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Kingston Concerned About the LVEC
Currently known as the "KROCK Centre"
Formerly the "Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre" or KRSEC
Formerly the "Large Venue Entertainment Centre" or LVEC
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Thank you!


Natalka Roshak      5 May 2005

Hi KCAL members,

I'm new in town, but it hasn't taken me long to see what a terrible idea LVEC is for Kingston.

What I don't understand is why the mayor and his allies want LVEC in the first place.

The "gaps" in the business and parking plans -- eg. simply leaving out inconvenient facts like the cost of purchasing Anglin Bay; the outright falsehoods in the parking study -- make it look like at least some of the people drafting these documents know that LVEC isn't a good deal for Kingston, and are trying to cover that up to get it passed.

I mean, why else would a construction project leave out the cost of acquiring the site? That's not a small detail you can accidentally overlook in the planning stage. That's fudging the numbers.

I find it hard to believe that Mayor Rosen isn't aware of the problems & drawbacks of LVEC, given the deliberate-looking gaps and errors.

I know that some of the councillors in favor of LVEC have interests downtown, but let's face it, Anglin Bay is not exactly a short stroll to the downtown core shops & restaurants, and there's a lot of evidence from other cities that a LVEC can hurt a downtown instead of helping it. So I have a hard time accepting downtown-boosterism as anyone's sole motivation for LVEC.

Why exactly is Mayor Rosen so all-fired anxious to get this thing built? It wasn't his campaign promise -- that was to rebuild the Mem Centre. I doubt it's downtown revitalization. Did he get a lot of campaign contributions from developers who want this to happen, or the OHL, or the Frontenacs? Did the company at Anglin Bay contribute a lot of $ to his rivals, or otherwise hurt him? Is Gedge a personal friend? I really can't figure out what his angle is. Does anyone know what's going on here?

The other thing I can't figure out is who benefits from LVEC, besides the company that will manage LVEC and the Kingston Frontenacs.

-Natalka Roshak
Patti Arnold      5 May 2005

To the KCAL organization:

I have just this minute learned of your site on the local news. I am impressed that they have given you some air time! BRAVO!

Please see the attached letter which I emailed to all City Councillor's, the Mayor, Don Gedge, members of the Steering Committee, the Multiplex Advisory Group, 50 M, pool supporters, as well as the Whig Standard on April 11th, 2005.

Councillors Kevin George and Steve Garrison responded positively with their thanks. I received many emails commending the attempt (see attached). Mr. Gedge gave an "out of office" message and the Whig, ofcourse, did not print the letter, even after the Editor requested me to make some alterations and resend - which I did.

It is my hope that you will put this at your site.

You may include this entire email as well if you deem it suitable for your site.

When Councillor Garrison tried to speak on Tuesday night to Council, as to why is the LVEC and Multiplex are not able to be one in the same, and built at the Memorial Centre Site, his microphone was turned off. This was done in less time than those who were speaking in support of the LVEC (yes, I was timing!)

CKWS carried a report last night saying Kingston "could" get shows such as Charlie Pride and George Jones. Nothing against these entertainers, but I did not realize they were still alive. CKWS also reported that it would be a "given" that the Tragically Hip and Avril Lavigne would appear at a 5000-6000 seat LVEC - again, personal opinion, but perhaps the Hip would appear, as their members show some civic involvement, but I highly doubt Avril would stop by Kingston for less than 15,000.

There surely must be some forward thinking people in Kingston who can see this opportunity of combining the two complexes, including a 50 m pool, appealing to the greater community and saving taxpayers dollars. It has been done in other cities on smaller parcels of land, why not here?

I hate clichés... but it is time for someone to "think outside the box"... or in this case... to think beyond Wellington Street and the Inner Harbour.

Now I will take some time peruse your website.
I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the Community.

Respectfully submitted,

Patti Arnold
Paul Eskerod      30 Apr 2005

I have been following the recent discussions as much as possible on the LVEC and I am having a hard time agreeing that it could possibly be a good thing for anyone except the downtown Merchants or business people at the expense of all other taxpayers in the city. From my limited marketing experience I have a hard time believing that if you build it they will come. So called larger acts that this facility would accommodate would surely play in the major cities as they do now, ie Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa. When Wayne Newton played in Kingston it was certainly not to a sold out crowd. If he had played in a major city as above the attendance would have been more substantial.

