Edmonton Expo 2017

In addition to Don Martin’s story in the National Post today, I’ve learned a few more details about the Edmonton Expo story:

The government’s top-line message on this has been one of fiscal restraint. This theme was starting to make rounds online last night and has been echoed by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in Toronto today.

Shifting security costs were a main concern about the Expo bid. For example, original estimates of Olympic security had been about $175 million and rounded out to about $800 million when all was said and done. Organizers of the Edmonton Expo have projected security costs at $85 million, a figure which the Public Safety minister has dismissed as very conservative for a 90 day event. Actual security costs are projected closer to $1 Billion.

Alberta itself is in deficit and Alberta Finance minister Ted Morton released a provincial fiscal update describing a province in the red, projecting a deficit of $5 billion by year end.

The 2010 Shanghai World Expo had major cost overruns. Originally estimated to be $4 Billion, the cost ballooned to about $80 billion by some reports. Further, there is little evidence that a “world expo” does enough to promote the host country outside of its own borders. Olympic Games, however, are seen to be a major international success by most outside observers.

Don Martin has suggested that the nixing of the Edmonton Expo bid has also scuttled government funding for a Quebec arena. I’ve learned from sources in the PMO that this isn’t necessarily true. The government contends that funding for professional sports facilities remains the responsibility of the private sector. If any funding is to be granted it must be fair and evenly spread across the country. However, the government emphasizes that Canada is in a period of fiscal restraint.

Comments

comments

  • RL

    Re: the Alberta deficit, the cash deficit is actually $7.7 Billion. The PCs changed the accounting rules so that money borrowed for building infrastructure ($2.7 Billion) isn’t counted in the deficit total. They’re claiming anything things like roads and hospitals are assets which can be sold, and thus money spent on them shouldn’t be considered deficit spending.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    Oy!

  • Anonymous

    Forget the Expo.This is the most noteworthy:

    Alberta itself is in deficit and Alberta Finance minister Ted Morton released a provincial fiscal update describing a province in the red, projecting a deficit of $5 billion by year end.

    WTF, Alberta? – all that oil wealth and you can’t run a balanced provincial budget?? Either there’s astounding government incompetence, or you’re selling (or being forced to sell) the oil at too low of a price, meaning not enough tax being collected as you pipe your (and Canada’s) wealth to the US.

    I believe a certain Mr Levant has told us how Alberta’s treasure is “Ethical Oil”. Shouldn’t ethical oil cost more than “Despot” brand oil?

    Who’s actually profiting from Alberta oil? Apparently, not Alberta.

  • Bobsyouruncle77

    Harper piddled away $300 million on the UAE debacle. Ontario got $2 billion for the G8. Alberta gets nothing and suddenly Harper has found religion and “fiscal restraint’! Harper idi what he always does, he calculated that he will win all of the Alberta seats and will spend the money in Ontario and Quebec where he wants seats.

    The west wants in. What a joke. Conservatives take Alberta for granted. When Quebec wants money the vault door is wide open. When Alberta wants money, Harper thinks he can screw us and still win all the Alberta seats. Tories used to be believe that having an Tory government in Ottawa would be a good thing. What a joke. Tories do less for Alberta than Liberals.