Multiplex won’t benefit economy

Nanaimo taxpayers need to be wary of the proposed sports multiplex.

To the Editor,

Re: Event centre designs, costs presented, Nov. 17.

Nanaimo taxpayers need to be wary of the proposed sports multiplex.

The following information, including an entire Brooking Institute study from this past September, was sent to every member of city council. Only Coun. Diane Brennan responded, saying she appreciated the information. Clearly the majority didn’t even look at the independent, objective analysis that stated: “Academic studies consistently find no discernible positive relationship between sports facility construction and local economic development, income growth or job creation. Even if one believes, contrary to the empirical evidence, that the spillover benefits to the local economy justify subsidies, there still remains no economic justification for federal subsidies for sports stadiums.”

All this is doubly true for far poorer municipal taxpayers. Especially true when the city is taking ‘public input’ during the busy weeks just before Christmas. Any time you see politicians trying to ram through such a costly proposal, alarm bells should be ringing and taxpayers need to hold onto their wallets tightly. Nothing of this costly magnitude should even be considered unless there is a referendum approving it. Speak out and demand a referendum.

The following warning is even truer today: on the topic of a very costly proposal for a multiplex, Coun. Larry McNabb, former hockey player and coach, said to me: “Gary, hockey is a great game, but I ain’t putting Nanaimo taxpayers in the poorhouse.”

As trustees for the public, city council should follow Larry’s example. Stand up for Nanaimo taxpayers and stop any subsidy to private interests.

Gary KorpanNanaimo