McFadyen: Stadium deal bad for taxpayers

PAUL TURENNE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:36 PM ET

The Manitoba Tories aren't fans of the latest Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium deal announced Wednesday morning.

Opposition Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen said he wasn't happy about the deal and suggested Manitoba taxpayers shouldn't be either.

"I'm a lifetime Bomber fan, I support the club unconditionally, but it's quite clear to us this is the wrong deal and it's happening for all the wrong reasons," McFadyen said. "It turns the old deal on its head. This is now an almost completely taxpayer-funded deal."

McFadyen said part of the problem is that he has trouble believing Asper will be able to make enough money off the new retail development to repay $75 million to the province and $15 million to the Bombers in six years.

"Donald Trump couldn't turn a profit in six years on a major retail development," McFadyen said. "(Government ministers) are crossing their fingers and hoping that someone down the road will find $90 million plus interest. Their backup plan is to take money from schools under TIF (tax increment financing)."

McFadyen also said he has concerns about the province acting as a financier when cash is tight and it's running deficit budgets, especially considering that just last week Manitoba Hydro agreed to loan $260 million to Pattern Energy to build a wind farm in St. Joseph that the company had a hard time raising private capital for.

"The government of Manitoba is becoming the lender of last resort for every project nobody else wants to put money into. That's not the job of government," McFadyen said.


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