By RTH Staff
Published February 17, 2009
Ward 2 Councillor Bob Bratina sent a release to local newsmedia arguing that citizens and politicians should not write off the city's Pan Am Games bid until making a full assessment of the potential costs and benefits, including possible funding provisions.
He is asking the Mayor's office to consider funding options that may entail "a lottery, a casino, and extra taxing powers such as are available to other municipalities.
He notes that the city of Seattle, Washington is considering paying for a light rail transit expansion with a small increase to the sales tax, noting that the Municipal Act allows for similar initiatives in Ontario cities.
Council's consideration of the Pan Am games proposal should be focussed right now on an evaluation of what they could bring to the City, what assets would be created, what future events, games, concerts, celebrations, etc. Only then can we honestly consider their value, and therefore the price we should be willing to pay, before dismissing the games as "unaffordable".
That decision should be properly made in consideration of all funding sources. It is incumbent upon us then to make those inquiries as soon as possible. It may well be proven that we can't afford NOT to support the games.
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