Mayor says no public subsidy for NHL Senators, but what about CFL Redblacks?

Mayor says no public subsidy for NHL Senators, but what about CFL Redblacks?
Posted on January 15, 2018 | Alex Cullen | Written on January 15, 2018
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Letter type:
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Publisher

Publisher:
Ottawa Citizen

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

On Feb. 12 the Ottawa Citizen published a story quoting Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson as saying that municipal tax dollars should not be used to subsidize professional for-profit sports organizations like the NHL Senators. This is in the context of a proposed new NHL hockey arena as part of tyhe Lebreton Flats redevelopment. Good call, but what about the public subsidy given by the City to the CFL Redblacks ownership?

The Editor
(Letters to the Editor)
Ottawa Citizen
 
Dear Editor:
 
Mayor Jim Watson's stance that property tax dollars should not subsidize private professional sports teams (aka the NHL Senators) is a good call, particularly when there are insufficient funds to maintain the City's infrastructure, provide adequate snow clearing, keep bus fares low, provide affordable housing, etc.
 
But how do we square this with the City's support to the CFL Redblacks football team? The City spent $171 million refurbishing the stadium at Lansdowne Park and then turned the operation of the whole site over to the Redblacks ownership, not only to operate this sports facility beyond CFL football games but also enabling them to do commercial & residential development on City land at the Lansdowne site. Now THAT'S a subsidy!

About The Author

Former OBE Trustee (1982-88), Ottawa City Councillor (1991-94), RMOC Councillor (1991-97), MPP Ottawa West (1997-99), Ottawa City Councillor (2000-2010). Economist, former Policy Analyst NHW (1982-91), former... More

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