‘Details are important’ Smith tells Notley after NDP leader attacks new Calgary arena deal
‘Details are important’ Smith tells Notley after NDP leader attacks new Calgary arena deal

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is poking fun at the Opposition Alberta NDP leader after Rachel Notley claimed the government was hiding details of its new Calgary arena that were already revealed in public documents. 

On Tuesday, Smith announced a deal with the City of Calgary and Calgary Flames ownership to strike an agreement in principle on a $1.22-billion deal to replace the Saddledome.

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley alleged there were hidden costs in the agreement that won’t be released until after the provincial election, saying “officials” have told her party as much. 

“While broad numbers on the Calgary arena deal were released yesterday, we learned today that there is a confidential financial agreement between the parties that identifies additional financial contributions by taxpayers, contributions beyond the $870 million outlined yesterday,” Notley told reporters on Wednesday. 

For example, the NDP leader said there’s a hidden agreement giving Flames owners development opportunities in adjacent lands. However, that detail is already disclosed in public city releases made public, and was included in an earlier deal that didn’t go through. 

“Details are important,” Smith tweeted above a United Conservative Party campaign video attacking Notley’s comments on the matter.

Notley has not committed to moving the project forward if she’s elected premier on May 29. She did say, if elected, she would ask “accountants” and “experts” to check the deal’s fairness to taxpayers.

An earlier deal for a new arena collapsed when the Flames owners were tasked with an extra $30 million in costs. 

The city and province are paying for 70% of the $1.22 billion project. The city’s share is $537.5 million or 44% of the new deal. The province will pay $330 million with funds flowing to infrastructure, land costs, and the demolition of the Saddledome.

The Flames will contribute $356 million, with much of that coming yearly over the next 35 years.

Smith said the government investments were made with an eye to being “respectful to provincial taxpayers.”

“We made it clear from the start that although the province would not invest in the actual construction or operation of the arena itself — that was the responsibility of the city and the Flames — the province would be willing to invest in supportive infrastructure for the arena, the Stampede and the expanded BMO Centre,” Smith said.

The new area will be built on 14th Avenue and 5th Street S.E. in Calgary’s Victoria Park. The location is north of the existing Saddledome arena where the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. have previously decided to build an events centre.

error: Content is protected !!