Once again I would like to thank Council for their hard work on trying to land a good deal for Hamilton with this stadium. This process has become a bit of a joke and I urge our Councillors to stay the course and not allow all the antics to wear them down.
I have thought long and hard about this Ivor Wynne deal and feel compelled to to voice my displeasure. At the end of the day, my problem is quite simple - the Cats are putting up no money.
In Winnipeg, their CFL team is paying for $85 million towards their new stadium. In Hamilton, we have an American owner who clearly understands the corporate welfare routine so commonly used down there.
I think it is irresponsible and sets a bad precedent if we simply agree to fund 100% of the cost of an Ivor Wynne re-build.
Some folks in Hamilton were a little miffed at the concessions presented to Canada Bread for their new Hamilton plant. I personally don't mind it, and understand that we are in a position of needing to work extra hard to lure companies back to our city.
That's why I don't mind putting up $115 million of taxpayers money to help the Cats build a new stadium. But to fund the entire project is completely insane and would send out a horrible message about the psyche and self-worth of our city.
The folks on CHML and other media outlets continue to dismiss the West Harbour notion due to the 'funding gap'. Well, of course there is a funding gap! The football team that will play in the stadium hasn't committed any money towards the project.
If this is how Hamilton is going to conduct business, I'll be down at the Small Business Centre this afternoon to register my company. It's unethical, it's irresponsible and I hope that Council continue to put Hamilton first as they have through this entire process.
City council would have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if they were to let the Ticats know that they are willing to present $115 million towards construction of a West Harbour stadium. Most sports teams (like the Blue Bombers) would kill for such a gracious offer from their city.
If the Cats say no, then I would recommend Council inform Hostco that Hamilton would like a 6,000 seat soccer stadium at the harbour and we'll build it in a scalable fashion for future expansion.
I'm tired of my city being kicked around and treated second-class. Please continue to represent us with the professionalism and city-building goals that you have had in mind from the very beginning.
Hamilton's Future Fund is precious. It should not be squandered as a corporate welfare handout.
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