The implosion of Expo ’17

A World’s Fair? Really?


 

The federal government has officially refused to give the City of Edmonton $700 million to hold a World’s Fair/Expo here in 2017, and I’d just like to mention to the Dominion at large, for the sake of civic dignity, that not everybody here is as apoplectic about it as our mayor, Stephen Mandel. I know what you’re all thinking, since you have probably learned about the bid for the first time in the morning papers.

A World’s Fair? Really? Edmonton’s latest bright idea for crashing through the scenery onto the world stage…was a concept that was already moth-eaten a hundred years ago? Are we talking about the kind of World’s Fair that attracts public debt, corruption, ethnic folk dances, and tractor displays? The kind that indulges everything from phony science to junk food to dictators? The kind that’s essentially an Olympics without the fun? That kind of World’s Fair?

Yeah, that kind of World’s Fair—the kind that, nowadays, comes with a tagline like “Harmony of Energy and Our Future Planet”, which was the proposed slogan of the aborted Edmonton proto-bid. (Presumably it sounds better in the original Mandarin.) To senior citizens and nostalgia freaks, the idea of the Expo carries a certain cachet; you must be a person whose pulse was once capable of being quickened by words like “progress” and “modernity” to feel the allure. I’m not immune myself, but a professional brand manager would surely suggest that Edmonton ought to get involved with something more hip, current, and relevant. Like the Boy Scouts or the League of Nations.

Certainly $700 million is $700 million, and in fact the total would certainly end up being much more. But one can’t help feeling that Edmonton has been spared some humiliation in being forced to withdraw from a bribery/flattery contest in which we were destined to be pitted against a super-heavyweight like the capital of Kazakhstan. “The bidding process alone,” the Edmonton Sun notes this morning, “was expected to carry a price tag of around $22 million.” Twenty-two million; nobody says either “Wow!” or “Why?” anymore when presented with a fact like this. Such an investment carries a nice little return (obtained from other Canadians) if you win the competition, but where do you suppose it ends up, and what obligations to the recipients are involved?

Some of the $700M that came Edmonton’s way would have been left behind in the form of infrastructure—infrastructure that would not in any sense benefit the nation as a whole (and that, in the wake of past Expos, has often taken the form of rusting, guano-streaked eyesores). Edmontonian boosters of the bid didn’t seem to realize that as their scintillating shopping lists of purely local benefits got longer and longer, the necessary rationale for federal funding grew shorter and shorter. The same could certainly be said of the Toronto Pan Am Games of 2015, which Ottawa is supporting; but, then, Toronto wisely held out its begging bowl in the summer of 2008, while the federal treasury was still in surplus and the streets were still paved with gold.

Mandel ranted yesterday about his city receiving different treatment during a recession, showing no sign of perceiving any difference between the conditions of 2008 and those of 2010. The supposed injustice to Edmonton is perhaps a good example of why cities should be left alone (with the necessary tax points) to build their own monuments to planetary energy harmony and whatnot. But for as long as we are governed according to Sloppy Federalism, some projects are inevitably going to become victims of the business cycle. You snooze, you lose—in this case, you lose several million dollars and get nothing back but James Moore’s signature. (Moore can now boast that his autograph costs several orders of magnitude more than Wayne Gretzky’s.)

The Pan Am Games cannot be rationally regarded as imposing a universal, permanent obligation on the federal government to fund the frenzied dreams of every big-city mayor. And thus Edmonton loses an opportunity for an expensive prolonged applauding of its ever-rambunctious self. Our arts, our sciences, and our industry will just have to bear the blow. Lily-livered culture cringers who imagined that a World’s Fair (actually a second-rate “International Recognized Expo” under BIE rules, rather than a full-fledged “World Expo”) would fling Edmonton onto the front pages of the planet’s newspapers have had their fantasies euthanized. Since these were nonsensical fantasies in the first place—go on, can you name the location of Expo 2010? It ended less than a month ago!—it is hard to regret their demise.


