Taxpayers Federation collects over 1,700 petition signatures against arena deal
CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has collected over 1,700 petition signatures from Calgarians who are opposed to using tax dollars to fund a new arena for the owners of the Flames. The CTF will be bringing the signed petitions to the council meeting on July 30, when councillors are scheduled to approve or reject the arena deal.
“Calgarians love our Flames and want to continue to support our Flames, but with tickets, not taxes,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “We have collected over 1,700 petition signatures from Calgarians who are against opening up the public purse for the wealthy owners of the Flames. Why should Calgarians be forced to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars when teams in other Canadian cities are able to build their own arenas without relying on taxpayer handouts?”
Council saw the arena deal for the first time on Monday, July 22, and are scheduled to approve or reject the deal on Tuesday, July 30, leaving only a week for Calgarians to analyze the deal and provide feedback. A number of relatively minor city initiatives have received greater public scrutiny than this nearly $300-million arena deal, including:
- Design and cost options to improve the walking and biking experience on 42 Ave S.E. (parts of June and July open for online consultation with a “what we heard report” made available in August);
- Potential changes to the city’s smoking and vaping bylaw (three weeks);
- Potential single-use items waste reduction strategy (two weeks), and;
- Bike sharing pilot program (nearly a full month).
While Calgary councillors are only allowing one week for public consultation, citizens in cities such as Dallas, Scottsdale, New York and Glendale were able to vote before tax dollars were used to build a professional arena.
“Not only is this a grave misuse of tax dollars, but the transparency and consultation on this large project has been a complete failure,” said Terrazzano. “If councillors really believe this is in the best interest of Calgarians, then they shouldn’t be afraid of doing this the right way and having true public consultation.”
You can find the CTF’s online petition here.