Letter from Gary Lunn to Mayor

By Joey Coleman
Published September 14, 2010

The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport for the Federal Government of Canada, sent the following letter to Mayor Fred Eisenberger in regards to the possibility of an additional Federal contribution to Hamilton's Pan Am stadium costs.

I am writing in response to your correspondence of August 12, 2010, forwarded to me by the Office of the Prime Minister, regarding federal government funding for venues to be built for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

I appreciate being advised of Hamilton City Council's decision to proceed with West Harbour as the site for its proposed stadium. As you are aware, now that Hamilton City Council has selected West Harbour as its preferred location, the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee will decide if it wants to incorporate this venue into its overall capital plan.

In the fall, the Committee will present its proposed venue plan and business plan to its Board of Directors for approval. The Board will then present its venue plan and business plan to the Multi-Party Agreement signatories, including the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario, for approval.

Our Government has committed to contribute to the capital costs associated with building or upgrading facilities for the Toronto 2015 Games. As outlined in the Multi-Party Agreement, this support is conditional on the facilities being publicly owned, being used for the 2015 Games (i.e., they can be built on time and within the allotted budget) and having a post-Games high-performance sport legacy.

With respect to discussions on the use of the stadium, it is important to note that the federal government will not get involved in negotiations between City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee.

Please accept my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Gary Lunn, P.C., M.P.

This was originally posted on Joey's personal website.

Joey Coleman covers Hamilton Civic Affairs.

Read more of his work at The Public Record, or follow him on Twitter @JoeyColeman.


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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2010 at 16:52:02

The final paragraph seems to be a sticking point for some, and the source of the sense of doom for those seeking out doom, but take a close look at what it actually says. The way I am reading it, the feds are saying they don't want to be involved with discussion surrounding the use fo the stadium, that they want to leave that up to Hostco, Ticats and City Hall. I don't see how it precludes discussion about additional funding requirements.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2010 at 16:55:20

It's just politics.

The feds and the province are coming through with more money and we can finally put this to bed.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2010 at 17:01:16

Yeah, there's a vagueness to it that just regurgitates the same old criteria which has not been completely clear from the outset in regards to what exactly a "legacy" is.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2010 at 18:31:49

The ti-cats started off saying "we'll make any site work" and ended up saying "we're not interested in making any site work" and walking away from negotiations altogether.

The provincial government flip flopped between funding, not funding, and funding the West Harbour, supposedly claiming the federal government said the same.

Hostco has flip flopped from the original west harbour stadium for track and field planned in their bid documents to a 6,000 seat soccer stadium, to unclear definitions of what a legacy tenant is, and at the end of the day we don't know if they'll even accept an aberdeen/longwood stadium, even with a legacy tenant.

Hamilton has been trying to navigate through a maze blindfolded and in the dark. No one knows where money is coming from, what strings are attached to that money, how much, what the interests of the various parties are, and it's made the whole thing one giant fustercluck.

This latest letter and the repition of vague requirements, and the fact that the feds, while having "committed funding", want no part of any discussions over location, use, legacy tenants, scope, financing, etc. leaves me with the distinct impression that Hostco is being used as one giant smoke and mirrors production so the federal government can pull whatever behind the scenes strings they want without having to get their hands dirty. It makes it easy to provide large cheques to their own pet projects while ostracizing communities that, while part of the initial bid, have outlived their usefulness.

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By Toronto 21015 (anonymous) | Posted September 15, 2010 at 00:08:43

Toronto 2015 is used over and over again. I read this as 'stressing' this will indeed a Toronto games and like the previous writer stated Hamilton has 'outlived their usefulness'.

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