 

The implosion of Expo ’17

  1. Shanghai. Didn't even have to look it up.

  2. Shanghai. Didn't even have to look it up.

  3. shanghai

  4. Your relentless logic tramples on the hubris-stoked dreams of the starry-eyed boosters of Edmonton. With the cancellation of the bid, we will avoid adding to Edmonton's collection of used buildings ill-suited to post-celebratory functionality.

    But the real reason for the cancellation is that there are no additional votes needed in Alberta (with the possible exception of Edmonton-Strathcona, where a transfer of 500 ND votes to the Liberals would do the trick, anyway). The golden goose needs no additional feed.

  5. shanghai

  6. Your relentless logic tramples on the hubris-stoked dreams of the starry-eyed boosters of Edmonton. With the cancellation of the bid, we will avoid adding to Edmonton's collection of used buildings ill-suited to post-celebratory functionality.

    But the real reason for the cancellation is that there are no additional votes needed in Alberta (with the possible exception of Edmonton-Strathcona, where a transfer of 500 ND votes to the Liberals would do the trick, anyway). The golden goose needs no additional feed.

    • I agree with your first paragraph but not the second, at all. I lived in Vancouver during Expo 86 and it was a complete zoo for the locals. Edmonton needs Expo 2017 like it needs a hole in the head.

      I'd rather see my tax dollars (all three levels, thanks very much) spent on resolving our ER crisis, etc etc etc.

  7. Exactly my sentiments but much better said! (I would have gone on and on like a codger about the fact that the City has a hard time planning and building a roadway etc.).

  8. I would be in favour of a complete ban on bidding for any future fairs, exhibits, or sports "games". Even forgetting about the ridiculous cost of holding these events, the parasitical bidding industry for host cities alone costs hundreds of millions every year. I hope this example leads politicians in other Canadian cities to just say no when the bid shysters come calling.

  9. I would be in favour of a complete ban on bidding for any future fairs, exhibits, or sports "games". Even forgetting about the ridiculous cost of holding these events, the parasitical bidding industry for host cities alone costs hundreds of millions every year. I hope this example leads politicians in other Canadian cities to just say no when the bid shysters come calling.

    • Hear! Hear!

  10. When I heard the mayor on the radio sounding so upset, I was concerned at first, but then, as I pieced together what it was he was upset about, it was pretty relieving to know that it wasn't anything of any real consequence.
    And now the mayor can really focus on getting Mr. Katz his something for nothing.

  11. When I heard the mayor on the radio sounding so upset, I was concerned at first, but then, as I pieced together what it was he was upset about, it was pretty relieving to know that it wasn't anything of any real consequence.
    And now the mayor can really focus on getting Mr. Katz his something for nothing.

    • Yup, the issue of an Edmonton downtown hockey arena will be next. Will be interesting to follow.

  12. It is time for the government to stop spending money on anything except essential services.

  13. Wow. Thank god. Let's have an expo when streets are in dire need of repair and homeless people are abound. Sorry Mandel, that's not going to be your legacy.

  14. Hear! Hear!

  15. You mean like sports arenas in Quebec? Thank God that's off the table…

  16. You mean like sports arenas in Quebec? Thank God that's off the table…

  17. Part of that $700million, or some portion of the overrun, would no doubt have been used for "tidying up" before company came.

  18. Part of that $700million, or some portion of the overrun, would no doubt have been used for "tidying up" before company came.

    • If we want to be inspired by recent Expos, China forced 18,000 or so people onto the streets so their homes could become shining beacons for expositions of the world.

  19. Once again Ottawa forgets the west, although they benefit from our transfer payments. Next election may suprise some tories. In other words they will not get my vote!.

  20. Once again Ottawa forgets the west, although they benefit from our transfer payments. Next election may suprise some tories. In other words they will not get my vote!.

    • Most reports seems more like Edmonton mostly likely would have gotten it. Such misinformation has already started. There wasn't even any serious consideration of whether or not a bid would have been a good idea from the federal government. This is what will upset many voters.

    • sore looser!!

