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TORONTO A report released Monday, February 21 concerning the downtown Sports and Entertainment Complex confirms the worst fears for those opposed to the complex.

Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario, says the report dealing with the proposal by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) confirms that the Toronto-based corporation is not investing a single penny of its own money into the project, while expecting Oshawa taxpayers to pick up the estimated $45 million cost of the project.

Its highway robbery, says Ryan. Toronto based MLSE expects 10 per cent of all the profits from the sports complex, plus an annual operating fee of $250,000 with bonuses, for the first 5 years. This fee will increase by an additional $25,000 every 5 years.

The report, prepared in advance of a special public meeting called for March 2, fails to take into consideration some of the more significant expense cost factors, such as:

  1. The impact and loss of revenue from the existing Civic Auditorium;
  2. Increased cost to the taxpayers for private sector borrowing: $32 million higher over 27 years;
  3. Cost of the City of Oshawa management and development fees;
  4. Development cost charges;
  5. Hiring and training of staff to run the facility; and,
  6. Cost to the city having to pay GST on a project built and operated by the private sector. This alone will add an additional $3.6 million to the project.

Ryan says that these costs, which were deliberately left out of the reports, will add millions of dollars to the final cost of the project. The taxpayers of Oshawa are being taken to the cleaners by a slick operation from Toronto. The interest costs of borrowing will be at least $32 million higher over 27 years, using the MLSE suggested rate of interest, than if the City borrowed the money with its public sector borrowing power.

Either way, this is far too expensive for a city thats drowning in a sea of debt, says Ryan. If Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of MLSE, thinks this is such a good business deal, let him pony up his own money to build it.

For further information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066.