aberdeen and Longwood stadium.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 18:43:36

What are the benefits of the Longwood site? (apart from highway access for the Ticats)

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 18:52:13

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 18:52:35

I'm trying to determine that. Certainly there's a lot of vacant land in the area, if by 'vacant' we include green space and industrial properties earmarked for spinoff businesses related to McMaster Innovation Park.

I can't imagine what a 7,000 car surface lot would look like there or what kind of footprint it would consume.

There may be opportunities to share parking between the MIP facilities and a stadium, but that's no different than the West Harbour, which has 4,700 parking spots and much better transit access.

I don't know how much of the feasibility studying that has been done for MIP would translate to a stadium plan, but the time lines are ridiculously tight to start the process of considering a new location at this point.

I also can't imagine that the case for a publicly funded stadium with limited opportunities for spinoff investment would be any better than the case for the Trinity big box development that staff and council rejected not long ago.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 19:02:54

Thanks Ryan. I am trying to be open minded, but my concern is once again using up prime employment lands towards a civic property. At this late stage, I am not sure how much due diligence can occur on any potential new site. The speculation about a potential swap of land between Mac & the City is intriguing. Use of the WH land towards education would be a great use of that property and I could see how that would generate a positive economic spinoff in the adjacent vicinity. Would MIP be opnen to restructuring their plan for that area? Also, what would be the impact be on the proposal brought forth by Vrancor? They said the development of the Federal building was contingent upon WH development, but they have been quiet since the vote on the 10th (understandly, as this has not yet played out).

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2010 at 19:26:21

I suggest we ask Vrancor's Vice President of Marketing who was passing around brochures of the proposed development at the last COW meeting.

Who you ask is that? Why it's none other than our very own Ward 2 Councillor, and soon to be Mayoral candidate, Bob Bratina!

Fred doesn't share and Bob is outraged. Bob does share (brochures) and nobody is outraged. He already has two jobs. Why does he need a third?

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 19:41:26

I say build it ontop of Jackson Square! :)

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By Perplexed (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 19:43:47

I knew Fred would cave. It was just a matter of time. Problem is, the political damage is done. Can anyone say Mayor Larry?

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 19:46:42

There's still no parking and no parking in the area, and ironically, with the bends in the 403 at that point, you can barely see the site from the highway. Splitting the Inovation Park into two sites ruins the value (since the intent is to create an area where specialists in a field gather and share ideas). So that's great, they can screw up two birds with one stone.

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By JeffTessier (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 20:23:08

Thinking on Jon's comment ...

This is a bit of an aside, but what does this city have against parking garages? I can only think of a couple in the entire city. What is the reasoning behind this assumption that a space twelve feet long, 7 feet wide, and, say, 100 feet high can only be used to park a single car sitting under the sky, rather than 6 or 7 cars in a garage?

It seems that this would go a long way toward answering many of the parking issues that have been raised in the course of trying to figure where to put the stadium. Maybe there is a good reason I'm just not aware of.

The downtown core of city I'm from - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - is filled with parking garages, which are completely filled each work day by people who work in the core but don't live downtown or even in the city. Kind of like Hamilton, except that here we offer them acres and acres of surface lots rather than a few strategically placed garages. And as Harrisburg was putting up more and more parking garages in the late eighties, there was a huge surge in commercial and residential development happening at the same time. It seems like a very efficient and minimally-damaging solution to a genuine problem faced by cities as they try to develop their downtowns. Not here, though.

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By brian (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 20:54:32

Toronto Sun Aug 25th says the Oshawa city council is going to have a meeting to see if the can get the Ticats.

“The purpose of the meeting is to get a resolution of the city government in order to give its staff direction to proceed with formal negotiations to explore the issues of a Toronto 2015 Pan American Games soccer stadium to be built in Oshawa as well as a CFL team as the main tenant,” said Councillor Robert Lutczyk, who called for the meeting."

But the Mayor Says "This is an election year and some councillors just want to make headline, said Oshawa Mayor John Gray.

“The team is trying to shakedown Hamilton — threatening to move the team — to get the location that it wants. It is a dangerous move to try and poach teams from other cities. If we did, what type of shakedown would they give us in 10 years,” Gray said.