In so saying we can effectively assume that perhaps the size of the city more appropriately defines the size or value of any acts or performances which may play in them and not necessarily the facility. Based on above we may expect that Kingston being the size it is able to support acts of a medium to moderate size.

The powers that be seem to feel that our location between Toronto and Montreal is favourable to such acts. The fact is our location may actually be unfavourable for as I said before the acts will likely play in one of the major cities above anyway, as they do now. Anyone wishing to attend any of these events would as they do now attend them in the major cities unless the ease of attendance was better locally.

In order to be better locally the parking would certainly be a significant factor. It is hard to imagine an event that might require formal attire and such attendees walking 20 minutes in the January evening along sidewalks that are at best adequately plowed.. After attending such an evening would the facilities like restaurants and night clubs provide suitable entertainment for the remainder of the evening for those that might attend such events again walking along sidewalks. Is it reasonable to expect people to pay perhaps $50 and up to attend such events and expect them to favour walking 20 minutes in the dead of winter to attend them? Perhaps shuttle service will be good but we again have to consider that only two sides are available to roadways as the Cataraqui Creek effectively consumes two sides of the proposed location of the LVEC.

So if Toronto offers better opportunities for above, people that live on the borderline distance wise, would likely attend these events in the major cities reducing the available attendance for any acts held at the LVEC. If we were more remote to these cities then the distance factor to attend these events would sway more in our favour as there would be no feasible alternative.

Ken Wong, a member of the mayors task force on the LVEC wrote their recommendations that were published in the Whig on March 3 2005. One statistic that really sticks out is in the first rationale or conclusion as they called them:

"it is anticipated that more than 50 per cent of the LVEC's usage will be for non hockey events" If the majority of the events are for non hockey events would it be safe then to expect that the majority is for non hockey events in which begs the question why build an arena then if the majority of its use is not for hockey? The largest consumer of ice at the Memorial Center (The West Kingston Figure Skating Club?)has stated that it would not rent ice at a new venue where proposed. Certainly an entertainment centre without the need for ice would be significantly cheaper to build and maintain?

Finally and I cannot take credit for this suggestion but would like it public; it seems that certain business people in the area of downtown are very much pushing for this LVEC. Most of these business people are fairly adept at reality and business. If it is such a good idea, the LVEC, then why have they not taken it on as a private venture and run with it. After all one group has recently donated $1 million dollars for the naming of the Market Square? Some of the Hotel purchases would rival the cost of this project? Is it possible that these business people know that the risk involved does not offset the need. Or is it more likely that if this project were to become to costly for the city they would then be able to buy it a fire sale price and make it feasible. One only needs to look at the Skydome or Rogers Centre which was built for +-500 million dollars and recently sold for and my stats may be incorrect but I believe 30 million. It was opened in June 1989. Mathematically speaking a Large Venue Entertainment Centre which I think we all agree the Skydome fit the bill is worth approx. 6% of its cost in 16 years.

Kingston does need a place to offer for trade shows and conventions however it may be more feasable to consider a building that could accomodate ice for a special event than an arena that can offer floor space?

These are just my thoughts on the LVEC.

Paul Eskerod
Jolene Hopwood      Mon, 25 Apr 2005

Parking Study Omission

I expected that the parking study would examine not only the possibility for parking on the part of patrons to the facility, but also the impact on parking for those who wish to continue to support the downtown currently. After the event at POH I asked the presenter if he had taken into account problems for institutions such as Rideaucrest (their parking lot is one of the ones cited for parking on game nights) and Providence Manor. I did not clearly understand his answer to the Rideaucrest situation , but he did say that it was good that I brought up the Providence Manor situation.- and no, they had not looked at particular situations that would be adversely affected. In his earlier presentation the matter of inconvenience for those who live in the area (suggested by both Councillors Beavis and Downes) was clearly taken care of with the cavalier attitude that the roadways are in the "public" domain and as such can be put to whatever usage council decides. Of course I acknowledge are always trade-offs and ultimately some segment of out society winds up bearing more of a brunt of a situation than others but such a facile approach that supports itself with the phrase "things change" seems to suggest a lack of professionalism with respect to the design of the study. I would like to know whose decision was it to design a study so limited in scope.? And, if councillors merely follow along with the findings without showing some concern for some the residential area and those who help make our downtown one of the most vibrant in the province, we cannot expect them to be very helpful in dealing with any problems in the future that arise .

