Markham council to vote tonight on calling do-over on arena deal

The $325 million Markham, Ontario arena plan could be sent back to the drawing board tonight, as the Markham city council is set to vote on whether to rescind the plan it approved last April for the Toronto suburb to pay for half the construction cost, mostly via special fees levied on new development. The last time anyone checked, a majority of the council was having second thoughts about the deal, so it’s entirely possible the motion to rescind will pass. Councillor Jim Jones, who has opposed the deal from the start, told Torstar News Service, “It will probably be a no-holds-barred meeting. People should come out because it will be educational, entertaining and maybe confrontational.” And it looks like there’ll be an audio webcast, at least, so tune in to be educated, entertained, and confronted!

Of course, even if the council ditches this deal, it could just decide that what it really needs is to build an arena some other way. Councillors met with former Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett yesterday, and he told the Toronto Star that he’d be willing to discuss getting involved with a reworked arena deal that was done in “a broader-based way.” Old arena plans never die, they just turn into new arena plans.


5 comments on “Markham council to vote tonight on calling do-over on arena deal

  1. Looks like there’s a “Listen” button for the hearing webcast, but click on it and nothing happens. Anyone else having this problem?

  2. Neil,

    FOS got namechecked in this National Post article:
    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/01/29/markhams-proposed-arena-would-come-with-no-guarantees/

  3. Yep. Maybe it’s some version of the Milgrom experiment… but without the deliberate infliction of pain angle…

  4. Two weeks from now I’ll get a postcard from a woman in Germany saying “Cut that out.” #stevenwrightjokes

  5. From the sound of things on Twitter, the crowd testifying is *strongly* anti-arena subsidies. Including one 11th grader who according to the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts is “showing a much better grasp of economics than the mayor.”

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