New Stadium Funding Model

By CBC News

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has a new plan to funnel millions of federal tax dollars into a controversial plan to build a new NHL arena in Quebec City, CBC News has learned.

Sources tell CBC News that the Conservative government is considering allowing part of the federal gas tax revenues to be used for construction of "large entertainment centres" such as the proposed new Quebec City arena.

Cities and towns across the country currently share an annual pot of just over $2 billion from the federal gas taxes collected at the pumps.

While municipalities are free to pick their own projects, the federal government stipulates the gas-tax money can only be used for infrastructure such as roads, sewers and water treatment systems.

Sources say the Harper government is considering simply amending the federal regulations to allow municipalities to spend all or part of their annual gas-tax funds on entertainment facilities such as a new NHL arena.

Would be very interested to see if users on this site would be for or against the use of gas taxes collected by cities to be used for the construction and/or renovation of existing facilities for current and/or new CFL teams in their respective cities? Thoughts?

Personally I'd like to see a shift away from hockey in this country. It's an expensive sport for kids to play and with more immigrants into soccer and a field that can be used for football, lacrosse, I would say it's time to start funding stadiums more. One day Canada should be able to host a World Cup. But not if we continue to just spend on more elitist type sports like hockey. And I'm not a big soccer fan but soccer is cheap and lots of kids play it. I love hockey, don't get me wrong, but I'm not a big arena person any longer.

I don't think Manitobans would support it. There needs to be a lot of infrastructure repair in Winnipeg (roads, bridges) and taking that money away from that wouldn't be feasible.

Let the municipalities decide what they want to do with their money, nothing wrong with that, if the voters of that municipality don't like it they can say so.

Sports Stadiums in my opinion are a vital part of a community and you need to keep them happy.

I voted yes, but not based on the fact I am a sports fan.

The reason is simple, what is allocated to a municipality in tax dollars should be that municipality's concern. It's up to local government to make the decisions that it's people want done locally, be it sports stadiums, infrastructure or property tax breaks. However, there should be stipulations that the Federal or Provincial government be allowed to revert this money back towards infrastructure investment, if the provincial or Federal government feels such infrastructure is in a state of disrepair or obsolescence.

Same as immediately above ... if there is going to be a tax at all that is given to the municipality to spend, let the municipality decide. If it is true that all politics is local, then the municipality is better positioned to know anyways.

I think this will open up a huge can of worms...
I agree that municipalities should decide hos they spend their allocations though.

I saw an article about this and one of the Saskatchewan MPs said the problem with this is that municipalities have already committed the funds to infrastructure programs. Municipalities budget for infrastructure projects years in advance and target money from this fund to those projects. Unless there is new money in the transfer then there will be no immediate way to use the money unless existing projects are cancelled.

At least it'll be their decision to make on the priorities. And if the citizens don't like the change, you can always throw the rascals out at the next poll. Of course, changing a council isn't enough to simply stop big infrastructure projects like bridges, stadiums, arenas, train lines, highways etc. once the concrete, steel, and asphalt are assembled and the contractors hard at work.

If the rules were changed tomorrow it would still be years before the uncommitted funds would be there. The only other thing to do is find funding from other sources for the infrastructure work and use the gas tax money for a stadium. But where does that other funding come from - taxpayers' pockets.

Why not just go with a gas or hotel tax? Or have some corporation help pay for it and put their name on it like so many stadiums are currently doing?

...private corporations provide money to existing sports venues in return for naming rights to augment the operational capital to run the facility...no corporation is ever going to convince their shareholders that directing $200M of their profits towards a new sports stadium is a good thing to do....

....we are already taxed to death in this country so I wouldn't support a new tax for paying for a new stadium, but redirecting tax dollars already allocated to infrastructure I'm not opposed to, as long as that initiative went to a public plebisite and democratic rule decided it....

I would have no objection to a venue being named "MadJack Stadium", but I doubt that my 2 cents would get me the naming rights. . .

The country definitely needs a national venue financing plan, and this is a good first step towards that goal. It will allow local governments to plan much farther into the future and to arrange financing much easier if they know that there will be seed money already there for projects. :thup:

2 cents might get you naming rights in Winnipeg! :lol:

As for the poll I voted no, because the City of Regina gets only a fraction of the $200 million allocated to the province.. somewhere along the lines of $11 million, so its a drop in the bucket, and it depends on how much the City of Regina wants to fork over for that purpose, given the fact the snow removal in Regina and many SK communites has been abysmal this year.

when it comes to the Riders and their Stadium..

if they don't get an approval for a new Stadium, it will hurt them in numerous ways..

because EVENTUALLY you will have no choice but to spend money on something to do with a stadium whether it's renovations (and I don't mean small things..)

or they come and condem one side of the stands and force them to tear it down and build new..

THEY NEED SOMETHING VERY SOON!

just bite the bullet and build them a new stadium! it'll pay off in the end, trust me.

the Riders fans would be like so happy and the rest of this Province would benefit immensely from it.