  21. For the record, part of that Expo money was, in fact, going to fund infrastructure projects like a new bridge to replace the aging Walterdale bridge. You're suggesting it's better we wasted millions on a useless bid, when we could have been thrown a bone by the feds that would have turned into projects in our city. And our streets are in dire need of repair due to the "no-taxes, no-spending" city council of Bill Smith.

  22. For the record, part of that Expo money was, in fact, going to fund infrastructure projects like a new bridge to replace the aging Walterdale bridge. You're suggesting it's better we wasted millions on a useless bid, when we could have been thrown a bone by the feds that would have turned into projects in our city. And our streets are in dire need of repair due to the "no-taxes, no-spending" city council of Bill Smith.

    • Expo money funding infrastructure projects. Sure. Could those infrastructures not come about without having the fanfare of an Expo?

      • And this is why local pols really want such events – there's big projects of one sort or another on their shopping lists but they lack the stones to either (a) ask their taxpayers for more money or (b) cut other things to free up the cash. No one in Ontario cares about the Pan Am Games, of course, but Hamilton wanted to give the Tiger-Cats a new stadium, and this way they've managed to get $50 million from the feds and the province. Steeltown is also, of course, getting a velodrome, surely the guano-streaked eyesore of 2025.

        • and so I, for one, do not like how this sort of money-granting-game is being played. Therefore we should not buy into them, politically speaking. We should speak out against them.

      • Yeah, you trying to getting those funded without such a project. You think its so easy to fund these infrastructure project, you come up with the funding. Such narrow minded no spending habits is what elected people like Bill Smith and his no taxes no spend policies. Now look at how much our taxes are going up to pay for that!!

        • So maybe the time has come for reasonable people to jump OFF the bandwagon!

          Why reinforce the idea that infrastructure help will only appear from the feds if some sort of spectacle goes alongside with it?

          Silly world it has become indeed when we cannot do without the well-known advertisement notion of: 50% off second suit when buying one suit at regular price. The answer is: we only need one suit, not two, and therefore the second suit is not purchased at an advantage but is as a redundancy.

      • Ask Tony Clement. He's the go to guy about getting infrastructure money to your riding.

    • Then why not instead of "part of that Expo money" being used to fund things like bridges have no Expo and then all of that money would be around for bridge repair!

  23. But but the West is in — how's that working for you? Or 4 years later, is it just now dawning on you that your tory votes are taken for granted, and they STILL want to pay off for votes in Quebec!

    Ouch. There's little room for growth in the West for the Cons, but they know their koolaid drinking supporters will defend being "guanaed" on and continue to vote for the Cons.

    Don't feel too bad, Albortions, your SK brothers and sisters will do the same. No stadium for the Rider fans. Votes net only more guana.

  24. Expo money funding infrastructure projects. Sure. Could those infrastructures not come about without having the fanfare of an Expo?

  25. But but the West is in — how's that working for you? Or 4 years later, is it just now dawning on you that your tory votes are taken for granted, and they STILL want to pay off for votes in Quebec!

    Ouch. There's little room for growth in the West for the Cons, but they know their koolaid drinking supporters will defend being "guanaed" on and continue to vote for the Cons.

    Don't feel too bad, Albortions, your SK brothers and sisters will do the same. No stadium for the Rider fans. Votes net only more guana.

  26. Nice piece, Colby. .

  27. Yup, the issue of an Edmonton downtown hockey arena will be next. Will be interesting to follow.

  28. Nice piece, Colby. .

  29. Edmonton taxpayers didn't want this expensive goose in the first place!

  30. Edmonton taxpayers didn't want this expensive goose in the first place!

  31. Most reports seems more like Edmonton mostly likely would have gotten it. Such misinformation has already started. There wasn't even any serious consideration of whether or not a bid would have been a good idea from the federal government. This is what will upset many voters.

  32. I already think you are world class Edmonton! And better ways can be found to let the rest of the world know.

  33. Colby, sometimes I wonder what all those creation of boards amounts to in economic terms. How many billions (?) of tax payer's monies are spent on securing jobs for those who serve on all of those boards.

  34. Uh, we are? I like Edmonton — enough to have lived here for almost 37 years — but "world class"? To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen: "I know 'world class'; I was friends with 'world class' … you, Edmonton, are no 'world class'."

