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CTF: Arena deal is a 'transparency failure'

Last Updated Jul 23, 2019 at 8:10 am MDT

Calgary Flames owner Ken King speaks to reporters after a tentative deal for a new arena was reached with the City of Calgary. July 22, 2019 (PHOTO: CityNews)

The City and Flames would split the estimated cost of the arena 50/50

The CTF argues that any arena in Calgary should be privately owned and funded

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A taxpayer watchdog group is blasting Calgary city council for attempting to ram through a proposed arena deal on short notice.

The City and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the NHL’s Flames, have agreed to build a $550 million events centre.

Each would split the construction costs 50/50.

WATCH: City to vote on new arena deal Monday

The public will have less than a week to have its say. Council is set to vote on the tentative deal on Monday, July 29.

“The transparency and consultation on this project has been a failure,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “There’s now less than a week for the public to provide input and for councillors to analyze that feedback.”

Terrazzano describes the agreement as a huge corporate welfare project that will cost the city nearly $300 million.

“Arenas in Canada can have and should be funded privately,” Terrazzano said. “It has been done elsewhere and there’s no reason it can’t be done in Calgary.”

READ MORE: City council needs to ‘cut the fat’ says Taxpayers Federation

Monday’s vote would be the final council meeting before its summer break.

“Calgary councillors should be ashamed of themselves for trying to ram through a deal from behind closed doors for the Flames before taking off for summer holidays.”