Citizens of Nanaimo not enticed by the false prestige of a WHL. Nanaimo citizens spoke volumes.
The citizens of Nanaimo spoke volumes yesterday after a referendum vote that seen almost 85% decline the preposed $100 Million new arena/ event centre project that would’ve, according to Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, seen either an existing franchise or a new franchise awarded to the City of Nanaimo.
The citizens of Nanaimo were able to negotiate through all of the rhetoric that city councillors and the WHL commissioner, Ron Robison, tried to entice them with the false luxury of a new franchise.
One could only wonder how much damage was done with Ron Robison’s public statement, saying that he guaranteed that a new or existing WHL franchise would be playing in Nanaimo starting in 2017.
This statement is contrary to Robison’s sworn affidavit where he swore under oath, that the majority of the WHL franchises would fold if they lost the certification hearing for the $187 million class action lawsuit filed against the WHL by it’s own players for violating the minimum wage standard acts.
Mr Robison’s statements thankfully did not persuade the general public and saddle the citizens of Nanaimo with an enormous debt for a franchise that was never going to come when the certification hearing is won by the players.
It appears on the surface that the WHL and it’s owners were able to circumvent labour laws in BC with politicians at the Provincial level. One could only assume that the campaign contributions made by team owners to the BC Liberal Party had some major influence on that decision to amend labour laws for the WHL.
Even the politicians in Nanaimo, with the exception of the Mayor, were blinded by the thought of a WHL franchise in their city.
Thankfully the citizens of Nanaimo went out in droves to vote and common sense prevailed. No arena.
One would think now, that after the one-sided victory for the NO vote, it should be only a matter of time before the axe falls on those City Councillors that were blinded by the false prestige of having a WHL franchise in their city.
One would also think that the residence of Nanaimo would act swiftly in the next general election. Or at the very least, the City Councillors who fought so hard for something that was clear their citizens did not want, should step down from their positions of power. But then again, this is politics at the highest level.
The carnage that was left behind by Ron Robison’s statements, contradicting his sworn affidavit, will not only be felt at the city of Nanaimo, but also at the provincial level, all the way up to the Premier’s office, for the Premier’s and Minister of labour’s failure to properly require/ demand proper financial statements from the WHL’s for-profit businesses which operate in the province of British Columbia.
As we expressed before. It’s never too late to right a wrong. The residence of Nanaimo had the fortitude to say NO. Congratulations to them.
Now the Premier’s office must surely regret being lead down a path that provided absolutely no benefit to any players, fans or tax payers of the citizens of British Columbia.
The only people seeking to benefit from this were the team owners. If Nanaimo’s City Councillors should be asked to step down, then the Premier of BC should absolutely be thrown out of office.
For those City Councillors who voted in favour of this arena and went ahead wasting over $1,000,000 of tax payers money trying to get this outrageous plan off the ground, you should all step down immediately and save yourselves the embarrassment of the inevitable.
Tonight, the citizens of Nanaimo proved that they are the smartest people in the room.
Good job Nanaimo.