    But after the arena gets funded, woo boy, we'll be world class then….

  35. And this is why local pols really want such events – there's big projects of one sort or another on their shopping lists but they lack the stones to either (a) ask their taxpayers for more money or (b) cut other things to free up the cash. No one in Ontario cares about the Pan Am Games, of course, but Hamilton wanted to give the Tiger-Cats a new stadium, and this way they've managed to get $50 million from the feds and the province. Steeltown is also, of course, getting a velodrome, surely the guano-streaked eyesore of 2025.

  36. The feds did the right thing. I live in Edmonton and the last thing that I need $2+ Billion (yes…that's Billion) of OUR tax dollars going to is an Expo. It was a stupid idea from the start. The fact that it was a stupid idea seemed to be lost on most of the local municipal politicians. It's odd that the local municipal politicians seemed to miss that fact, but then again……maybe not. Now, if the feds could just find a way to shut off some of the other spending taps……! I'm not sayin'………..I'm just sayin………

  37. The feds did the right thing. I live in Edmonton and the last thing that I need $2+ Billion (yes…that's Billion) of OUR tax dollars going to is an Expo. It was a stupid idea from the start. The fact that it was a stupid idea seemed to be lost on most of the local municipal politicians. It's odd that the local municipal politicians seemed to miss that fact, but then again……maybe not. Now, if the feds could just find a way to shut off some of the other spending taps……! I'm not sayin'………..I'm just sayin………

  38. Yeah, you trying to getting those funded without such a project. You think its so easy to fund these infrastructure project, you come up with the funding. Such narrow minded no spending habits is what elected people like Bill Smith and his no taxes no spend policies. Now look at how much our taxes are going up to pay for that!!

  39. The number of homeless people in Edmonton dropped in the most recent count.

  40. The number of homeless people in Edmonton dropped in the most recent count.

  41. So maybe the time has come for reasonable people to jump OFF the bandwagon!

    Why reinforce the idea that infrastructure help will only appear from the feds if some sort of spectacle goes alongside with it?

    Silly world it has become indeed when we cannot do without the well-known advertisement notion of: 50% off second suit when buying one suit at regular price. The answer is: we only need one suit, not two, and therefore the second suit is not purchased at an advantage but is as a redundancy.

  42. wait for the new arena in Qey Beck City

  43. wait for the new arena in Qey Beck City

  44. and so I, for one, do not like how this sort of money-granting-game is being played. Therefore we should not buy into them, politically speaking. We should speak out against them.

  45. Ask Tony Clement. He's the go to guy about getting infrastructure money to your riding.

  46. Good piece, Colby. Thanks for the link.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  47. Good piece, Colby. Thanks for the link.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  48. "Twenty-two million; nobody says either “Wow!” or “Why?” anymore … "

    I do and like to think of myself as someone.

    I follow football and there is quite a scandal now with corruption, fifa, and world cup 2018. I imagine process of bidding for world fair is similar to what's being revealed in football scandal.

  49. "Twenty-two million; nobody says either “Wow!” or “Why?” anymore … "

    I do and like to think of myself as someone.

    I follow football and there is quite a scandal now with corruption, fifa, and world cup 2018. I imagine process of bidding for world fair is similar to what's being revealed in football scandal.

  50. Fair enough… perhaps relative size should be included? And sure Canadian bias also factors in, admittedly, but Edmonton has more going on for a city approaching 1-million people than most other comparatively sized cities (that are not national capitals). Being the capital of the richest jurisdiction in North America helps too.

  51. Fair enough… perhaps relative size should be included? And sure Canadian bias also factors in, admittedly, but Edmonton has more going on for a city approaching 1-million people than most other comparatively sized cities (that are not national capitals). Being the capital of the richest jurisdiction in North America helps too.

  52. I have always thought Mandel was an idiot & he just proved it with that little rant. He can't seem to understand why the rest of Canada wouldn't want to pay for a new bridge (or whatever) for Edmonton……Wha??

