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Back  |  November 27, 2019  | 

I will put forward a motion on Thursday, November 28 asking City Council to reconsider its decision to provide $290 million of public funding for the Flames arena, and instead redirect much of the funding to the Green Line.
 
Council has said everything is on the table. We can’t, in good conscience, move forward with significant cuts to the budget without reconsidering the arena deal. Giving $290 million to the owners of the Calgary Flames in our current economic climate is both irresponsible and shortsighted. It’s been four months since Council voted to move forward on the arena and I’m asking them to reconsider that decision when there are higher, city-building priorities.
 
City Council voted 11-4 to build a new $550 million hockey arena for the Flames on July 30, 2019 after one week of public feedback. I voted against spending millions of taxpayer dollars to build the professional sports arena.
 
My motion moves to redirect the $290 million in public funding earmarked for a new arena to the construction of the critical city-shaping Green Line transit project, a much-needed downtown police station, and badly needed renewal of our affordable housing.
 
This week Council has heard from Calgarians about the importance of public transit. The Green Line is a transformational project that would serve hundreds of thousands of Calgarians and the project is in jeopardy due to the Province withholding funding.
 
Crime is rising in Calgary and there is no brick-and-mortar police station in the downtown core. Calgary is the only major city in North America without a station downtown.
 
With rising crime in downtown Calgary and across the city, it is the duty of elected officials to ensure the safety of both people and property in our core. Building a police station downtown would provide a permanent police presence and would help alleviate the safety concerns I hear from citizens and business owners every day.
 
Lastly, my motion asks that $45 million be directed for renewal of City owned affordable housing.
 
I don’t want children to grow up in a city that prioritizes subsidies for NHL Team owners, but ignores those who can’t afford a place to live or a way to get around our city.
 
Thursday’s motion will move that the $290 million set aside for the construction of the new Flames arena will instead go to the following critical infrastructure projects:

•$200 million towards the Green Line$200 million towards the Green Line
•$45 million toward the Calgary Police Services to build a station downtown$45 million toward the Calgary Police Services to build a station downtown
•$45 million to help cover the cost of deferred capital maintenance for Calgary housing

Categories: Councillor’s initiatives; Councillor; Transit; Transparency; Transportation

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This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.​

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