this blog entry has been updated
Ted McMeekin, the Liberal MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Waterdown, just confirmed provincial support for the City of Hamilton's choice of a Pan Am stadium location.
In an email to RTH, McMeekin wrote, "The Province is committed to a Pan Am stadium for Hamilton and will support whatever decision the City Council, in its infinite wisdom, finally makes."
However, McMeekin reiterated, "a solid business plan needs to be developed that emphasizes a growth in tax base and not a growth in tax burden."
He noted that in his personal view, "the 'legacy' is the stadium itself," adding, "any stadium should be built with the entire community in mind and not any particular stakeholder in the community."
This is the strongest signal so far from the Province that the City is not simply a hostage to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in terms of meeting the Pan Am Hostco requirement of a "legacy use" for the stadium.
Ticats' preferred East Mountain stadium site
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats argue that Hostco will not fund a Pan Am stadium in Hamilton without having the Ticats as a confirmed legacy tenant.
The Ticats, who prefer an East Mountain site near the Red Hill Valley Parkway, have declared that they will not play at a West Harbour stadium, prompting team owner Bob Young to argue that Council's choice is not between the East Mountain and the West Harbour but a choice between the East Mountain and no stadium.
McMeekin weakened this argument by noting, "surely any other municipality wanting the Pan Am stadium site (in place of Hamilton) would have to jump through the same 'legacy' hoops as some seem to assume are in place" for Hamilton.
McMeekin's statement comes just after the Future Fund Board of Governors voted against spending the Fund money on an East Mountain stadium that would not meet the Fund's goals.
Update: this story has been picked up by CHML 900 AM.