  53. I have always thought Mandel was an idiot & he just proved it with that little rant. He can't seem to understand why the rest of Canada wouldn't want to pay for a new bridge (or whatever) for Edmonton……Wha??

    • Or indeed, why much of Edmonton didn't want to pay for it either.

  54. Since when are the Pan-American Games a huge deal? Here in Winnipeg we've hosted them twice… but, good job Toronto?

  55. But, but, you're the City of Champions!? I mean, just look at the Eskimos and Oilers and how well, uh, never mind…

  56. But, but, you're the City of Champions!? I mean, just look at the Eskimos and Oilers and how well, uh, never mind…

  57. Since when are the Pan-American Games a huge deal? Here in Winnipeg we've hosted them twice… but, good job Toronto?

  58. I wish the butthead who first coined the term "world class" could be publicly flogged, tarred, featherd, crucified and then shot.

  59. I wish the butthead who first coined the term "world class" could be publicly flogged, tarred, featherd, crucified and then shot.

    • That would be the first metropolitan mayor to eye New York and feel that bitter twinge of jealousy.

  60. It is about time a federal government took a stand on all these cities that want to put on show piece fairs and expos and then expect the whole country of taxpayers to pay for it,For the people in Edmonton consider yourselves lucky.what they say these things cost and what they end up costing is totally different.Never on budget and the benefits are negligible.If thes people were asked to guarantee all over runs it would be on over for those who wish to spend taxpayers money while housung for most has become unaffordable.Get rid of these Dummies

  61. It is about time a federal government took a stand on all these cities that want to put on show piece fairs and expos and then expect the whole country of taxpayers to pay for it,For the people in Edmonton consider yourselves lucky.what they say these things cost and what they end up costing is totally different.Never on budget and the benefits are negligible.If thes people were asked to guarantee all over runs it would be on over for those who wish to spend taxpayers money while housung for most has become unaffordable.Get rid of these Dummies

  62. Shanghai 2010 (current price tag: $58 billion US, not counting 18,000 forcibly removed from their homes and hundreds of thousands of state employees rounded up and required to attend) is perhaps a bad example for the Edmonton HalfExpo.

    There was a HalfExpo in 2008. Does anybody remember where they stuck it? Do you think this city is "now on the map"? How about the next 3 non-major Expos being held?

  63. Shanghai 2010 (current price tag: $58 billion US, not counting 18,000 forcibly removed from their homes and hundreds of thousands of state employees rounded up and required to attend) is perhaps a bad example for the Edmonton HalfExpo.

    There was a HalfExpo in 2008. Does anybody remember where they stuck it? Do you think this city is "now on the map"? How about the next 3 non-major Expos being held?

  64. "Presumably it sounds better in the original Mandarin."

    Priceless.

  65. "Presumably it sounds better in the original Mandarin."

    Priceless.

  66. Or indeed, why much of Edmonton didn't want to pay for it either.

  67. If we want to be inspired by recent Expos, China forced 18,000 or so people onto the streets so their homes could become shining beacons for expositions of the world.

  68. Then why not instead of "part of that Expo money" being used to fund things like bridges have no Expo and then all of that money would be around for bridge repair!

  69. That would be the first metropolitan mayor to eye New York and feel that bitter twinge of jealousy.

  70. Agree all the way, Colby.

  71. Agree all the way, Colby.

  72. Coming from the Fake Lake-biggest spending PM ever support group, that's hilarious.

  73. Coming from the Fake Lake-biggest spending PM ever support group, that's hilarious.

  74. It always stuns me when I hear locals complain that Edmonton isn't the wonderful and vibrant city that it already is in it's own way. We don't need to be measured against other cities – indeed can't, because Edmonton doesn't face the same circumstances and challenges as a New York or a Toronto.

    What we DO have is a far northern climate and a low density metro area surrounding our core. In spite of that we DO offer a "world class" education system; kindergarten to post secondary. We offer one of the greenest river valley and trail systems in the world. We offer some of the cleanest water in North America.

