Thursday, October 19, 2006

Creative Cities boondoggle on the horizon

At a ward thirteen candidates debate on Tuesday night, Coun. Sandy White dropped this bombshell:

White said there's a "secret" plan in the works to build a performing arts centre that will become public in the next few weeks.
It seems that the rate of return on snake oil is still higher than that on prudence; self-aggrandizing and gleaming temples to municipal mortgage are still calculated to impress the simple folk at election time. While it's difficult to argue that London's economy or culture suffers from the lack of a totemic performing arts centre in the Kremlin Square, it's easy to see that the city's economy at least has certainly suffered directly from the hundreds of million of dollars siphoned away from basic infrastructure maintenance and taxpayers' accounts and into a $371.1 million municipal debt hangover from the recent central planning theme parks, slotted into the forms of the city's economic development textbook. As much as politicians have touted the localized economic benefits of a handful of new restaurants and boutiques as proof of success of the city's new arena, convention centre, market building and central library, the overall costs of higher taxes and reduced private investment elsewhere have far outweighed them, and will continue to do so, apparently.

1 Comment:

Mitch said...

Hmm..

First they tried commerical ventures that failed. I remember the London Mews (failure), the Galleria (failure), and now they've gone to government boondogles like JLC and this??

Haven't they realized that the two biggest everyday issues that makes downtown London crappy can be summed up in two statements:

1. The roads are crappy and congested and it's a real pain in the ass to go down there when Masonville is 10 minutes away; and

2. Why go through the pain in the ass of paying for parking, let alone finding a parking spot, after fighting traffic and potholes to get down here, when I can park for free as the local mall.

Seems pretty obvious to me..