“Even if the Pan Am people had some money for the stadium, the operating costs would be a real challenge This is an election year and some councillors just want to make headline, said Oshawa Mayor John Gray.

“The team is trying to shakedown Hamilton — threatening to move the team — to get the location that it wants. It is a dangerous move to try and poach teams from other cities. If we did, what type of shakedown would they give us in 10 years,” Gray said.

“Even if the Pan Am people had some money for the stadium, the operating costs would be a real challenge

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoan...

..And so the drama goes on. Atleast the Oshawa mayor calls it a "shakedown"

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 22:07:19

They are a little late for the party, aren't they? I don't know much, but I am pretty sure that if we bail or get booted from participating in the Games that Hostco will simply award cycling and soccer to one of the communities that are already participating in the event. Thanks for posting the link, Brian! I love the use of the word 'shakedown'.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 22:15:27

Mark Cripps, editor of Hamilton Mountain News, just posted the following tweets:

Ok, so if these tidbits turn out to be false like the last 2 pieces of breaking news from the Mountain News can we all agree to never use them as a source again?

If there is no WH/ MIP land swap, I'm against the MIP site. We NEED to get revitalizing the WH. A University/campus district downtown would be amazing.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 25, 2010 at 22:41:25

I have to think that the last thing Bobby wants to do is move the TiCats too far away from Hamilton. Not really for sentimental reasons of course, but rather you have basically 140 years of Branding built up here. You have a pretty decent season ticket fan base, and imho much more people around here (if you subscribe to the KW and cambridge area pulling fans, as well as oak/burl/milton and so on) After the Shwa its basically fields till Kingston and/or pb.

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By James (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 00:22:40

If there were some way to get the money for the stadium and instead spend it on something that would be actually useful, like public transit and downtown revitalization programs, while at the same time causing that interfering carpetbagger Bob Young to pack up his toys and slinking back to wherever he comes from, everyone would win.

I am not a sports fan in any sense of the word, but seeing a cheesy sports team try to dictate civil policy riles me up something fierce. I do not care about football at all, but if we must have a stadium, let it go in the west harbour. If Bob Young doesn't like it, he's welcome to take the Ticats to whatever place will take them.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 00:38:35

Please tell me that nobody in this discussion (other than maybe Bratina) is seriously willing to get Vrancor involved. Those guys are BAD news. If the swath of derelict properties they own wasn't a tip-off, their criminal history should be.

http://ashamelessagitator.wordpress.com/...

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 04:11:22

James >> If there were some way to get the money for the stadium and instead spend it on something that would be actually useful

Like giving it back to individuals and businesses to buy what they want.

To understand the power of less government spending for improving the economy, at the start of 1996, Ontario government spending was 22.2% of GDP, by 2000 it was 18.9%. In that 5 year period, Ontario's economy averaged 4.8% per year.

As of the end of 2009, government consumption as a percent of GDP was 22.9%. During that 9 years, when government has been busy spending on public health and education, GDP has averaged 1.39%.

From the beginning of 1996 to the end of 2000, the value of new residential construction averaged 8.2% every year. From 2001 to 2009, this number was only 1.9%. Curiously enough, home prices have spiked dramatically since 2000, forcing home buyers to take on record debt levels due to the lack of supply of new homes.

In the 1996-2000 time period, Ontario exports averaged 7.9% a year. From 2001-2009, exports have averaged -1.3%. Our ability to create goods and services that the world wants to buy has not improved for almost a decade.

From 1996-2000, Ontario business spending on machinery and equipment averaged 10.4% a year. In the 2001-2009 time period, this number was 0.3%.

As for government spending, in the 1996-2000 time period, real spending (2002 dollars) averaged only 1.2% a year. The 2001- 2009 time period saw government spending average 3.8%, almost three times as fast as the overall economy.

As for how this relates to Hamilton, if we want a better economy with more and higher paying jobs, the best thing the city can do is reduce it's level of spending. This means now stadium, no LRT, no new anything until we allow the private sector to gain regain it's strength.

