Friday, November 26, 2010

Gunter on Edmonton EXPO 2017

Lorne Gunter in the National Post: Edmonton didn't need an Expo

A couple of excerpts
"But I have to admit I'm glad Ottawa chose, this week, to deny federal funding to Expo 2017. This event had "huge white elephant" written all over it."

"The Vancouver Olympics were supposed to bring in more billions than they cost. Yet despite being brilliantly run -- truly a world-class event -- the games have saddled taxpayers with hundreds of millions in debt. Just the overrun at the athletes' village will hit nearly three-quarters-of-a-billion dollars."

"Because of its perceived out-of-the-way location, Knoxville never attracted all the international pavilions it had planned for and ended up burdening the city with a $46-million debt -- and Knoxville never envisioned using its expo the way Edmonton did to justify massive transit upgrades and urban redevelopments."

I agree 100%. This decision looks to have averted a major disaster for not only the tax payers of Edmonton and Alberta, but from the rest of Canada as well. The amount of pork in the bid, that had nothing to do with the EXPO event itself, combined with the inevitable cost overruns and the low balled security costs make the decision by the Feds to deny funding the right choice. For all of us.

BTW would the Mayor, or any other supporters, explain to me just why the taxpayers of Canada were being asked to pay for the following:

EXPO 2017 will also generate new opportunities to increase the positive impression the city makes upon visitors, such as the construction of a signature bridge over the river to enhance the connection between the southside and downtown. Another is the redevelopment of the Legislature grounds and the West Rossdale area in time to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary. At the regional level, increasing access and enhancement to the river valley park system and using the river as a transportation conduit between downtown and the South Campus site could be lasting legacies for the entire community.

when they have nothing really to do with the EXPO event itself.

They may be wonderful ideas but it is deceitful to have the rest of the country pay for them under the guise of them being needed for EXPO 2017.


Urso Chappell said...

Actually, much about Knoxville's 1982 World's Fair was about transit improvements. They used the exposition to greatly increase highway capacity in Eastern Tennessee.

Using a world's fair from 28 years as an excuse seems a bit out-dated considering that there have been 12 world's fairs held since then.

Anonymous said...

It took 20 years to pay for Montreal Expo 67 and it wasn't supposed to cost the taxpayer a dime.
Quoted price and actual price are never the same...most times it is either double or triple what was quoted. Also in this time of global finanacial messes why would anyone want to venture into something that will cost the taxpayer ...just remember there is only one taxpayer and that is you.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly pleased that Expo 2017 got the axe as far as federal expenditures go. Whatever the estimated cost, you can bet it would at least have doubled. Now if the Tories stick to that policy we will all be better off. However, if they bribe Quebec by retroactively paying them for joining the HST, they will never sucker the public again.

Anonymous said...

Alberta got shafted. Thi swas a great opportunity for edmonton. It included job creation and would have improved transit. Both good things. If the "Ottawa Liberals" had turned Alberta down then you would be crying about that. You are just too partisan. You cannot even see how Harper takes Alberta for granted.

If the Quebec arena gets funded will you tear up your Conservative membership?