Multiplex can work, with right supports

It’s time to get innovative and provide the taxpayers with a compelling reason to support this exciting project.

To the Editor,

Re: Multiplex isn’t a need, Letters, Dec. 13.

Yes to a multiplex, with some conditions. My conditions are a complete paradigm shift of how Nanaimo manages their facilities.

I was the economic development manager in Brandon, Man. in the late ’90s. Brandon’s Keystone Centre is a 500,000-square foot complex in a community half the size of Nanaimo. It does not require operating subsidies; however, it does need support to cover depreciation. The secret to its success is a broad-based community effort, launched by a call to action by the mayor. He asked organizations to go after their group’s conferences, tournaments, regional, national and international gatherings. There was a modest reserve fund to put together first-class bids for events. Tourism focused on supporting organizations that were preparing bids and we assisted in event execution. By 1999, Brandon teamed up to successfully bid on the World Junior Championships. Brandon has hosted numerous Briers, Tournament of Hearts and World Curling Championships.

Nanaimo needs to consolidate their facilities management under one first-class organization that has extensive operations and marketing expertise. The city needs to energize the volunteer sector and look for partnerships. It’s time to get innovative and provide the taxpayers with a compelling reason to support this exciting project.

Don AllanNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: South-end group opposes centre at waterfront spot, Dec. 13.

The uglier-than-sin sport palace proposal initiated by private proponents is now misappropriated by those currently controlling city council.

If private money wants to waste it on something that isn’t remotely economically viable in this area due to insufficient population with insufficient money to pay for overpriced tickets, then let them. However, for council to put Nanaimo taxpayers on the hook for this monstrosity is contemptible. Let us learn from so many other communities’ mistakes. Stop this madness now. Or, release all the information as to exactly who benefits and let the voters decide in a referendum. Any council member advocating such a foolhardy project should also put their council seat up for a vote in a simultaneous byelection. That would get the folks who didn’t vote in the last municipal election where no one was campaigning for such idiocy to get off their duff now that they realize their wallets are about to be ransacked.

The City’s Official Community Plan states that our crown jewel, the waterfront land, must be saved for its “highest and best use.” The sport palace, which will sit empty most of the year and will require thousands of parking spaces, would be an absolute waste of such a limited resource.

Gary KorpanNanaimo