Jolene Hopwood
(Apr 25, 2005)

This was sent as a letter to the editor of the Whig:

Dear Editor:

According to the consultant's report, there are 2,500+ parking spaces in downtown Kingston within a ten-minute walk of the proposed LVEC waterfront site.

Does that mean that anyone driving to the downtown area on a big LVEC event night for any other purpose -- including shopping and dining in the heart oif Kingston -- will find it difficult, or impossible to park conveniently ? If that's the case, then people will come downtown by car less and less frequently and, ultimately, may stay away entirely.

I understand the downtown business community fully supports the LVEC waterfront plan. Hope they examine the potential downside of the parking study.

Yours truly,

Walter Tedman Kingston, ON

Claude Tardif      Thu, 21 Apr 2005

Letter to Mayor & Council

Hi,

Yesterday your parking experts studied parking within a "600 meter" radius of the proposed LVEC site because it is the radius of the parking lot of the Corel Center, which they described as a "hostile environment", while downtown Kingston has the advantage of being a "friendly environment". Putting the two together, I see two possible conclusions:

1) Putting restaurants, shops and bars into the parking lot of the Corel Center would turn it into a "friendly environment".

2) Having the LVEC crowd park downtown will turn downtown into a hostile environment.

It would be important for us to know which of these conclusions is valid. Either your "experts" are geniuses who singlehandedly found a new life for parking lots all over North America, or they are proposing to destroy downtown.

Sincerely yours,
Claude Tardif
(Mar 25, 2005)

I question the propriety of having Ed Smith as chair of the LVEC steering committee. He is the owner of a downtown restaurant (Windmill's), a supporter of the downtown business association, and he stands to gain financially if the LVEC is located in the downtown area as opposed to other proposed sites.

You may publish this on your comments page.

Mary Fisker

(Mar 4, 2005)

Mayor Rosen and Professor Wong, and others, are arguing that the operating costs of the proposed LVEC would be partly but significantly offset by the tax flow provided by the new housing or commercial developments on the site of the Memorial grounds, were that site to be sold by the city.

Unless I am missing something, this claim makes neither sense nor logic, since any such new houses or commercial establishments would likely have been built somewhere else in Kingston anyway.

If this false reasoning is left to get by with no challenge there is a risk that some innocent people may buy into it, victims of the familiar " the hand is quicker than the eye" illusion.

Lois Logan     Feb 21, 2005

I have read quite a bit of the documentation that is presented on the web-site. I have lived in Kingston for nearly 20 years and I am vehemently opposed to the proposed location for this proposed LVEC on the inner harbour - or anywhere near the precious waterfront.

I agree with the other objections that are presented on the web-site. There are so many ill-considered parts of this proposal.

Please let me know how I can help with the protests. Today I have sent my opinion via e-mail to Harvey Rosen and Beth Pater (my Councillor).

Lois Logan
(Dec 23, 2004)

While there has been no economic impact study as yet, I believe the negative impact on the local economy must be considered. The Kingston area private sector is small, relative to other centers of similar size, and it is not healthy, as witnessed by the number of businesses that have either closed their doors or simply moved elsewhere. The LVEC will harm the private sector, as its events will compete for local household disposable income. Entertainers from out of the area will take their share of this local disposable income (their profits from their performances) back to their home markets. The LVEC management organization, whether affiliated with the Ottawa Senators or the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be compensated by Kingston taxes, and transfer the majority of these funds to their home markets.

The Kingston private sector cannot afford a net outflow of household "entertainment" dollars. More money leaving Kingston via payments to outside interests through the LVEC cannot help but damage local stores and restaurants, as families will have fewer entertainment dollars to spend elsewhere. As these local firms are weakened, so are other local firms that supply them with goods and services.

