Halifax Mayor Requests Stadium Funding


This slid in under the radar:

Kelly set to deliver wish list
'Shovel-ready' items include library, convention centre


By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Thu. Jan 15 - 12:27 PM

[i]Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly and his cross-Canada counterparts will be saying "Show me the money" when they meet with two key federal cabinet ministers in Ottawa this morning.

The group known as Big City Mayors, representing 22 of Canada’s largest cities, will present a wish list of 1,000 infrastructure projects totalling $13 billion to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Transport Minister John Baird, who is responsible for infrastructure.

» Click here for a list of projects

[url=http://www.fcm.ca//CMFiles/FCM%20Shovel%20Ready%20report_list%20En%20web1NHM-1142009-572.pdf]http://www.fcm.ca//CMFiles/FCM%20Shovel ... 09-572.pdf[/url]

“These are shovel-ready projects," Mr. Kelly said Wednesday at city hall before boarding a plane for Ottawa.

This is the time to make a point, he said, with the federal budget coming on Jan. 27.

And Canada’s premiers will meet Friday, also in Ottawa, and the Big City Mayors will draft a letter to them as well.

"It’s important to do this now, when there is the opportunity to put a very clear message to the federal and provincial politicians," Mr. Kelly said.

"We’re putting out the clear message that we have projects, across the country, that would mean 156,000 jobs and affect 20 million people."

Halifax’s proposed projects alone total $1.2 billion, Mr. Kelly said.

"The list is extensive," he said, and includes big-ticket items like a convention centre ($150 million), outdoor stadium ($65 million), downtown library ($60 million) and four-rink ice complex ($35 million) as well as basic infrastructure upgrades and repairs.

While some of the larger items would be located in downtown Halifax, Mr. Kelly was quick to point out that the list includes projects for every corner of Halifax Regional Municipality.

"They are all spread out," he said.

The city faces significant pressure to keep its aging infrastructure safe and in good working condition, the mayor said.

"Our regional plan lays out HRM’s vision for the next 25 years, taking into consideration our existing infrastructure deficit, and works toward decreasing it," he said.

"With additional federal funding, some of HRM’s infrastructure projects could get started in 2009."

Many of the items have been on Halifax’s wish list for years but the list has been updated in recent weeks, Mr. Kelly said.

"This is part of the five-year program and we keep expanding it," he said.

The mayors expect the federal government to start chipping away at the requests by providing financing directly through the gasoline tax.

Mr. Kelly said that model has worked "very well" in Nova Scotia but more money is needed if projects are to get underway.

"We’ve done a great job in terms of focusing and detailing our needs over the years so the provincial and federal governments know where the needs are from coast to coast to coast," he said.

The Big City Mayors also plan to meet this morning with opposition leaders Jack Layton of the NDP and Michael Ignatieff of the Liberals.

( apugsley@herald.ca)[/i]


What do you want to build?


By CHRIS COCHRANE Sports Columnists
Thu. Jan 22 - 6:44 AM

[i]AS A WAY of spending our way out of the present recession, Canada’s big-city mayors recently presented the feds with a $13-billion shopping list, covering about 1,000 infrastructure items they’d like to see funded in the upcoming federal budget.

According to shopping items mentioned in the media relating to Halifax, these are wide-ranging projects. Halifax’s list included a $60-million library and $150-million convention centre. Sports haven’t been forgotten on the Halifax list. There’s been mention of a $35-million ice complex with four skating surfaces and a $65-million stadium.

The sports items are only a small portion of the total Halifax infrastructure request, which carries a projected $1.2 billion total price tag.

The premiers have also met with the feds and no doubt each has a list of infrastructure requests, which should be of particular interest to the small towns and rural areas.

The bottom line is that there’s going to be one huge chunk of infrastructure funding coming to this province with the next federal budget. Local sports administrators can’t hide their enthusiasm over that prospect. Although they don’t know what the totals will be, they understandably expect a portion of this money will be earmarked for sports infrastructure.

From a sports perspective, the question will soon be how best to spend it.

The list, from major spending projects to smaller, localized concerns, is endless.

[b]Some might favour a new stadium for Halifax. It’s long been at the top of many lists, from the 1980s, when the Atlantic Schooners faded under the stadium-funding collapse, to more recent times, when so many millions of infrastructure dollars were never spent on the ill-fated 2014 Commonwealth Games bid.

Some believe a modest Halifax stadium, for sports, entertainment and commercial events but with the potential to be expanded for a CFL team, could be built for less than the $65 million noted in stories about the Halifax wish list. We’ve learned through past failures that this might be the one and only shot at a stadium. It would be a shame not to take advantage of it.[/b]

There’s certainly a demand for new and revamped hockey arenas in many areas across the province. That need is constantly increasing. A share of this money could go a long way toward easing that pressure.

Imagine how a few million dollars might be invested at the grassroots levels, constructing and revamping ball fields, soccer fields and other such facilities across Nova Scotia. A share of the money could also be spent in fixing up local sports and recreation buildings that are in need of repair all over the province.

