We seem to have stemmed the tide of the SOEC development; the hockey dormitory fiasco; the Martin Street re-development saga; the tennis bubble; to name a few. All of these proposals made under the guise of making the city a better place. Boondoggles at their best?
The old adage of history repeats itself seems to come up with each new city council. It seems that they come in like gangbusters giving taxpayers the feeling that change for the better is in the wind.
After the balloting is completed and the die is cast, people wait to see what the game plan is and what will be implemented. This is what might be called the honeymoon period. However, over the last two administrations, the honeymoon period appears to have been short lived. It only cements the idea that leopards don’t change their spots, to coin an old cliché.
With a new council, we are facing another dilemma. That dilemma is giving up city land, parkland or sports fields to endorse a proposal to build a conventioneer’s hotel complex. What is the thinking here, if any?
We are not Vancouver, Toronto, or Las Vegas. When was the last time that we had major national or international conventions here? By national or international conventions, I refer to such companies as: Microsoft, Apple, Ford or GM, Google, EBay, American Express to name a few better known corporations. These companies seem to have the wherewithal to support five-star plus accommodation.
Having said that, when was the last time that we saw any of the companies of this magnitude hold a convention here. What crystal ball readings have council been privy too? What tarot card readings have they been given? What ouija board have they been using? Hello?
We have sufficient accommodation here to please all and to fit all budgets. From the Lakeside Resort to the yurts at Barefoot Beach, we have adequate accommodation for anyone and everyone.
What attracts conventions and conventioneers here are such things as: weather; surroundings; touristy things; friendly people and businesses; available activities and the like. Trump Tower or New York’s Plaza Hotel would not bring anymore conventions to this city than are now booked.
In talking with many people, I found that past boondoggles die hard and forgiveness is not apparent.
The feeling is that parklands and sports venues should be left alone and that the “build it and they will come” scenario, should go the way of the dodo bird and dinosaurs!