Published online at CTVEdmonton.ca on May 17, 2012.
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Premier restates province won’t contribute $100 million for downtown arena
Premier Alison Redford re-stated Thursday that the province will not be investing $100 million in the downtown arena project.
“We haven’t had any different discussion with respect to that. Our perspective hasn’t changed, nor will it,” Redford said before the premier’s dinner at the Shaw Conference Centre Thursday.
Redford suggested the city use the municipal sustainable fund as a way to fund the $100 million shortfall needed to build the arena.
“We believe if local government wants to use the resources for that project, they are capable and able to do that,” she said.
New concept images and video of the downtown arena were released to the public Wednesday.
The price tag has reached $532 million as a result of surrounding infrastructure including cost of land, LRT connections, and sidewalks. There’s also a $21 million community rink that is not included in the budget.
The city had been seeking $100 million in funding from the province.
Coun. Kerry Diotte said Thursday that Oilers’ owner Daryl Katz should be the one to put more cash into the project.
“I don’t think it’s a good deal for taxpayers,” Diotte said.
But Mayor Stephen Mandel has said Katz has already agreed to cover a large portion of the project.
“He’s taken on the obligation of maintenance and capital improvements as well as renovations for the building,” Mandel said.
“I’m not sure what more people expect him to do. I think it’s fair and equitable what he’s done.”
With files from Kevin Armstrong