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The chamber is firmly convinced, it says, that a new hockey rink cum concert hall is essential to downtown redevelopment, to enticing investment capital and Adidas Originals Sl 72 Vintage Exclusive

Nor is it calling on its members to consider investing in the arena or in the proposed hospitality zone that is supposed to surround the facility.

This week, the leaders of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce asked to meet with the Edmonton Journal editorial board. And they want Edmontonians to know they support the project.

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´╗┐Chamber needs to take leadership role in push for downtown arena

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the Katz Group announced a deal with Edmonton Adidas Sl 72 based WAM Development Group to develop the land around the arena.

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their collective bottom lines, but to the long term prosperity of our city, they should stop complaining about the pace of the development and start leading. Until they find the courage of their convictions, they're certainly not going to convince anyone else.

The chamber says it doesn't want to comment publicly on any of those issues because they're politically sensitive.

If city business leaders won't offer practical and moral support for this project, why should the rest of us be convinced that it matters or that we should foot even more of the bill?

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Perhaps Katz, the quintessential loner, doesn't actually want a private sector partner to share the risk, the costs, and the profits of his new arena.

The chamber likes to position itself as a voice of fiscal conservatism and free enterprise in our community. In fact, its tepid support for the arena project smacks of crony capitalism at its most basic. Chamber members are, in effect, asking taxpayers for a public subsidy to support their private businesses. Yet they don't even have the courage to come out and ask for it directly.

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And there, folks, is a microcosm of exactly what's wrong with the way this entire arena project has been conceived and sold to the public.

Ken Barry and his chamber colleagues are quite right when they point out construction costs are escalating, and that the faster we build the arena, the cheaper it will likely be. They are also right when they call on the city and the Katz Group not to cheap out on the deal, not to cut corners and build a dull, grey box. Their words would be more credible if they were willing to take a public position about just how they think this arena should really be funded or if the businesses they represent were willing to come to the table.

Since then, however, the local business community has been markedly quiet. There are plans for a new hotel in the downtown core, to be sure. But that Prem. Singhmar project, which broke ground earlier this summer, is planned for Jasper Avenue in the Quarters, nowhere near the proposed rink.

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international conventions to central Edmonton, to making it easier for local businesses to recruit and retain staff. Its members and board, however, are unwilling to expend any political or economic capital to help clinch the deal.

But presumably there is private capital out there that might be interested in investing in a hotel or condo or retail development in the proposed entertainment district, something that would make the whole deal seem more plausible and viable.

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No one from the chamber would say. Reading between the lines, it appears the chamber was spooked by the provincial government's recent quarterly update, which showed the Redford government in the red, and thus, one might assume, less inclined than ever to help make up the $100 million shortfall that's still holding up the arena deal.

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Adidas Sl 72

"Our voice is the voice of business for Edmonton," said board chairman Ken Barry. "Now is the time to move this forward."

So is the chamber exercising its political clout to call on Redford to fund the arena, deficit or no deficit?Is the chamber lobbying the federal Conservatives for support?Ken Barry did vaguely suggest that the arena should be counted as regional infrastructure, something that will benefit municipalities all around Edmonton. But no, you guessed it: the chamber isn't going on a limb and calling on the Capital Region board to back the arena, either.

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Adidas Sl 72

If Edmonton's business leaders truly believe in the value of a new downtown arena, not just to Y3 Adidas Jerry Lorenzo

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