issmat: if you guys are so confident the public is behind it, put it to a plebiscite. like all deals like this should be. but you don't dare, do you? we're all sold the upside. where is the contingency plan for the worst-case scenario? i have done digging of my own and spoken with folks more knowledgable about this process, including my councillor. if it's public, no one knows what it says or is willing to reveal what it says. we know what it says though. the fine print says we get the bills. all of them. what they might total, no one can say for sure. so what responsible government walks into a deal with unlimited liability? and you still think this is a good idea? wow. btw, thanks for the quick brush-off of the things that might slow down "progress". that's "democracy" right?
you see democratic principles at work. i see in-camera meeting after in-camera meeting. i see a corrupt mayor at the helm of this ship of state. and i see a provincial social democratic party desperately trying to win over a business community that's happy to take handouts (i.e. our money), but will never support them at the ballot box in a million years because they "will drive the economy into the ground". it's duplicitous.
something you just call "business", i suppose.
who will fill these office towers, lisa babe? you've got a million potential tenants on speed dial i hope.
the hope that 'if we build it, they will come' is stupidity on a biblical scale. for the record, i'm not against building new structures. i just can't stand developer after developer approaching the city with a plan they KNOW does not conform to the rules, as if the rules apply to everyone but them. why do we even bother making rules as a community when some of us have no interest in being good neighbours at all, just profiteers. further, too many of these developers come with their hat in hand, needing taxpayer money and tax holidays in order to make the venture profitable. yes, let's get gov't out of the way of business - so it can go right into the public treasury and just take whatever they want. have you ever seen such a thing a conservative/socialist? they're not hard to find these days.
i'd like to see 48 storey building in the city too -just anywhere but in the viewplane. it's really not that hard. developers only keep asking us to bend the rules of hrm-by=design because council keeps approving exceptions. no one thinks the rules apply to them. would it really fail to bring the million into the downtown core if they were to build this 48 storey building, say, in the north or west ends (where there's lots of land available just blocks from downtown -and where all their staff park already anyway to avoid the crazy fees they charge for parking). how about downtown dartmouth? i'll bet they could REALLY use the economic growth an office tower would bring. it's hard enough to find parking and a seat in most restaurants on a nice night downtown as it is. i'll bet food vendors in other parts of the city could stand some development being directed towards them too.
i'm no mathematician but i've got some simple questions that no one has been able to answer to my satisfaction:
1) if this is such a great business venture, likely to make whoever gets behind it a lot of money, why does it need one thin dime of taxpayer money, from the feds, province or city? couldn't rank just borrow the money themselves and finance the whole thing and keep all the profits (and losses) private?
1.5) if it isn't such a great deal, why involve the private sector at all since a) the city can borrow money more cheaply and b) the city is on the hook for any losses anyway? (and why don't we share in the profits as well as the losses?)
2) if we can't sell time in our convention centre now, shouldn't we find out why before we build a bigger, more expensive one that just might sit idle as much as the current one?
2.5) how many of the incompetents working at TCL who have been managing the thing into the ditch for the past several years will simply move into nicer offices down the street when the new place is built - and likely at higher salaries due to the fact that you know, it's a larger convention centre and for which it will likely take more work to attract conventions? if we're going to do this, shouldn't we be jettisoning those who have already proven they can't work with what they have already? a lot hinges on their job performance. with this much taxpayer money being risked, shouldn't we at least make them re-apply for their jobs to prove they are the best candidates for such important work?
3) how many jobs will this really create? not unionized construction jobs that are temporary. let's get real: how many low-wage service sector jobs with few-to-no benefits will all this taxpayer money buy? is this -as a strong selling point for all projects like this one- really a good value for the money? if it isn't, why are we doing it this way?
3.5) insofar as the figures released tell us, who will really profit the most from this whole thing: will it be the bank(s)? rank, inc? the buyers of convention space, as we lowball our rates to stay competitive? the only ones saying it will look good for the taxpayers are those with a lot more to gain, wouldn't you agree? if not, again, why do they need for the taxpayers to assume all the risk?
4) what are the contingency plans for a worst-case scenario? what if the cost of fuel goes through the roof (or a terrorist attack occurs, or a new conference call technology is developed, etc etc ...) and business travel in general starts to decline rapidly? what will happen if all of the cheerleaders for this thing are dead wrong? who will lose their jobs? where will all the money come from? who will then recommend which city services will be cut, and whose property taxes will need to go up? will it be the same city officials who championed this thing from start to finish?
