Edmonton mayor: If province really loved us, they’d give Oilers $100m toward new arena

Oh, look, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is back on Oilers owner Daryl Katz’ side again, isn’t that sweet? Three months after declaring himself “frustrated” at Katz’ escalating demands, two months after the city council cut off talks with Katz when he blew a deadline for deciding exactly what he’s asking for, and one week after everybody agreed to go back to the negotiating table, Mandel took aim at the real bad guys here: Those Alberta provincial officials who refuse to give $100 million to Edmonton just because.

Mayor Stephen Mandel commented on [Alberta New Democratic Party Leader Brian] Mason’s position to not put $100 million in provincial money towards the downtown arena – Mandel was quoted as saying that Mason, and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith “don’t care about Edmonton.”

Wait, wait, Stephen, that’s not what it says on the cue cards!

Mason replied by saying that Mandel should withdraw his remarks, calling them “unacceptable.” And certainly unlikely to get provincial officials excited about giving your city money to hand over to the local rich sports team owner. Though if it has the effect of shifting the debate from “Is Daryl Katz breaking campaign finance laws?” to “Why does the province hate Edmonton?”, I’m sure Katz isn’t going to complain.

4 comments on “Edmonton mayor: If province really loved us, they’d give Oilers $100m toward new arena

  1. Sounds as though someone’s been consulting with Virginia Beach.

    “… don’t care about Edmonton.”

    That’s my new euphemism for passive-aggressive.

  2. Keep in mind, gents, that this is the same meathead mayor who bitched and whined 9 years ago when the province wouldn’t allow him to use $125m they’d sent him expressly for affordable housing to build an interchange system on the south end of the city…

    Eventually, the province relented and allowed him discretionary control over the money, but added the advisory that there would be no additional money coming for affordable housing.

    Want to take a wild guess what piss-ant Mandel’s next hot topic was? Yep. You got it. “Edmonton needs affordable housing!”

    Albertans are overwhelmingly against any provincial money going to new arenas for the Oilers or Flames. The letters being written to the Legislature/Premier are, last I heard, about 80% against. So Smith, Mandel and anyone else thinking the taxpayers of Alberta are being “cruel” in not subsidizing billionaires can stick it where the sun don’t shine…

    Mandel is a lap dog for Katz IMO. I don’t know why he suddenly started acting like a Katz Group employee, but it seems to me that’s exactly how he has been behaving since about 1yr into this ‘project’.

    Funny thing about Ms. Smith… her party ran on fiscal responsibility in the last election. Now she thinks despite an appalling $3bn deficit (total provincial budget abt $42bn) we should be paying billionaires to do business in our province.

    Glad I didn’t vote for her…