As you can see from the numbers I presented, high levels of government spending does not create private sector economic activity, it crowds it out.

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By dsahota (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 05:12:10

As you can see from the numbers I presented, high levels of government spending does not create private sector economic activity, it crowds it out.

Your numbers do not prove your hypothesis. They are a couple snapshots of a provincial economic average (the GDP) which is just one measure of a very complex environment. Flaws I see in your analysis:

1) You've compared a period of continued growth (1996-2000) with a period with global economic collapses at both its start and finish. You would be much more credible if you compared 1996-2003 and 2003-2010, which are periods of equal duration both of which happen to contain a significant economic collapse.

2) Only considering GDP growth and government spending in a single provincial economy neglects the effects of the global economy. To make a credible argument you need to compare several jurisdictions with varying changes in the level of government spending and compare those to the case in Ontario you've outlined.

3) Public spending is still high, but the conference board of Canada predicts Ontario will lead GDP growth for 2010 @ 3.8% http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/On...

4) Do you honestly believe that making cuts to the already broken Ontario Healthcare system and inevitably increasing the highest tuition fees for postsecondary education in the country would have no long term economic effect 10-20 years down the road? Some types of spending (e.g. infrastructure, education) take a significant amount of time to yield improvements for the economy, but not investing in infrastructure also doesn't work. As an extreme case consider this: would Western Canada even really exist today if a government subsidized transcontinental railway hadn't been built?

5) Say I propose an alternative hypothesis: the reduction in government spending in 1996-2000 resulted in lowered GDP growth in 2000-2009 as Ontario was unprepared for the physical infrastructure and knowledge infrastructure needed to succeed in the rapidly modernizing global economy. Can you refute this hypothesis with your data?

All of this being said, there does have to be a careful analysis of the appropriate levels of public sector spending to yield positive results for all those in our society. Having moved here from out West, it does seem like provincial governments in Ontario(of all stripes) go through periods of spending like drunken sailors with seemingly little direction or vision.

I don't believe that your "evidence" proves that the best thing for Hamilton to do is to reduce taxes and not spend a penny on infrastructure. Its possible that your plan could work, but you haven't proved it.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 06:01:09

Thanks Ryan. I am trying to be open minded, but my concern is once again using up prime employment lands towards a civic property.

At a minimum, the MIP site needs to be evaluated against the city's objectives. My understanding is that it was already considered and rejected as part of the original site selection process.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 07:31:24

RE:Vrancor Absolutely agree, but since they are a part of the derelict building brigrade they either have to be a part of the solution, or sell to someone willing to actually develop (which isn't going to happen). It was pretty shady moves at the COW mtg; "hey, build in the WH and we will finally clean up that mess on Main Stret". It's laughable, I wonder how long they would have let property sit like that in the middle of Burlington.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 09:27:58

@jason

Supply in demand. Parking garages are prohibitively expensive. Think about the ones in Hamilton - the big one was built by Eaton's during their massive downtown-mall-building death-spiral.

The corporate world has figured out that you can simply buy massive tracts of land and download the cost of servicing these larger areas with roads, customers, etc. to other people. They've become accustomed to surface-level parking and aren't about to change that.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:01:40

Why do so many people downvote A Smith? I may not agree with his point of view, but he just offered up more evidence in a single post than the entire lot of stadium trolls have throughout this whole argument.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2010 at 15:15:27

dsahota >> You would be much more credible if you compared 1996-2003 and 2003-2010

In the time period between the end of 2000 to 2003, real government spending (2002 dollars) jumped to an average of 4.8% a year. The effect on the economy was this....

Business spending on machinery and equipment

2001 = - 2.8%
2002 = - 6.5%
2003 = 6.0%

Exports

2001 = - 3.0%
2002 = 1.5%
2003 = - 0.1%

Residential Structures

2001 = 9.7%
2002 = 9.6%
2003 = 2.6%

Real GDP

2001 = 1.8%
2002 = 3.1%
2003 = 1.4% average 2.1% GDP over three years.

As soon as Mike Harris ramped up government spending, the private economy slowed down.

>> Only considering GDP growth and government spending in a single provincial economy neglects the effects of the global economy.