    Edmonton is. It's a wonderful, vibrant, growing northern city filled with excited, engaged people. And we don't need a World Expo to know that. Anyone who doesn't get this is someone who hasn't lived here, and any local who complains isn't engaged enough in the community to understand how good they have it.

  75. It always stuns me when I hear locals complain that Edmonton isn't the wonderful and vibrant city that it already is in it's own way. We don't need to be measured against other cities – indeed can't, because Edmonton doesn't face the same circumstances and challenges as a New York or a Toronto.

    What we DO have is a far northern climate and a low density metro area surrounding our core. In spite of that we DO offer a "world class" education system; kindergarten to post secondary. We offer one of the greenest river valley and trail systems in the world. We offer some of the cleanest water in North America.

    Edmonton is. It's a wonderful, vibrant, growing northern city filled with excited, engaged people. And we don't need a World Expo to know that. Anyone who doesn't get this is someone who hasn't lived here, and any local who complains isn't engaged enough in the community to understand how good they have it.

    • Well said! I've lived in Vancouver & Calgary and prefer Edmonton over both (except for the -35 weather, but at least it's sunny).

      • Gary, I agree with everything in your comment. I think Edmonton is a great place to live, and that its problems (such as they are) are not a significant impediment to the city's future (assuming they get dealt with). For example, the "low density metro" area is a problem if Edmonton keeps growing out instead of in … but that's more a municipal political issue (much like the arena) that isn't worth discussing here. (And having recently been in Phoenix, I can tell you the problems of growing out too quickly are real if the bubble bursts.)

        But when it comes to the words "world class"? That's not us. We are many great things, a few of which are world class, but to take those things and suggest we're a world-class city? That's a step too far.

  76. I agree with your first paragraph but not the second, at all. I lived in Vancouver during Expo 86 and it was a complete zoo for the locals. Edmonton needs Expo 2017 like it needs a hole in the head.

    I'd rather see my tax dollars (all three levels, thanks very much) spent on resolving our ER crisis, etc etc etc.

  77. Well said! I've lived in Vancouver & Calgary and prefer Edmonton over both (except for the -35 weather, but at least it's sunny).

  78. Gary, I agree with everything in your comment. I think Edmonton is a great place to live, and that its problems (such as they are) are not a significant impediment to the city's future (assuming they get dealt with). For example, the "low density metro" area is a problem if Edmonton keeps growing out instead of in … but that's more a municipal political issue (much like the arena) that isn't worth discussing here. (And having recently been in Phoenix, I can tell you the problems of growing out too quickly are real if the bubble bursts.)

    But when it comes to the words "world class"? That's not us. We are many great things, a few of which are world class, but to take those things and suggest we're a world-class city? That's a step too far.

  79. The 700 million plus is only 25% of the bill. The 25% shared by all Canadians. Mandle and his cronies were also expecting 65% of the bill to be paid by all Albertans and 10% by Edmontonians. Well, as an Edmonton taxpayer, I would be contributing to 100% of the bill! Lucky me. Mandle blaims Rona Ambrose cause she's the most senior local cabinet minister. Thanks Rona.

  80. The 700 million plus is only 25% of the bill. The 25% shared by all Canadians. Mandle and his cronies were also expecting 65% of the bill to be paid by all Albertans and 10% by Edmontonians. Well, as an Edmonton taxpayer, I would be contributing to 100% of the bill! Lucky me. Mandle blaims Rona Ambrose cause she's the most senior local cabinet minister. Thanks Rona.

  81. sore looser!!

  82. Good post, CC. Rather than bemoan the fact that Edmonton seemingly gets treated differently than Toronto/Vancouver/etc. when it comes to federal largess, the proper response is to attack that largess. Edmonton will be just fine, thank you very much for asking, without Expo 2017. The feds showing fiscal restraint when it comes to the local mayor's vanity projects is reason to show them even greater support next election, especially if the contagion spreads to other mayors' projects.

  83. Good post, CC. Rather than bemoan the fact that Edmonton seemingly gets treated differently than Toronto/Vancouver/etc. when it comes to federal largess, the proper response is to attack that largess. Edmonton will be just fine, thank you very much for asking, without Expo 2017. The feds showing fiscal restraint when it comes to the local mayor's vanity projects is reason to show them even greater support next election, especially if the contagion spreads to other mayors' projects.

