recommended reading: how the katz group did an end run around the best interests of edmontonians.

If you read one article today, please read Paula Simons well written column on how billionaire Daryl Katz and the Katz Group were able to score major concessions from the City of Edmonton during their campaign to secure public funds to build their new downtown arena.

Simons: Katz Group power play scores major concessions from city

Call it the art of the deal — raised to the level, not of a Donald Trump, but of a Leonardo da Vinci.

Back in April, Edmonton city council agreed that it would only support Daryl Katz’s proposal for a new downtown arena under a long list of very strict circumstances. Among them? The motion required the Katz Group to put up at least $100 million toward the capital cost of the arena. It put a strict $125-million ceiling on the city’s direct cost for building the facility. And it specified that no deal would go ahead until another level or levels of government had somehow made up the remaining $100 million funding shortfall.

There is still no public hint of that magical $100 million, from either the Alison Redford Tories or the Stephen Harper Conservatives.

Yet at a hastily called meeting this past Friday, with three councillors out of town and one on a medical leave, city council voted to buy the land that Katz has optioned for a new arena. (Bryan Anderson, who’s recovering from surgery, missed the vote. So did Ben Henderson, who was stuck on a plane. Karen Leibovici and Linda Sloan were out of the country on holiday, but voted over the phone.) Of those councillors who did vote, only Sloan, Tony Caterina, and Kerry Diotte opposed the purchase.

Read the rest and if your stomach is feeling queasy when you reach the end of the column, phone or email the Mayor and your City Councillor, and tell them how you feel about the decisions they are making by rushing the decision to provide public funds to pay for a downtown arena for Mr. Katz and his company.

3 thoughts on “recommended reading: how the katz group did an end run around the best interests of edmontonians.

  1. Carlos

    Well Dave this is why movements like Occupy Edmonton are sprouting everywhere. We are constantly accommodating these people as if they have some divine right to have everything they want and more. People are up to their eyebrows and I am certainly one of them. If the Oilers want to leave the city so be it. We can find something else to do and to invest on.

    Reply
  2. Joe Albertan

    Occupy is an important movement. It is against programs like carbon capture and storage. We need to support these protesters!

    Read my blog. joealbertan.blogspot.com

    Reply
  3. C'mon Seriously

    Occupy Edmonton is a hundred people with nothing better to do. Be real please.

    I called my councillor, told him I’m 100% behind Mandel on this.

    Reply

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