Edmonton taxpayers are going to be fleeced without affection or mercy by the Katz Group.  This has been in the cards since this atrocious deal was pre-approved last year.  Having done some reading though, we can still pull out of this money trap and it looks as if Katz is giving us the golden ticket out.   Tony Caterina said in today’s Edmonton Journal:

“The company’s new demands aren’t just for more capital dollars and an ongoing $6-million subsidy for the proposed arena, Coun. Tony Caterina said.

“They don’t want to pay taxes,” he said. “They want help now in operating the arena. They want a guaranteed subsidy. They want the city to be their tenant in a major office building. They want the casino licence.” These were the requests presented behind closed doors last week in a meeting Caterina said should have been public.

“If everybody knew exactly what these new positions were, I think everyone would have seen it as council saw it, which is very unreasonable.”

You don’t say.

This entire arena process has been about trying to get the best possible terms for the legalized blackmail of the the city of Edmonton from Day 1.  Otherwise Katz and company are going to move the team.  Good.  Go.  There are myriad of other city projects that actually help the city that need funding, the LRT, Low Income housing, road repair are all  in need of more cash.  If Katz wants to have a new arena, he can pay for it himself.

The other option is that the city of Edmonton builds and OWNS the arena and gets ALL of the revenue benefits from the complex, plus rent from Oilers.

I’m not hearing a lot from the usual right-wing suspects about the arena because, of course, socialism for the rich is just fine.   If this was funding a school or a woman’s shelter I’m sure the hemming and hawing would already be loud and clear,  building toward the usual “fiscal crisis”  Armageddon they manufacturer when tax dollars are spent on the disadvantaged.

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