PC leadership hopeful floats idea to help pay for new arena
Tory leadership hopeful Ted Morton has an idea he thinks would help pay for a new downtown arena in Edmonton. Morton is floating the idea to add one per cent to G.S.T for two years in order to raise $100 million to help build the new rink.
Morton is throwing out the idea of tacking one per cent onto G.S.T in the Edmonton area for two years to raise $100 million to pay for a new arena.
"It's the kind of thing that when you have a local or regional capital project, if the community wants to try to do something to do a one-time capital spend and they're willing to, but they have to persuade the people who paid for it first before it's built. That's something the premier should be willing to work with municipalities to facilitate," said Morton.
The mayor is pleased some suggestions are being floated, but points out Morton's plan would take time. Mayor Stephen Mandel explains it would have to go to a plebiscite, which he believes would take too long as the city needs to look at construction costs now.
The mayor hopes Alberta's current premier will make the decision.
"My guess is each of the six people deep in their heart would like him to settle it," said Mandel.
Morton's idea appears to be winning over some Edmontonians.
"If you want stuff to actually happen that's what taxes are there for," said Willy Lauder.
The Wildrose is also pitching an idea. Leader Danielle Smith would like a lottery conducted to help fundraise for the arena.
Mandel says a meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach has not been scheduled at this point, but Stelmach says he would like to have a discussion with the mayor before the end of the month.
With files from Kevin Armstrong