Mike Walker

(Dec 23, 2004)

Has anyone looked at the possibility of using the existing Penrose as the LVEC center???

It qualifies--it is a venue; it is large; it is on waterfront; it has lots of parking area; it has easier access than the downtown core; it is not an environmental nightmare and wouldn't it make a wonderful entertainment center with possibilities for weddings such as the Toronto Casa Loma.

There has been a lot of negative history associated with Penrose and it would be quite fitting for this "grand" building to be turned into a venue for concerts, parties, theater etc. The possibilities are endless!!

Let's look outside "the box".

Kind regards, Tish LaVallee

(Dec 22, 2004)

In my mind, the fake tickets are a desperate attempt to rekindle positive interest in the LVEC plan. Looking back to a year ago, the 100-day task force was meeting and the community was pretty solidly behind the idea of a replacement for the Memorial Centre. There was enthusiasm and maybe even excitement about the community doing something positive.

If you look at where things are at today, it is a completely different picture. I am not even sure that the business community wholeheartedly supports the "plan"; they just won't burn any bridges and say anything negative publicly. It is unbelievable that the mayor and company have managed to squander such enthusiasm. They try to blame the 'nay-sayers' in the community but the responsibility is really theirs. They are proposing something different from what they originally promised. They are not being open and transparent about options. They do not demonstrate that they are listening to anyone with a different view. And, they are spending big dollars for their dream while raising taxes. No wonder people are no longer feeling so rah!rah! about this and no wonder they have to come up with a gimmick like fake tickets to try to make people believe in their dream again.

I was wondering about publishing other tickets -- attend the ribbon cutting for the refurbished Ravensview sewage treatment plant; skate all week for free at the new community ice pad; watch the biggest minor hockey league tournament Kingston has ever hosted; win the chance to be the first car to travel on the newly paved Brock Street; join 100 other cyclists to be the first to travel the 18 km K & P trail from downtown to South Frontenac township ...

Happy holidays everyone.

Vicki Schmolka

This letter by KCAL reader Roger Fielding was sent to, and published by, the Whig Standard. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Sir,

I believe the sponsors of the proposed Large Venue Entertainment Center have yet to present a full accounting for, and disclosure of the interests in this  facility. Kingston's taxpayers have every right to inquire as to what the proposed facility will cost, and who's interests will be served by its construction. Who is going to make money out of this venture?

If the Ontario taxpayers' experience with SkyDome is any guide, we should be doubly concerned to understand where the money will come from, and where our tax monies will go. As is revealed in today's papers, SkyDome - another "large venue entertainment center," which originally cost $600 million in 1990 dollars, has been sold - 15 years later, to one of Canada's wealthiest men for $25 million. Along the way, numerous interested parties have made millions.

Time for another Whig Standard "investigative report?"

Roger Fielding
Kingston

(Wed, 8 Dec 2004) Joe Calnan has written this letter to the editor of The Whig on the theme of working waterfronts in general and specifically on the roles Anglin Bay and its drydock play in the operations of other Kingston businesses.
(Wed, 8 Dec 2004) Robert Mackenzie (other contributions here, here, here, and here, plus another article related to the theme here) has written this letter to the Mayor, Councillors, and the members of the LVEC Steering Committee where he makes the case for a formal framework for the role of citizen participation in the LVEC process.
(Mon, 6 Dec 2004) We've received letters from Irena Manoliu and Betty Harlow and about Don Gedge's answers to questions about the LVEC submitted to the newspaper by readers.
Submitted to the Whig November 1

Dear Editor;

Re: Luxury Venture Endangers City

A limited vision affecting council, (L-VAC) has the appearance of a virulent contagion that, sadly for the well being of our community, threatens to tear us apart.

The citizens of Kingston will not forget the members of this Council they now resent for refusing to help Kingston’s citizens in troubled times. Not wanting to open up the floodgates, council often turns away the needy, including non profit groups who provide services crucial for the vitality of our community. Those same Council members, continuously looking for ways to slash costs, are also willing to spend large sums taken from the pockets of every citizen to build an entertainment place, a luxury they deem necessary for the public good..

