Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Halifax Commonwealth Games Bid Cancellation

Mike McGuire at "Dispatches from the Socialist Gulag" writes that the cancellation of Halifax's 2014 Commonwealth games bid is a victory for the culture of defeat. To the contrary, I submit that it is a victory for the taxpayer and a step in the right direction of cutting government expenditures.

The cost is simply too much for a province of 1 million to bear. Since the last estimate, it went up by about $1 billion dollars. It is almost definite that if Halifax won the bid and construction started, costs would have gone up even more. Maybe if the pro-games people had offered to foot the bill for the overruns I'd think differently.

Moreover, I think the idea that having the Commonwealth Games would boost Halifax's global status is a pipe dream. How many people actually remember where the games were held in say, 1990? And we can go back to the G7 Summit in 1995 too. International eyes were on Halifax for a few days... and now what?

I want a premier with great ambitions too, but I want a premier who understands that he's spending taxpayer money. Revitalizing Nova Scotia won't come as a result of government spending. In fact, the cancellation of this bid is a step in stemming profligate spending (now they just have to stop it on the steel mills/mines in Cape Breton... and all the regional economic development pork fests).

Governments can't build world class cities or provinces. That's exactly what they've been trying to do in this socialist gulag for far too long. The culture of defeat, if it exists, comes from government. Get it off our backs and we have a chance.