In February 2013, I wrote this column in the Toronto Sun:
Two and a half years later, and after countless of hours spent by hard working members of the community to get the consultant’s report made public, we’ve learned details on a controversial 2013 sports arena deal that Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti and several allies under him were determined to make a reality.
A total of 13 reports were ordered to be made public by Ontario’s Privacy Commission. We’ve learned that in addition of not garnering an “adequate return,” the arena deal could have cost taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars more.” It would have placed the city in “significant risk,” with years of future debt; nor would the deal receive “adequate returns” for the city.
Here’s the link explaining those reports: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/28/markham-nhl-arena-was-on-thin-ice-from-the-beginning-newly-released-documents-show.html#pq=dfQVtk
Two and a half years later, Markham taxpayers can determine what they’ve always suspected: that the proponents of the arena on Council, headed by mayor Frank Scarpitti, were not honest with the public when it came to costs; and were in fact mislead.
The York Region Taxpayers Coalition wants to express our thanks and gratitude to Markham community volunteers who were so dogged in their pursuit of the truth.
In addition to public pressure, we recognize that the Freedom of Information process was also somewhat effective at getting Council to make the details public.
Unto the end, Markham Mayor Scarpitti remained dead set against releasing the consultant’s report. Today we can guess why.
Frank Scarpitti had hoped that the GTA Centre would be his legacy project.
It won’t be.
More appropriately, his legacy will be defined by a delusional steadfast support for a reckless deal on the backs of Markham taxpayers.