Common sense dictates caution, however, they fail in their duty to act with diligence when, in the absence of a comprehensible understanding as to needs, benefits and who pays how much for how long, they agree to an undertaking of major capital expense on the scale of the L.V.E.C. proposal, passed in short order and moved forward as quickly.

With our infrastructure in serious decline, water and sewer rates expected to explode, and the community continuously impoverished by reduced services and increased taxes, it is hard to understand the reason and extent of council commitment for a new facility of debatable merit, given the claim that they are fiscally prudent and protectors of the public good.

L.V.E.C. must not fracture the community nor become a burden for those who do not want it built by destroying a memorial, raising taxes or selling off public assets unless first having the majority support of the people of Kingston, oddly something Council never thought necessary to determine in any meaningful way.

Paul Fiorillo
Kingston

Jana Mills is allowing us to post the full text of her letter to the editor of the Whig Standard which was published on Saturday. Therein Jana argues that Leonore Foster should resign from the City's Arenas Committee. We agree.
(Thu, 11 Nov 2004) We've posted this letter from Lisa Webb, published in the Whig Standard on Friday, Novemner 5th 2004.
I cannot believe the comments made by Councillor Leonore Foster on green spaces and living war memorials in this city.

Councillor Foster claims to appreciate the need for open green spaces in the city. Yet she endorsed the LVEC Task Force report to eliminate 23.6 acres of public open recreational and green space in the heart of the city. And this endorsement was done without any public consultation on this specific matter. How can we trust Councillor Foster to do the right thing for the city?!

Councillor Foster proceeds to suggest that if a living memorial is not pretty, it has little value. The Memorial Centre site cannot be compared to the interior of Memorial Hall, so what is all the fuss? Forget the impassioned speech just delivered by Col. Robert J. Chamberlain about the meaning of the Memorial Centre site as a living memorial. Forget the heartfelt words of George Izzard who reminded Council of the dangers of putting money before lost lives. The Memorial Centre does not compare to the beauty of Memorial Hall - so tear it down.

What a sad attitude on the part of someone we have elected to take care of our city!

The present structural condition of any building or site is a function of the care and maintenance it has received over the years. It is not the fault of the citizens that their recreational and memorial sites may be in various states of disrepair; citizens have paid the taxes asked of them to maintain their city in good order. It is up to Council to apply those taxes properly, and see that the City's treasures are preserved.

Past Councils have grossly ignored our city's treasures. It is time for the present Council to get it right.

--  Bruce Todd (Tue, 10 Nov 2004)
(Mon, 8 Nov 2004) We received this this letter from Brian Osborne about the spirit and the sense of community behind the creation of the Memorial Centre, and suggests that we should consider carrying these things forward.
(Mon, 8 Nov 2004) We received this this letter from David Morgan about how much more can and should be made of the Memorial Centre site.
On November 9th in council chambers, Council will be asked to vote on a motion to retain the Memorial Centre site as a downtown community recreation area.

Rejection of the motion could mean that Council is willing to sell the Memorial Centre site in order to finance the Mayor's proposed Large Venue Entertainment Centre (LVEC).

Kingston is blessed with a huge 23.6-acre downtown site that has hosted for many years agricultural shows, fairs, ball diamonds, a pool, a community arena and ice rink, grandstand shows. etc. The site is surrounded by a good road system and is within reasonable walking distance of thousands of residents.

If the people of Kingston consider the Memorial Centre site an important downtown recreational venue, they need to call or write to their councillors. They need to come out to the Nov 9th council meeting and support this important part of our community.

--  Bruce Todd (Tue, 2 Nov 2004)
Some thoughts on recent LVEC events (October 26)

(1) Don Gedge has assured us in an email that the comment on the city website about "a recommendation to City Council on the feasibility of the...site by late December" is in error.

He confirmed this at Tuesday evening's Council Meeting. He says that "validating the site is an ongoing process aimed at eliminating the site risks one step at a time", and he expects this process to take until "well into the second quarter of 2005". It is not clear whether or at what point Council will be asked to approve further interim steps before that time. This question needs to be answered.

(2) Re: Tuesday October 26 council meeting fireworks. Council was being asked to approve the priority ranking of the top three initiatives for 2005--2007 as The Ravensview Upgrade, LVEC, and the Arena and Community Centre upgrades. They were being asked to approve this threefold group as a whole, not one at a time. Downes and Garrison argued that this amounted to manipulating Council into approving the LVEC project before the information is there for making an informed decision.

