Legal mind, Herman Turkstra weighs in about stadium

I've said before that lawyer Herman Turkstra is the one to watch as far as opposition to a stadium the North End. It seems he's already hinting with a few volleys across the bow as a heads up that he's got his legal hat on and ready to go.

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A few excerpts:

"The stadium will be built with federal and provincial dollars. That means a comprehensive environmental assessment whether council wants it or not. Every environmental assessment (EA) is required to look at all reasonable alternatives throughout the process."


"So Bob Young can comfortably muse about alternative sites. There's a long road ahead on that topic."

You have to wonder if his real agenda is to completely kill the stadium, period, anywhere around these parts. Part of me thinks this could be the case but I have no proof of that. Just his tone maybe.

It could well be. There are quite a few taxpayers that resent paying millions in subsidies to such things. IMO they are not entirely wrong in their opposition to subsidizing some businesses and not others

I agree they're not wrong feeling that. I'm also not wrong sometimes feeling resentment knowing my tax money goes to treat lung cancer patients that have smoked all their life knowing smoking puts you at a higher risk for lung cancer but they do it anyways. It's part of society in Canada that we pay for a lot of things we might not like but that is just the way it is in a society that is constructed as ours. Doesn't mean you need to change your opinion but rather just understand that it works not just both ways but many different ways.

It also means that you have a right to do what you can legally to change what you don't like

I agree, fortunately we live in a democracy and won't get our hands cut off because we voice our opinion on matters that might not sit well with some government folk. Thank goodness!


Right. Each side has to make its best case and let the OMB, courts etc make the final decision.
Right now though, we all need to wait until February when the studies on which site would be preferable will be released. Then the real lobbying can begin. I think the Caretaker is well aware of the situation and that's why he is being non-committal on a site until then.

A lot of factors will have to be considered. Here are a few:

--will the chosen community want the stadium? or will there be a movement to prevent it from being built there?

--the cost of acquiring/expropriating land; the cost of land varies in different locations.

--environmental assessment and possible environmental cleanup (which can be prohibitively expensive--it killed the City of York civic centre redevelopment plans a few years ago)

--lobbying by politicians to have it built in their constituency

--accessiblity by car and public transit; adequate room for parking which is a huge income generator for the stadium owner

--lobbying by communities who want it for their own purposes (e.g. cornerstone for additional urban devevelopment, tax revenue for the city, cache value, etc.)

--what the fans want

--what Bob Young wants

An Argo-Cat fan

See, that's the thing about can always find one to argue the other side of a case. In fact that's how they make money for each other, by extending cases through exhaustive arguments that translate into billable hours. If Mr. Turkstra has an opinion on the stadium issue, you can be sure he also has some personal agenda in mind, and it may be as simple as trying to earn some legal fees from someone.

The heavy weights to listen to are Ron Joyce and David Braley and others who put their money where their mouths are !!!

Doesn’t Turkstra live in that general area, perhaps he is biased and does not want the stadium in his backyard for his own personal reasons as opposed to any perceived greater good?


I have expressed concern that Ontario Municipal Board Hearings
and environmental assessments could delay the start of construction

of the Pan Am stadium on the West Harbourfront for so long that
it would seriously jeopardize getting the project finished in time

but maybe things will actually move much more quickly than usual
because it is the Feds and the Province who handle this process

and they would want this facility ready in time for the Games.

And my personal concern about the cost of remediating the land
likely won’t stop any of these governments from moving forward

so the West Harbourfront is my favourite because, after all,
Richard Florida says it is the only choice for this location

…or maybe not.

The Pan Ams will put us on world stage: Florida

The Spectator asked urban economist and Who’s Your City? author Richard Florida

a few questions about the impact of the Pan Am Games on Hamilton and area.

November 19, 2009 The Hamilton Spectator

Remediation of the land is a given. Any lawyer using an environmental hearing to block the project is not concerned with the environment one little bit. The OMB hearings is where the real fight is.

Herman Turkstra has made a life out of playing the Devils advocte, he happens to own property in the area of Bay and Picton which is down the street from the proposed Stadium site.
I will not elaborate at this time but his neighbours in the area had some pretty big issues with what he did with that property.

Just to be accurate, I should clarify that Mr. Turkstra isn’t a practising lawyer right now as I understand. I think he retired, which may actually give him more time on his hands to work on this issue?

Just needed to clarify that detail. My original post might have been a little misleading.

Why not? I'd love to read what you have to offer.

I am only guessing because when city council was chosing the site for the Pan Am stadium
David Braley wanted to put it Confederation Park and he mentioned that a stadium there

with high visibility from the QEW would bring in more money for corporate naming rights.

I took that to mean that the stadium would get less money downton or near the bay.

Allegedly a company said they would pay $25 million if it`s located near the QEW in Aldershot.

That sounds like a lot of money to me. Do you think the city would get close to that much downtown?