  84. in the wake of past Expos, has often taken the form of rusting, guano-streaked eyesores

    Two points:

    1- Olympic venues can also be added to the list. My hometown's Olympic Stadium found a use after the '76 Olympics (as the home of the Expos), but has been wildly costly, in need of constant repairs, and is today seldom used (save for the occasional convention, monster truck rally, and CFL game).

    However, that being said, Vancouver (from what I've read) seems to have done better than most Olympic cities in re-using their venues, and thankfully resisted temptation to create some huge, expensive icon (no bird's nest, giant leaning tower, or oversized geodesic dome).

    2- I agree with CC's article; however, it's hard to deny that Montreal's Expo was a boon to this city, probably because Montreal was experiencing huge growth, and was Canada's largest city. The few remaining Expo icons (the ones that haven't been demolished) have found new uses, and are actually well maintained.

  85. in the wake of past Expos, has often taken the form of rusting, guano-streaked eyesores

    Two points:

    1- Olympic venues can also be added to the list. My hometown's Olympic Stadium found a use after the '76 Olympics (as the home of the Expos), but has been wildly costly, in need of constant repairs, and is today seldom used (save for the occasional convention, monster truck rally, and CFL game).

    However, that being said, Vancouver (from what I've read) seems to have done better than most Olympic cities in re-using their venues, and thankfully resisted temptation to create some huge, expensive icon (no bird's nest, giant leaning tower, or oversized geodesic dome).

    2- I agree with CC's article; however, it's hard to deny that Montreal's Expo was a boon to this city, probably because Montreal was experiencing huge growth, and was Canada's largest city. The few remaining Expo icons (the ones that haven't been demolished) have found new uses, and are actually well maintained.

  86. I'm not sure how you read my post as supporting the Expo bid. I meant to imply that the federal government made the right decision for the wrong reason – the calculation of potential political gain or loss from the spending of hugh sums of our money, not the consideration of the actual value of the expenditure to the public good.

  87. This isn't so much about the expo as it is about the Feds stiffing Edmonton on grants over and over. How the Edmonton Folk Fest got stiffed on the arts festival grants is baffling.

  88. This isn't so much about the expo as it is about the Feds stiffing Edmonton on grants over and over. How the Edmonton Folk Fest got stiffed on the arts festival grants is baffling.

    • But the EFF did happen, regardless, right?

      • Exactly. And I find this whole movie so predictable and inane. In a country as large as Canada, and when you have so many interest groups etc. making claims on the federal purse, someone is ALWAYS going to claim that they've been stiffed, short-changed, etc. It really doesn't take a lot of imagination or creativity for anyone in this country to come up with an "I have a grievance" narrative. Then I think about the truly disadvantaged in our country, e.g., the homeless, the genuinely poor, victims of violence and physical/sexual abuse, the disabled, etc. — THOSE people have grievances. Everyone else making claims on the public purse and claiming to be "aggrieved" is just a whiner, IMO.

        • "It really doesn't take a lot of imagination or creativity for anyone in this country to come up with an "I have a grievance" narrative."

          And such a waste of imagination or creativity it is when spent on grievance narratives! One would end up feeling rather empty at the end of it.

          Hey, wait a minute, that's already happening: we're being emptied out!

          And so a question remains: does the grievance narrative eventually empty us out, or were we empty already and thereby the grievance narrative is as evidence thereof? Who's to say……

          .

    • The event already sells out nearly instantly every year, and is incapable of expanding. So what would the grant be for?

  89. But the EFF did happen, regardless, right?

  90. Exactly. And I find this whole movie so predictable and inane. In a country as large as Canada, and when you have so many interest groups etc. making claims on the federal purse, someone is ALWAYS going to claim that they've been stiffed, short-changed, etc. It really doesn't take a lot of imagination or creativity for anyone in this country to come up with an "I have a grievance" narrative. Then I think about the truly disadvantaged in our country, e.g., the homeless, the genuinely poor, victims of violence and physical/sexual abuse, the disabled, etc. — THOSE people have grievances. Everyone else making claims on the public purse and claiming to be "aggrieved" is just a whiner, IMO.

