Why do we need a new trade and convention centre?

To the editor,

Up until now, the World Trade Convention Centre was owned and operated by the province. But HRM will be directly involved in the new one. Why? With all the work we need done on the sewers, roads and the sewage treatment plant, why are they getting involved in this venture?

I read it was a public-private partnership, involving all three levels of government and the private sector. Listed were the one-time limited donations from Ottawa and Nova Scotia, but nothing about a limited donation from HRM and nothing about how much private business will donate. Who will supply the main chequebook that will guarantee all costs not covered by the other partners? Who will cover cost overruns? Who will operate it and take any profits? Who will underwrite the deficits annually?

Why do we need a new convention centre, anyway? The one we have requires annual inputs of cash. Why do we need a bigger one with bigger operating costs and new, greater debts? How do we tell mayor Peter Kelly and his council (so that they will listen) that people have enough economic problems without them squandering hundreds of millions of dollars on something like this.

---Bruce DeVenne, Lower Sackville

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