May 29, 2015


Stadium blues

Mayor Sam Katz was right when he said poor planning caused construction mistakes and cost overruns at Investors Group Field. Unfortunately, he did not appear to have any ideas on what should be done about it, or who was responsible.

Leave it to the courts? A public inquiry? Full disclosure? Forgive and forget because these things happen?

Even Ron Lemieux, minister for sport and consumer protection, admitted to being dumbfounded about some of the oversights, but he, too, had no insight about who should be held accountable or what should be done next.

Mr. Lemieux is satisfied with the fact Winnipeg has "the finest new football stadium in Canada."

A good first step would be for the partners -- the province, city, U of M and Blue Bombers -- to offer a more detailed accounting than has been provided so far. That might not be easy, since each of them seems to have a different version of events, but the effort should be made.

The critical issue is not merely the roughly $20-million cost overrun so far, but the seemingly chronic inability of public bodies to do anything right. They can't even negotiate a guaranteed maximum price.

It's said a camel is a horse designed by a committee, but what would that camel have looked like if it was designed by a committee of governments?

One shudders at the thought.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 14, 2014 A8

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