City shouldn’t spend on multiplex until citizens have had their say

Until the public has spoken, I don’t believe the city has any right spending public money on something that should go to referendum.

To the Editor,

Re: Council takes next step on event centre plans, Dec. 23.

No public funds should be used to promote or build a multiplex. Until the public has spoken, I don’t believe the city has any right spending public money on something that should go to referendum.

We should look into the financial viability of previously funded facilities around the city, namely the Port Theatre and the convention centre which are subsidized. Once they have got these facilities operating to profit or break-even, then maybe we should look at a multiplex.

Before the city looks at spending any more money they should get their house in order, we have a council that is dysfunctional, so how can they even think of spending taxpayers’ money without input first; they have already spent $240,000 or $495,000 on this foolhardy project. We as taxpayers cannot afford any tax increases.

If the consultants think this is such a good project advising the city to proceed, where are the private financial backers? I don’t see anyone putting money down except our council.

We should put the brakes on spending on projects and consultants now. All the city can do is increase user fees, hotel taxes along with utility fees (sewer, water and waste) plus an overall percentage in property taxes. I don’t know about other taxpayers; I do know that my pension will not be increased.

Yet the council is still spending our money on hiring project managers to prepare groundwork; it appears that the cart is leading the horses.

When is this madness going to stop?

We as taxpayers cannot afford these types of projects; the majority of taxpayers are just getting by.

M. AtkinsonNanaimo


To the Editor,

I attended the presentation regarding the multiplex that was held at the Beban social centre. It was like a back-to-the-future moment for me. About 15 years ago I attended a similar presentation in the city in Alberta where I lived and they wanted to build a multiplex since we were the largest city of our size that didn’t have one. All the same promises were made then as now.

City council did put it to a vote of the people, but with very leading wording on the ballot. Well, it passed, only by a few votes. Later the city said it could not build all that was promised and several groups said they would not have voted for it if they knew that. Also since the projected revenue was much less than projected, city council announced a property tax increase averaging $400 per household. But only one-third of the households ever used it.

The city must have very clear wording in the vote and I for one will vote against it.

Robert ClarkeNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: City of Nanaimo moves forward with multiplex, Dec. 29.

Living in the Old City Quarter, I have seen many positive changes in past several years in this wonderful place. We have new infrastructure, tree-lined streets, people take pride in their homes. Has the city really considered the ramifications of the multiplex in the Howard Johnson location? It would reverse the work done on the downtown and Old City areas. Also it would close the possibility of creating greenspace all along the Millstone River into Bowen Park.

Lots of cities have arenas – I suspect some because there is nothing else for people to do. Here we have outdoor space, water sports, parkland, incredible views – a treasure.

Nanaimo is positioned to be a tourist destination because of our waterfront. If there must be a multiplex, it would be more appropriately placed away from our charming downtown and Old City areas.

Ruth ChaseNanaimo