When I wrote my last piece about the idiocy of building a new, eighty million dollar stadium in Moncton, I was being more than a little naive. What woke me up to the real stench of this deal was a news item in the Moncton Times-Tribune of May 17. What woke me up was an interview with Robert Irving,owner of the Moncton Wildcats hockey team.
Mr. Irving thinks a new, eighty million dollar stadium in downtown Moncton paid for by taxpayers would be a wonderful idea. I'll just bet he does. That's when all the coincidences fell into place.
My original thinking, naive me, was what Ottawa and Fredericton had, by coincidence agreed on a substantial grant (to be paid for by taxpayers) that would be given to Moncton for a civic improvement fund. Next coincidence? The Moncton City Council decided to put up the extra money (our money) to raise the project to eighty million.
Then, another coincidence. Eighty million just happened to be the amount Mr Irving needed to get a stadium built for a hockey team. Final coincidence - city council almost immediately, and certainly too quickly to have made any study, applauds a stadium as the civic improvement most desperately needed in Moncton.
Watch for the next coincidence - an editorial in the Moncton Times-Transcript in praise of a new stadium.
No. I don't think those are coincidences. Nor are they listed in the right order. I don't think this is an idea that began in either Ottawa or Fredericton. This is the sort of thing that begins with someone who is well connected, someone who is the only one who will gain from this otherwise wasteful and irresponsible spending of our eighty million dollars.