And how much do outside factors affect the performance of our economy. 10%, 30%, 50%? If you believe it is closer to 50%, then how do you explain the wide disparities between nations in overall economic output? If our economies all rise and fall together, shouldn't we all have similar GDP per capita numbers?

>> Public spending is still high, but the conference board of Canada predicts Ontario will lead GDP growth for 2010

And unless the Ontario Liberals go crazy with new spending, I agree 100%. The latest quarter showed government consumption at 23.3% of GDP. This figure reflects our high levels of spending on health and education. Seeing that McGuinty is looking to freeze wages, this number will likely go down and this will free up capital for the private sector.

However, if you bought a home recently, this will probably mean that your equity will soon turn negative as the economy starts building new homes. My advice is to sell now and rent for a couple of years.

>> Do you honestly believe that making cuts to the already broken Ontario Healthcare system... would have no long term economic effect 10-20 years down the road?

Hamilton was a booming city far before the province spent 23.3% of GDP on free stuff...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_Hamilton,_Ontario

>> would Western Canada even really exist today if a government subsidized transcontinental railway hadn't been built?

Yes.

>> the reduction in government spending in 1996-2000 resulted in lowered GDP growth in 2000-2009 as Ontario was unprepared for the physical infrastructure and knowledge infrastructure needed to succeed in the rapidly modernizing global economy. Can you refute this hypothesis with your data?

Public goods are given away for free, they have no marginal cost to the user. That being the case, how do you measure how much society values these goods and services? Is it more than the cost of funding them, or less?

I have used this example before, but it is a good one. If the $30M in tax subsides that support the HSR were given back to taxpayers, how much of this money would go back to the HSR in fares? If it is less than $30M, that indicates that people would rather spend this money on things other than transit, like food, or clothes, or beer.

In this case, the city is possible wasting tens of millions on bus service that people don't want and short changing local business of tens of millions in business from local consumers.

How does this help Hamilton's local economy?

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2010 at 17:17:39

Most people are hoping Mr Smith will write an organized article about his ideas so that we can have a civil discussion in the comments. The main problem is that he used to hijack every single article on every single topic and make it into a property tax debate. It distracts from the other issues.

Thankfully that has been cubed somewhat, but is it starting again?

The invitation still stands. Smith, please, collect your thoughts into an article so that we can digest and further discuss it!

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 07:54:55

dsahota said it best "Your numbers do not prove your hypothesis". It appears that A Smith doesn't like government spending (and probably the sharing of society's burdens through the payment of taxes) and is looking for a justification to reduce or eliminate it. While I have no reason to doubt the figures, they fail to establish any causal connection between government spending and growth or anything else for that matter. Two simultaneously occurring events do not a cause and effect make. In fact, I have no doubt that government spending and the average temperature in Canada have both increased at the same time but (just going out on a limb here) I doubt if they're related.

The analysis is simplistic to the extreme, grounded in the belief that a dollar spend by the government is, somehow, different than a dollar spend by an individual (even offshore) and treats everything as simply a matter of supply and demand. It assumes that all goods and services are "equal" making no distinction between, for example, food, clothes, the HSR and beer (seen any nude, hungry, drunk HSR riders, lately?). Moreover, it lumps all government spending together without distinguishing how it is funded (deficit, taxation, user fees, licensing or a profit centre such as the LCBO) and fails to recognize the virtual impossibility of providing public goods, such as roads, through any other means.

If this type of post has been employed to address other issues in the past, I can understand why it's being downvoted now.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 08:06:09

they fail to establish any causal connection

Believe me, the "correlation does not entail causality" argument is utterly lost on A Smith. Don't bother engaging in that black hole of discourse, just down vote and move on.

(You owe me one zookeeper!)

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By Tool (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 09:00:03

Ok, so if these tidbits turn out to be false like the last 2 pieces of breaking news from the Mountain News can we all agree to never use them as a source again?


looks like the mtn news sources were pretty accurate, hey jason?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2010 at 09:21:11

yep, they got it right this time. I'm sure they triple checked their sources before posting that info. No news organization wants to be consistently wrong. Tuesday should be interesting as it turns out.

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