October 29, 2012
QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: PCs continue spin cycle on Edmonton arena and infrastructure spending
EDMONTON, AB (October 29, 2012): PC CLAIM: Responding to questions from Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson asking about provincial funding for an Edmonton professional sports arena, Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths responded by stating, “We’re not taking any money from sick or impoverished, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member across the way in this house just last week, in a question in the house, said, ‘we our Wildrose leader is proposing a lottery strategy help keep the Oilers in Edmonton that would take taxpayers off the hook’ – this is lottery money that goes to non-for-profits and charitable organizations but they’re going to rip them from them and give it to a private professional arena."
FACT: The Wildrose policy is to allow for the Flames and Oilers to create their own lottery to provide additional money for a new arena. This would be a new lottery and geared towards the teams supporters so in no way would it be taking from other non-profits. The Minister of Municipal Affairs is being hypocritical attacking the Wildrose for bringing up a lottery as this is what the PCs did in 2001 to provide additional income for the then struggling sports franchises. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2001/11/20/lottery011120.html
PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle on ongoing cost overruns for new hospitals and long-term care facilities, Minister of Infrastructure Wayne Drysdale stated, “Mr. Speaker what the members opposite said they would cut infrastructure spending by 25% so none of these projects would have happened”
FACT: Wildrose has long advocated stretching out (not cutting) the capital plan an extra year in order to lessen the annual budgetary burden of infrastructure projects. The result would have been $1.6 billion in savings in Budget 2012 while still keeping pace with infrastructure spending in Ontario, BC and Quebec. Horner himself has advocated such an approach, quoted as saying that if energy prices don’t rebound, “capital spending plans can be deferred.”