Whatever the size of any sports infrastructure funding coming this way, our system has enough needs to absorb it all.

Yet there are many questions to be answered.

For example, should funding go to many smaller-tickets items, to a couple of big ones or some combination? Do people want a stadium? Are some content to see mass improvements to current facilities as well as huge grassroots spending? On a provincial level, how should the money be distributed? Should one area become fortunate at the expense of another because it has greater needs, or should all regions share equally?

Although the exact amount of funding for sports infrastructure is unknown, it’s clearly time for all interested parties to prepare to make their voices heard.

( ccochrane@herald.ca)

Chris Cochrane is a columnist with The Chronicle Herald sports.[/i]

I believe they said there was $4B available in this new federal budget for infastructure projects -- only a small portion of the big-city mayors shopping list.

The new money is available only to match contributions from local governments.

But it opens the door for a Halifax stadium, if city counsel puts it high enough on the list of priorities.

Or if a private investor comes out of the woodwork, have caught a sniff of public funding...

C'mon Sobey's, where are you!?!


too bad they dont want more for the stadium to make it CFL ready right from the start.

seems the dollar amounts for the $150M convention centre and the$65M stadium should be reversed.

Call me a pessimist, but this is all talk and no action.
Totally useless.
Where was this type of a wish list during the Commonwealth Games bid?



Ask and ye shall receive :lol:

Or put together into a single complex.

The convention centre will go downtown, but there's no room for a stadium in Halifax on the peninsula. And there's no way they'll build a CFL-ready stadium out here on spec.

$65 million sounds to me like a 15,000 seat stadium. The 25,000 seat Commonwealth Games stadium was going to come in north of $100 million. But even at 15,000 seats it can be used for concerts, by SMU for football, CFL pre-season (regular season too?) games, host some Vanier Cups and some international soccer tournatments (FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup?) And I'll be happy with that. Not perfect, but it'll be a big improvement on what we have in Halifax.

I hope the stadium will be built to be (relatively) easy to expand to 25,000+, but I seriously doubt that Peter Kelly is smart enough to do that. IMO it is probably more likely that a 15,000 seat stadium will be built in such a way that it'll be impossible to expand.


It could mean $65M from the feds, $65M in government funding, or $65M for the entire project.

If a rich guy stepped forward, wanting to put a team in Halifax, he could pull an MLSE and put in some $$$ for the naming rights and a 30 year lease or something.

Sixty-five million might be closer than you would think to a CFL stadium. Look at BMO Field in Toronto, as well as that college stadium recently built in Florida that was mentioned a while back. The land that the stadium would be probably be built on is owned by the federal government, so that could save some money as well.
All this being considered, I don’t think the mayor particularly cares about a stadium. It was probably included on the infrastructure list to appease some people.
Does anyone know if the federal government has a say on which things are funded, or do they let municipalities decide, and then match local investment?

First and what little us outsiders know of Halifax but enough based on history, there is no chance of this becoming a reality and especially as the politicians in the city and province are pretty much left leaning and anti sport and specifically anti CFL.
Second and by a small miracle if this "stadium" becomes a reality, me thinks it will be like the TD Waterhouse in London, a glorified bleacher high school dump.
Way too small for a CFL team and in fact, not becoming even a CIS team.
Bah humbug.

="brettinhalifax"] you are close to the action so maybe that is all Halifax can expect, but I do know Peter McKay is a big CFL fan and as a senior cabinet minister has a lot of clout. With the billions the Government is throwing around now whats a 100 mil.
The CFL needs Halifax to put it coast to coast.
This can be done under the guise of Canadian unity. :slight_smile:

Quick Nova Scotians organize to separate and watch the dollars roll in.

Don't laugh, half of the "native" Scotians (call themselves true Nova Scotians) To this day say they should have joined the US instead of Canada...

Halifax's best chance for getting a stadium probably would come with a successful bid to host the 2018 World Cup of soccer. I just read that the deadline for submitting a bid is February 2, and that Canada is expected to put in a bid. The winning bid will be announced in December of 2010.

halifax's best chance at a stadium was the 2014 commonweath bid, which they were a lock to win but bailed at the last moment, like a bunch of babys.

that 2014 CWG bid was hamilton's, then halifax steals it away claiming they need the stadiums more, then they decide not to follow thu on the bid...

what a joke.

Halifax can fall into the ocean, as far as im concerned....j/k

DG, your memory is a little short. In one of the worst cases of political interference I've ever seen in Canada, it was that Sheila Copps screwed Halifax (and CFL fans) over first when she stole away the 2010 Commonwealth Games bid from Halifax by using her political position to curry votes in the Hammer. And then, of course, because the bid was politically motivated, rather than grass-roots initiated, Hamilton puts in a lousy bid and and lost the games to Dehli.

We'd have been watching CFL football from Halifax by now if it weren't for her.

Based on their performance on the 2010 games, Hamilton did not deserve a shot at the 2014 games. Now, what happened it Halifax is just plain strange. I can't figure that one out for the life of me!