Edmonton Mayor Mandel Criticizes Alberta's Lack Of Support For Oilers' Arena Project
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel yesterday “blasted” Alberta’s lack of support for the Oilers’ downtown arena project, and “insisted the government act within two weeks,” according to Gordon Kent of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Mandel said, “The time has come for the provincial government to respect the decisions the city council has made and to support what we’re doing here, and stop with the politics.” Kent notes Edmonton “needs to find [C]$55 million to complete funding" for the C$480M arena, "projected to be the centrepiece of [C]$2B worth of office towers, hotels, condos, shops and restaurants.” Mandel has “insisted he had assurances from provincial officials that they would help finance the project, despite” Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s “repeated denials that the province intends to provide any direct money.” City Councilors are “scheduled to vote May 8 on a dozen ‘catalyst projects’ to be funded from a community revitalization levy that would use property taxes from downtown growth.” The proposal “must be sent to the province for approval” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/25). In Edmonton, Terry Jones writes Hockey HOFer Wayne Gretzky was asked whether he thinks a statue of him “should remain in front of the Northlands Coliseum, where he played, or downtown in front of the new Rexall Place.” Gretzky yesterday said, “Whatever they decide is good by me. Having a statue anywhere is a tremendous honour. So, to me, I guess it’s a minor issue” (EDMONTON SUN, 4/25).