Thursday, November 15, 2012


There are two important meetings at Markham City Hall that are coming up soon:

November 20, 2012 - 1:00PM to 3:00PM - Development Services Committee meeting to discuss the Site Plan for the proposed NHL Style Arena (aka The Frank Scarpitti Center)

November 20, 2012 - 7:00 PM - Council Meeting where the Arena issue will also be discussed.

There is strength in numbers and we need to demonstrate to the Mayor and Council that we, the taxpayers of Markham, do not support his reckless move to use city funds to benefit private businessmen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meeting at City Hall on October 24, 2012.

Last night, several members of the MVCRPA spoke at City Hall and expressed their objection to the City involvement in a project that mainly benefits the Private sector.

They were joined by more than 20 other residents who spoke to the packed chambers and EVERY SINGLE speaker spoke in opposition to the project.

Video and more details of the meeting will be posted soon.

No 2015 Juniors for the Markham Arena

Another shoe drops.

The 'Scarpitti Arena', if and when it gets built, will probably NOT host the World Juniors !

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finally Council does the right thing !

And finally, we see the beginning of the unraveling of Mr. Scarpitti's grand legacy project...


I am sure that you have not missed the steady stream of negative news stories reported in the media recently regarding the 'Frank Scarpitti' Arena Project.

Regardless, the Mayor is still trying to bulldoze this project through city council, without having any due diligence applied to the project.

Did you know that the Mayor is keeping two reports, for which you the taxpayer paid several hundreds of thousands of dollars for, secret from even City Councillors ?

What is he hiding ?

Tomorrow, Wednesday 24, 2012, is a critical meeting to approve the site plan for the 'Frank Scarpitti' Arena.

It is critical that we demonstrate to the Mayor (and Councilors) that we do not agree to tax payer funds being used to benefit wealthy businessmen,.

Please make sure you attend the meeting at City Hall  !

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Public Meeting
Council Chamber

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why the secrecy ?

Did you know that the City of Markham paid Raymond James and BDR Consultants HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of tax payer dollars to study the arena project and come up with a report ?

Did you know that the Mayor has kept these reports SECRET from even Markham Councilors who represent you and will be expected to vote on the Arena issue ?

Do you think there is a reason the Mayor wants to keep these reports secret ?

Even Councilors are now beginning to speak up and demand the reports be made public.

Release the reports !

Mayor should resign over backroom arena deal

Letter to the editor  in the Markham Economist & Sun

As the leader of our community who engineered the backroom, secret deal to approve the Markham arena, the mayor should do the right thing and resign. He has lost the confidence of the people.

Ego got in the way and he only looked at the upside of building a legacy for himself. What about the risk to the taxpayer?

If there is a housing downturn, where is the new tax levy going to come from to fund the arena debt?
Are they not shooting themselves in the foot with these new taxes?

Builders may go elsewhere.

What will happen if interest rates rise? What impact will that have on the new debt?  What about potential cost overruns?

Montreal’s Olympic stadium and Toronto’s SkyDome are examples— the latter $300 million over budget.
If you owned the Maple Leafs, would you give up territorial rights to a new team a few miles up the road?
Have they looked at the number of vacant dates at the Air Canada Centre, excluding the Leafs and Raptors?
How is it expected Markham, with a much smaller population, will have an arena that pays for itself?

If this deal is so great, why are private companies not paying for all of it?

How much extra property tax will we have to pay in a rising interest rate, recessionary environment for an arena that will probably be empty most of the time?

This will be valuable information for the likes of seniors on fixed incomes who may need to move out of town.

What is particularly galling is how this was rammed through council led by Mayor Frank Scarpitti under the guise that negotiations had to be kept private.

Does he take the citizens for fools?

They are scrambling after the fact to do public relations to sell this white elephant to the public.

It’s too little, too late. The mayor must go.

Ewen Mackenzie

Markham arena partner casts doubt on project’s viability

On August 20, 2012, one of the key players in the Arena project publicly questioned the financial viability of the project without an anchor tenant, ie. an NHL franchise.

This news story was published in the Toronto Star.

Live Nation questions Arena viability
Some highlights.

Riley O’Connor, chair of Live Nation Canada, told the Star on Monday that the arena will need an NHL franchise, other pro hockey or basketball team, because concerts won’t be able to generate enough revenue for a successful business.

Other industry insiders and some taxpayers have questioned continuing assertions from arena promoter Graeme Roustan, chair and chief executive officer of GTA Sports and Entertainment, that the Markham facility can work well without an NHL franchise.


“Look, I really support Graeme in his dream, but at some point you really have to look at the risks involved,” O’Connor said in an interview.

Mr. O'Connor was displayed front on center when Mr. Roustan and the Mayor proudly introduced the 'world class team' that was backing the arena project.

After Mr. O'Connors statement above, Live Nation seems to have vanished from any literature involving this project.

At the recent Open House held at Markham City Hall, no one could really explain why Live Nation was not mentioned on any of the dozens of  banners and posters that were being exhibited at the event.

Markham residents should begin to question the viability of this project when one of it's key partners is now expressing severe doubts about the project.
A discussion on the Markham Arena was held on Rogers TV.

Some of the Directors of the Markham Village City Rate Payers Association participated.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Markham Arena Debacle

Markham City Council, led by Mayor Scarpitti, plans to enter into the Professional Sports and Professional Entertainment business.

We are not against the building of this NHL Ready facility but against the financial framework that has been proposed.

We do not trust the Financial Framework proposed by the Mayor
Andy Taylor CEO of Markham claims that this arena will not cause a tax increase.

But as usual, the facts speak otherwise:

The Mayor’s Financial Framework was explained in the presentation package Council released on April 20,  2012.

Private sector group to fund 50% of the construction costs, estimated to be $325 million exclusive of construction financing.
  • 90% of the $325 million center will be privately funded
  • Markham’s share of the funding is from section 37 and Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Development contributions.
However the facts are:
  • As soon as funds are given to the Town they become public money.
  • 50% of the cost is coming from Section 37, TIF and a ‘Voluntary Contribution’ that developers are being asked to pay.
  • These extra “payments” will be passed on to the new home owner, which means purchasing a new home will become more unaffordable.
  • The other 50 % is being paid by a Private Sector Group.

What you are not being told is:
  • Lease payments for this facility are fixed at only $1 million per year.
In simple English, the tenant is paying 50% of construction costs in lieu of making a fair market Lease Payment.

The city is borrowing the full cost of the 325$ million which works out to approximately 496$ million with interest.

There are several other costs and lost revenue streams which the Mayor is silent on.

The City of Markham will own this facility but not receive any financial rewards.

We will not receive any profit from the retail stores inside and no profit from the concerts, except a $3 dollar surcharge on tickets.

We will only receive 50% of parking revenue from the existing parking lots as they are not on town owned property.

Who gets the revenue from
  • Sale of  corporate boxes?
  • Naming rights?
  • Advertising?
  • Sponsorship?
Not the City of Markham. !

Do you, the taxpaying resident of Markham, believe that the city resources should be diverted to benefit a select few ?

Or do you believe that every available resource should be spent for the benefit of all Markham residents ?

WE, the RESIDENTS will be paying for this facility.

After reading these startling figures, I hope that everyone will begin to ask these questions of the Mayor and City Council.

Come to the public Town Hall Meetings and demonstrate to Council that you do not support this reckless financial adventure.

Tell your representatives on Council to do what you elected them to do - look after your interests, not the interest of already wealthy businessmen.

Speak out now !

This project must be built and owned by the private sector and Not by Markham.

Join in and sign the petition to halt this financial framework that will endanger the future of Markham.

Build it, but not with our money.