The Halifax stadium lie

Tim Bousquet

Some $2.4 million in public money went to design this 25,000-seat stadium at Shannon Park, and a half a million dollars more to study building a 10-14,000 seat stadium at Shannon Park, and then another million dollars to study building a 20,000-seat stadium at Shannon Park. Now the city is being asked to look at another stadium proposal for Shannon Park.

  • Wannabe Halifax CFL owner Anthony LeBlanc insisted that “we are moving things along, yeah” on getting federal land to build a stadium on, while showing no actual evidence that things are moving along. “The only direction that council has ever given on this is ‘dear staff, please analyze the business case when it comes,’” countered Halifax regional councillor Sam Austin. “Everything else is media swirl.”

Anthony Leblance tells Star Metro:

We certainly know there are going to be people on one side who want a stadium at any cost, and there are going to be people on the other side. They will not listen to reason and they don’t want a stadium because of the perception it’s taking away from general services, which it most certainly will not.

I’m going to call out this lie every time I see it. It is not possible to publicly fund a stadium without taking money away from other uses for that public money. It just isn’t. Full stop, case closed.

What we’re going to get is a bunch of smoke and mirrors suggesting that this is not happening. They’ll create a tax zone and claim that tax revenues generated inside the zone can pay for the public cost of the stadium, but as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, this is not how that works. A tax zone necessarily reduces tax revenues elsewhere in the city.

The PR effort that is about to drop will be all about lying to the public, distracting them with complex financing terms, and otherwise bamboozling them. Don’t fall for it.

Halifax Examiner

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