I think they are right. While it is true that everyone, including the mayor, repeats the mantra that "of course, if the site turns out to be not feasible, we'll focus on another", there's a lot of wiggle room in that notion of "feasibility". There are going to be drawbacks to the site: that's obvious enough. But just how bad do they have to be before it is decided to drop the idea? And who gets to decide this? And when? There's a big difference between deciding that a site is "feasible" and deciding that it's optimal. And the problem is that at no point in this whole process has there been a proper comparative investigation to determine whether the Inner Harbour site is, not just feasible, but the best site, and the best use of the land at that location.

When councillors voted this past June 8 to "move ahead" on the basis of the Task Force recommendations, many of them stated that they were not necessarily approving of the project, but simply voting to obtain more information as a basis for making a responsible decision. Here are some excerpts from newspaper coverage of the June 8 Committee of the Whole meeting:

Kingston This Week, June 11: "All councillors who spoke said they had serious questions about the LVEC proposal, but that in order to address them, the proposal needed to progress to the next step. "We have been asked question after question which we couldn't answer. The only way we can answer tem is to go to the next stage,' said Coun. George Beavis."

Whig Standard, June 9: "During the two-hour debate, no councillor wholeheartedly supported the LVEC in its proposed form at the proposed location. All expressed discomfort with some part of the project...Rosen...said 'Our decision tonight isnot that the LVEC will be built at any cost...regardless of any obstacles', reminding council that they were only being asked to further study the proposal."

It is important that we keep reminding councillors of this.

--  Betty Harlow (Wed, 27 Oct 2004)

(Wed, 27 Oct 2004) We received this this letter from Gerard Wyatt about the haste with which things related to the LVEC seem to be proceeding.
Something that wasn't mentioned in the Whig's account of Tuesday's Steering Committee Meeting:

Apparently, the steering committee members have been proceeding unaware of the fact that there would be zoning issues arising from the planned LVEC on Anglin Bay. During yesterday's Steering Committee at which Don Gedge outlined a "work plan" for the LVEC process, one of our members asked whether there was any intention of addressing zoning questions, and got a surprised "no" from Mr. Gedge. Then someone on the committee (I think it was Mr. Menieur) said, "it's zoned commercial; according to our city staff there's no zoning issue".

Now the site intended to accomodate the LVEC is actually zoned "harbour". According to the bylaws for harbour zoning, although an LVEC could be a permitted use if a "public use", it would have to comply with a 35' height limit and also be set back 33' from the water.

In the LVEC reference materials, there is a memo from the Planning Department to the Task Force, pointing out that the site is zoned "harbour". It doesn't mention the 35' height limit, but does point out that if the building is to comply with the "public use" designation, it should at least be publically owned. (This could cause problems for PPP approaches.) Evidently, even this information didn't get very far!

After the meeting, one of our members, a retired Queens' law professor, had a long talk with Mr. Gedge, explaining to him that, contrary to what he may have been told, there are, indeed, zoning issues. Obviously, we need to make sure that Council is aware of the need for addressing these issues and going through a proper planning process, at the appropriate point in the development of the project.

See also the KCAL Planning and Zoning page.

--  Betty Harlow (Wed, 20 Oct 2004)

Don Gedge clearly stated that the LVEC would be available for local user groups, league hockey, skating, etc, and suggested a user group committee which should be capped at 12 groups, to take part in the project process.

I have two concerns about this. First, any valid user group should be allowed to have a representative. If that means representation from 16 groups or 20 groups, so be it. No public user groups should be denied access to the project. Second, it clearly states on page 7 of the Task Force Report , Section 1.3, "The LVEC is a large venue entertainment centre with multipurpose uses (Section 3.1), not a venue for the everyday recreational needs of residents". Mr Gedge needs to clarify this conflicting information.

