Could Chinese “stadium diplomacy” save Daryl Katz’s downtown arena dream?

Chairman Mao Katz Arena
An artist’s drawing of the Chinese Government’s “Friendship Arena” in the heart of Edmonton’s downtown core.

Did Canada miss an opportunity when the federal government acquiesced to a Chinese Government owned company purchasing Alberta energy company Nexen for $15 billion? Did we miss an opportunity when Canadian energy companies agreed to build a pipeline exporting raw oilsands bitumen to China? Perhaps we are not driving a hard enough bargain.

To the legions of Edmonton Oilers fans yearning for a new palace of worship, a three-term city mayor looking for a signature legacy monument, and billionaire hockey team owner seeking a financial subsidy, perhaps the Chinese Government could offer a solution to Edmonton’s never ending downtown arena debate.

As reported by Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish:

From the copper mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the natural gas holdings of Turkmenistan, a giant octopus extends its tentacles, trading finished products for natural resources. In South America 90 per cent of exports to China are unprocessed or barely processed natural resources. The proportion is about the same for Africa. China not only extracts, it also constructs. In what the authors call ‘stadium diplomacy’, dozens of ‘friendship stadiums’ are presented as gifts to countries around the world. Critics characterise them as Trojan horses used to conquer local markets.

7 thoughts on “Could Chinese “stadium diplomacy” save Daryl Katz’s downtown arena dream?”

  1. I’m afraid not, according to Andrew Sullivan “friendship stadiums” are “Trojan horses used to conquer local markets”. Mr Katz conquered Ms Redford and her fellow PCs a long time ago.

  2. Instead of the scam, political whitewash inquiry into queue jumping, for which the cookie monster and those involved all grew selective amnesia, Redfraud could have given the $10million for the arena and we would have only $90m to worry about. Btw the two guys who drafted the queue jumping memo, later did not recall why they wrote it. The political whitewashing has nevertheless continued. All opposition parties wanted an inquiry into Dr. Intimidation and healthcare failures. In retrospect, in light of budget shortfall of $3b+, it would have been better to forgo MLA pension raises and spend all that money to fund the Arena.

  3. The Chinese don’t need to give us a “Friendship Stadium”. The bought Nexus Oil Company. They already own our resources.

  4. Love the tongue in cheek!
    BUT, the PC government will give the money to the arena in Edmonton – it will be called some fancy name, but mark my words, Katz has “bought” the 100 million!

  5. @DaveBerta, new topic. Is there a civil war in the ranks of the Tory Party? it appears, it just might be the case. read between the lines. CBC news story, Ethic commissioner has called an inquiry into tobaccogate regarding conflict of interest allegations against the Preem. While as the same time, Preem is calling Queue jumping inquiry and gov’t lawyers are grilling the Ex CEO of Capital Health and soon to grill the Ethics commissioner, the oldtimers of the Tory Guard. Mind you, the ethics commissioner had a previous stint in Capital Health at the same time as the Ex CEO of Capital Health. It could appear, that these two have a few things to corroborate or answer to. So, is is this a civil war between the old and the new, or is it a bilateral whitewash the tories are ochestrating for the public? Thank God CBC still does hard hitting investigative journalism. Nobody else in Alberta does.

    If this is not a story worth writing about any intelligent person doesn’t know what is.

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