Our city paid $226 million for a private arena, in which Katz and the OEG will keep the revenue. You would think after that statement, this article will be shedding light on the corrupt arena deal between our former mayor Stephen Mandel and Daryl Katz, but my issue is with something a lot less talked about.
In the shadows of Roger’s Place on the northeast corner lies a building which has served the public since 1971 (before the Oilers). I speak of Boyle Street Community Services. An agency which aims to help people and build a stronger community. I.e. they help the homeless, the addicts, the refugees; the less fortunate. People who need the most support.
in the form of a state-of-the-art,
brand spankin’ new arena for his NHL club."
You could argue that every year social services is given millions upon millions in funding. Unlike any other demographic, those who are worse off are knowingly cut some slack, and offered limited funds; enough to scrape by. No other wage class gets this beloved free money and unsolicited discounts for basic needs (rent, bus passes, etc.). In fact, we end up paying for it.
Yet, is this specific issue a matter of having equal treatment for all? No, it most certainly is not. It’s a matter of equity.
Let me explain. Whether you agree with welfare or not, it has ensured that children and families have food on the table. Welfare provides access to mental health care, addictions treatment, and shelter. It ensures that our fellow man doesn’t go malnourished, that they have the right to survive in this world. It’s a safety net for those who need it most.
Now imagine that Daryl Katz gets a welfare cheque every month just like those in dire need. You’re probably thinking, “why in the hell would a billionaire need a welfare cheque worth only a few hundred dollars?” This amount of money is completely insignificant and unnecessary for his survival. It would make more sense for him not to get a cheque, and for those needing it to perhaps get a little bit more since he doesn’t need a share.
Unfortunately, in terms of “putting your money where your mouth is,” the city doesn’t feel the same way I do. Nor does Daryl Katz. In this “downtown revitalization” one thing has been left out: those in need.
Daryl Katz was given one giant welfare cheque in the form of a state-of-the-art, brand spankin’ new arena for his NHL club. What a lucky dude. Like I said, my issue is not with the arena. I love the new digs, minus the $11.00 beers.
The fact is that greed has simply taken over.
As previously stated, the OEG and Daryl Katz will see the revenue take a direct path to their pockets. Pockets which are already substantially deeper than anyone’s reading this. Did I mention Roger’s Place has a monopoly on being the only major entertainment venue in our city? Needless to say these fellows will be well endowed when it comes to cash flow for the foreseeable future.
I’m not saying the city nor Daryl Katz should front the bill, but the fact that they’ve seemingly completely ignored their less-fortunate neighbours is preposterous. A stone-throw away from projects and investments worth well over one billion dollars there are people starving to death, freezing during cold winter nights, and slowly killing themselves with addictions.
It hurts my heart to think that for a fraction of the price, we could increase the standard of living for thousands of people. Instead, we’ll be adding more and more zeros to the bank accounts of a select few who are already incredibly well off. They’re the only ones who can afford $11.00 beers anyways.