For immediate release
August 15, 2011


Media Release

Coalition Enters Phase Two

 

"This is a sad day for Nova Scotians”, said Beverly Miller of the Coalition to Save the View, reacting to the announcement by Defence Minister Peter MacKay that the federal government would provide $51.4 million to the proposed Halifax convention centre.

“The Coalition has been studying the economics of the industry for two years and has not found a single shred of evidence that the convention centre would have net economic benefits,” Ms. Miller continued. “Instead the project would be a $378 million, 25-year drain on the citizens of this city and Province.”
Taking most of the remaining money from the Nova Scotia Allocation of the Building Canada Fund for this project would leave very little for projects in the Province for the next three years. “This sort of speculative development distracts Nova Scotia from real economic growth and stifles new grass roots ideas for building wealth in our province,” said John Wesley Chisholm.

"With the prospect of dozens of local jobs being lost as part of the "fiscally responsible" cut back at Environment Canada, I don't see any way the feds can, with a straight face, fund the Convention Centre," said Jean Chard.

“Proponents of the project continue to make incredible claims. One said last week that the centre would allow Halifax to draw national conventions for the first time. This ignores the fact that the present World Trade and Convention Centre hosted 73 national conventions in the last five years,” said Phil Pacey.

Mr. MacKay quoted with approval the assumptions about attendance and revenues prepared by the staff of the present centre. “These assumptions are totally unrealistic, given the experience in other Canadian cities. The Coalition pointed out the many errors and incorrect statements in this report six months ago.”

“Conventions account for a tiny fraction of tourism in Nova Scotia. Less than 0.5% of the more than 2.1 million visitors who come to Nova Scotia each year attend national and international conventions in the convention centre,“ he said. “It is simply extravagant and wasteful to commit Nova Scotia taxpayers to paying $378 million to a private developer over 25 years for an unnecessary facility that would serve such a small fraction of our tourism industry,” he continued. “So, now those of us who oppose this project enter phase two of this process”, said Ms. Miller. “The project is still far from being built. We will continue to bring to people's attention the huge problems with the project. We are not done yet.”

Contact: Beverly Miller, 429 9540, after 10 a.m., beverlyandbobmiller@ns.sympatico.ca.
Phil Pacey, 422 8814, 237 1375, philip.pacey@bellaliant.net High-resolution images: http://www.savetheview.ca/multimedia.html

SAVE the VIEW is a coalition made up of individuals and eleven non-partisan organizations including: Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia, Council of Canadians - Inverness Chapter, Council of Canadians - South Shore Chapter, Ecology Action Centre, Facebook Group - Help Save the View from Citadel Hill, Friends of the Halifax Common, Halifax Regional Homeowners Association, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, Peninsula South Neighbourhood Association, Sierra Club of Canada - Atlantic Chapter -30-