--  Bruce Todd (Wed, 20 Oct 2004)

(Fri, 15 Oct 2004) We received this this letter from Viki Colledge which was published in the Kingston Whig Standard today. Viki questions putting the LVEC atop Anglin Bay, obliterating 382 years of Kingston's marine history.
(Tue, 5 Oct 2004) We received this this letter from Mary Louise Adams containing several external links to studies and lessons learned from projects past where the predicted economic benefits of entertainment venues failed to materialize.
Don Gedge, the new LVEC commissioner for Kingston, as been on the job only a few days, and already a number of mixed messages have come from his office.

In addition to his comments about proposed usage of the new LVEC, which runs totally contrary to the Task Force Report , and which has been commented on at this site by Janet Collins, we now get a fuzzy message about probable costs for this project (see Whig Standard, October 2, 2004 ).

Mr Gedge suggests the price tag for the new LVEC could be perhaps $20 million less than the $54 million suggested by other members of the task force last month.

Mr Gedge goes on to say our LVEC would be comparable to one proposed for Oshawa, which has an expected price tag of $30 to $35 million. But he goes on to say that Oshawa's LVEC will be only 5,000 seats, whereas Kingston's is 6,000 seats. Mr Gedge should read the report to discover Kingston's LVEC is proposed to be 6,500 seats.

Given that Kingston's proposal is 1500 seats bigger, would the price tag not be pushed up to perhaps $35 to $40 million?

And Mr Gedge continues by saying that Kingston's LVEC will likely be a little more expensive because the city is looking for a more esthetically pleasing centre because of its location on a waterfront

So, we are probably now in the $40 to $45 million range!

Finally, having to build a Wellington Street extension to properly service the LVEC pushes the costs up to $45 to $50 million dollars.

If our mayor is truly concerned about an open and clear process, he cannot possibly believe that these pie-in-the-sky messages and doubletalk can be beneficial to his project, or to the citizens of Kingston.

--  Bruce Todd (Tue, 5 Oct 2004)
Don Gedge has been quoted in the Whig Standard on October 1, 2004 as saying, in regard to usage of the proposed LVEC, "We have 365 days of the year and 80 to 100 days of events, so the rest of the time we will have hockey groups in there. There will be minor hockey and figure skating using the facility when it's not being used for concerts or Major Junior A hockey".

I rather think that Don Gedge is perhaps spinning a line. It is all very well for him to say that there are many free days per annum but you can't seriously run things this way.

The M-Centre operates on the principle that certain things - minor hockey schedules, ice skating schedules and all such things are booked well ahead of time. You cant wait until you see if there
might be a trade show before you slot groups in for time , on the other hand, such facilities need to both be booked ahead of time and have free time for the opportunity for booking in spontaneous stuff.

What will they do then? Keep all the little kids teams and ice skaters on tenterhooks? Will they be phoning people and saying "Sorry. but you cant have the ice at that time in ??? whenever because we have just booked a trade show or the Hip."

Ottawa Congress Centre can do this because it is NOT an ice pad, nor does it have anything but high powered conferences booked well ahead.

Yet again the people of Kingston and especially the children will suffer.

-- Janet Collins (Mon, 4 Oct 2004)
"I have quickly eroding faith in Mayor Rosen's rationale behind this project and am, like people associated with KCAL, against losing the Memorial Centre and its accompanying green space. I have sent E-Mails to my councillor (Rick Downes) and Mayor Rosen expressing my feelings on this subject."
--  Shirley Holman (Fri, 1 Oct 2004)
(Thu, 30 Sept 2004) We received this this letter from Irena Manoliu addressed to City Council about the premature hiring of a project manager.
(Thu, 30 Sep 2004) We received this this letter from Frederick Fairman who submitted it to the Editor of  the Whig Standard. He questions the process, and the  hiring a project manager at this time.
(Thu, 30 Sep 2004) We received this this letter from Elizabeth Harlow about how the process is moving forward.
"I would be the first to tell you we need a new arena.....but on all matters you make a 100% sense that this location won't work. I enjoyed checking out your website and my favourite debate was the "stimulating the downtown".  It was almost like you had listened to every conversation I've had about the arena going downtown!  Keep up the good work!"  
--  Nicola Sikkema (Wed, 29 Sep 2004)
(Tue, 28 Sep 2004) We received this thoughtful letter from Peter Walker

 

Last updated: May 6, 2005