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Bell: An NHL arena deal? Don't bank on a debate

4 13 255

Remember the freewheeling battle over this city’s Olympic bid.

Quite the blood-and-guts tussle in the public square.

Well, it looks like that kind of gloves-off scrap won’t be happening over a new $600-million NHL arena or, as the city calls it, event centre.

Jeff Davison is a councillor from the west side of town and the top gun on the city’s let’s-get-a-new-arena group.

Davison says a public debate isn’t needed if and when the city ever gets to the point of coming to an agreement with the Flames on a new arena.

“I wouldn’t see public debate as necessary in terms of this deal,” says the councillor.

“We’ve done our homework to do engagement up front. Engagement shouldn’t be used as a poison pill.

“And frankly, a lot of the people who want to engage after the fact want to shut projects down. They just want their vote to say: No, I still oppose this.”

Davison says there is an option if Calgarians want to be heard.

“Look, I think everybody wants public debate on things. I think there’s a cost related to having public debate,” says the........

© Calgary Sun