5) do you think joe ramia will vocally and loudly support dexter and the provincial NDP gov't in the next campaign now that they've given him exactly what he wanted (cash with no strings)? or will he be another one of these wealthy plutocrats who are constantly demonizing the NDP by characterizing them as irresponsible tax-and-spenders? will he refuse to add his voice to those in the private sector demanding that if we want to see economic growth in nova scotia that 'government needs to get the hell out of the way of business'? or do you think he'll just applaud the feds' help and downplay the role of other gov'ts?
5.5) if he doesn't admit that a progressive social policy (not a conservative one) is doing more-than-right by him and his business interests, what do you think that says about him as businessman? if he's willing to let the taxpayers assume all the risk, does it make him shrewd? or a full-blown socialist?
these are simple questions every taxpaying layman would like answered. typical nova scotia: zero accountability, before and after the fact. some people think this city sucks because we have no nice buildings like the one proposed. the connection these people fail to make that it's precisely because we keep making deals like this one (with privatized profits, socialized losses) to advance projects like this one that is the reason this town sucks so hard. you get no love for your business from the gov't -any of them- unless you're talking in the tens of millions. then, they line up to shine your shoes. why?
any other random games where you get to make the rules that you'd like me to play?
if there was only one meeting in secret that didn't need to be, that's enough.
and occupy counts to me. maybe not to you.
occupiers are taxpaying citizens too. they deserved as much consideration from the mayor as those who complained about them, maybe even more.
what is this b.s.? some of you seem to confuse the role of journalism with public relations. the press are supposed to verify whatever a politician says. they might be lying. we never know until someone checks it out. if a person doesn't want to work in an environment of that much scrutiny, they should stay out of the public sector. nobody forced peter kelly to run for mayor. he asked for the job. his critics don't have to be able to prove they can do better. they aren't asking for the job.
here's what made peter kelly a crummy mayor since some of you can't seem to get past the idea that he's a good ol' nova scotian boy:
1) he gave his buddy $300K of taxpayer money for free to cover losses of his private business, and the same investigation revealed he'd been doing it for years in violation of city policy. the only punishment handed out for this unethical practise has been for one guy to take his retirement 3 months earlier than planned. if the plan had been successful, no one would have even known these guys were using the municipal bank account like their personal slush fund. kelly's response: i didn't know. not my fault. no further comment. vote me out if you don't like it.
2) anytime he doesn't want the scrutiny that comes with operating a gov't with transparency, the meetings simply go in camera. what could go wrong when no one knows what our govt is doing? kelly's response: contracts (or insert your own convenient excuse here) require discretion. not my fault. no further comment. vote me out if you don't like it.
3) he could not have handled the occupy group more duplicitously than he did. to make some taxpayers happy you don't lie right into the faces of some other ones. furthermore, you don't ask cops to spend their moment of silence on remembrance day suiting up in riot gear to confront peaceful protestors. kelly's response: i didn't know about their deal with vets or how the cops would handle it. not my fault. no further comment. vote me out if you don't like it.
i could go on but i won't.
he's only quitting just months before he would get fired anyway.
and despite it all, he'll likely still be collecting a cheque from the city for the rest of his life.
i don't know why the messenger seems to bother you folks. he's not the one laughing right in the faces of the citizens of this city, and doing it all the way to the bank. peter kelly is.
because that's what a guy with as much power as he holds and as many scandals in which he has become embroiled needs; less scrutiny.
lady, why do you think these jobs come with decent pay and even better benefits? if he didn't want to live under a microscope, he shouldn't have gone into politics. with great power comes great responsibility - something our politically-clumsy mayor seems to want to deny. i'm sure he has his own golden parachute, just like the one he gave wayne antsey, ready to go. i don't think any of his supporters need to worry. since his re-election last time, peter kelly will likely be collecting a cheque from the city until he dies. could you clarify his retirement benefits and eligibility for us all in any follow-up article, tim? thanks.
no, cyclopean, that's not why. you're a troll because you've obviously come back here after making your comment with a purpose. you're quite obviously more interested in reacting (exactly like a troll does) to the feedback to your comment than simply saying your piece and leaving it at that.
we get it. you hate unions, don't support the strike and think this driver is an "idiot" who doesn't live in "the real world", that place in your mind where everyone just takes whatever they can get and shuts their eyes and mouths to injustice perpetrated on their neighbours. let me give you a hint: people like you who just want to shit on others rather than take some time to understand where they're coming from... nobody's listening to you anymore after about the first 15 seconds of your open mouth. there's no need.
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