  91. The event already sells out nearly instantly every year, and is incapable of expanding. So what would the grant be for?

  92. "It really doesn't take a lot of imagination or creativity for anyone in this country to come up with an "I have a grievance" narrative."

    And such a waste of imagination or creativity it is when spent on grievance narratives! One would end up feeling rather empty at the end of it.

    Hey, wait a minute, that's already happening: we're being emptied out!

    And so a question remains: does the grievance narrative eventually empty us out, or were we empty already and thereby the grievance narrative is as evidence thereof? Who's to say……

    .

  93. Hey Mr. Mayor instead of crying that you did not get the World's Fair, lets try for something else in 2017. Maybe the Quesnell Bridge will be done by then and we can celebrate that. I know it is a long shot but we can dream.

  94. Hey Mr. Mayor instead of crying that you did not get the World's Fair, lets try for something else in 2017. Maybe the Quesnell Bridge will be done by then and we can celebrate that. I know it is a long shot but we can dream.

  95. It is all BS. Whether I want to have a ridiculous internationally certified exposition celebrating the many forms of energy available to humans today, or a giant ski-doo race to the rodeo to end all rodeos – who cares

    If there is 700 million dollars of our money to spare anywhere, then give us our money back!! We will decide how to celebrate 150 years of Canada.

    In the meantime, audit all MP expenses – an austerity measure that gains my approval – a symbolic statement by our austere forward-thinking leaders – a natural vote-getter for any party that would dare to be so self-disciplined. – oh, what happened to that eh?

  96. We would love to have a huge celebration of Canada and our democracy in your city, but unfotunately the cost of F-35s patrolling the skies along with the massive implementation of SWAT teams and undercover inteligence units, to ensure you and your famiiles safety, is overwhelming – the birthday is cancelled .

    WE ADVISE YOU TO STAY INSIDE!!! KEEP PLENTY OF WATER AND CANS OF BEANS – AWAIT BULLETINS FROM YOUR TELEVISION BEFORE FIRING UP THE BBQ!

  97. SMALL CITY MAYOR ASK: We need a new bridge, we would also like to use our tax dollars to expand our university, and also to improve our public transport system.

    TRANSLATION into Orwellian Politcal Speech – "let's celebrate the abundance of energy and it's importance to the great nation of Canada"

    BIG OTTAWA BROTHER IN NORDIQES JERSEY: "Do you have any idea how much that would cost me in security!

  98. SMALL CITY MAYOR ASK: We need a new bridge, we would also like to use our tax dollars to expand our university, and also to improve our public transport system.

    TRANSLATION into Orwellian Politcal Speech – "let's celebrate the abundance of energy and it's importance to the great nation of Canada"

    BIG OTTAWA BROTHER IN NORDIQES JERSEY: "Do you have any idea how much that would cost me in security!

  99. It is all BS. Whether I want to have a ridiculous internationally certified exposition celebrating the many forms of energy available to humans today, or a giant ski-doo race to the rodeo to end all rodeos – who cares

    If there is 700 million dollars of our money to spare anywhere, then give us our money back!! We will decide how to celebrate 150 years of Canada.

    In the meantime, audit all MP expenses – an austerity measure that gains my approval – a symbolic statement by our austere forward-thinking leaders – a natural vote-getter for any party that would dare to be so self-disciplined. – oh, what happened to that eh?

    • We would love to have a huge celebration of Canada and our democracy in your city, but unfotunately the cost of F-35s patrolling the skies along with the massive implementation of SWAT teams and undercover inteligence units, to ensure you and your famiiles safety, is overwhelming – the birthday is cancelled .

      WE ADVISE YOU TO STAY INSIDE!!! KEEP PLENTY OF WATER AND CANS OF BEANS – AWAIT BULLETINS FROM YOUR TELEVISION BEFORE FIRING UP THE BBQ!