Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is back from vacation, and talking about the Flames‘ $890 million arena-stadium-mashup proposal. Here’s his answer to a video question from a concerned Flames fan, transcribed and translated from the original Canadian:
Just so people understand this, the amount of public investment that would be required to make that work would actually make that the largest public works project in Calgary’s history — or maybe second largest after the West LRT. So these are really, really, really big dollars. So it’s really important for us to have a conversation with Calgarians about whether hat’s a good use of public money. I have often said that public money needs to be for public benefit, not for private profit, and the question for all Calgarians now is whether there’s enough public benefit in his to justify that kind of public money.
There’s going to be weeks and months to continue to discuss questions like “Is that the right size? Can the transportation networks support it? Is the environmental contamination just too difficult to fix?”…
Long story short, some people have said that the CalgaryNEXT proposal is half-baked. I would argue it’s not even in the oven yet.
Good questions being asked, reasonable perspective — yup, sounds like one of the Gang of Four, all right.