Kicker 
Member since Sep 15, 2010


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Re: “Downtown shuffle

Longwalker: I believe your statement represents the sentiments of many Nova Scotians. "If the convention center has a good, sound business case, why doesn't the developer go ahead and build it without our funding??"

Unfortunately, despite many public attempts to clarify this, it seems a good many people still seem to think that convention centres are supposed to be profitable. They aren't. They exist to bring people to a city who spend money and create other positive effects. Nobody is pretending they are profitable by themselves. That's why private owners, such as Rank, wouldn't do this without public investment. This isn't just Halifax making excuses. A quick survey of convention centres across canada reveals the same thing - government operated, not private.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre – Crown corporation
Vancouver Convention Centre – Crown corporation
Ottawa – Agency of the Government of Ontario
Calgary - Calgary Convention Centre Authority
Edmonton – Managed by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation,
Winnipeg - volunteer Board of 15 Winnipeg citizens, through provincial legislation under The Convention Centre Corporation Act.

As the people of Halifax's Trade Centre have been saying - it's about the spin-off impact more than anything. Again, this is not Halifax making excuses. See, for example, Winnipeg Convention Centre's mission:

The prime function of the Winnipeg Convention Centre is to generate economic benefits for the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba, through the efficient operation of a unique, superior, multi-use facility, which attracts international, national, regional, and local events.

Yes, the almighty tax dollars are sacred. But far too many Nova Scotians get up-in-arms the minute we might invest in infrastructure that has the power to actually increase our tax revenue (and maybe someday lighten the burden on taxpayers).

Posted by Kicker on 09/15/2010 at 8:34 PM

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