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11-02-2012, 02:12 PM
Hamilton Tigers
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Markham’s NHL-size arena project losing support

Heath, a 15-year council veteran, follows councillors Jim Jones and Joe Li, the city’s biggest opponents of public funding for the project because of the possible risk to taxpayers. The two councillors, who are members of York Regional Council with Heath, have also criticized a lack of transparency in the approval process that has infuriated some taxpayers.

It now appears a majority of the 13-member council opposes the 20,000-seat arena in the city’s new downtown, in the Highway 407-Kennedy Rd. area, without significant change in the funding formula. That is in stark contrast to last April when council voted 11-2 for the financial framework.

Since then, opposition has slowly increased. More than 200 residents attended a public meeting recently where every speaker criticized the city’s financial involvement.

“Things have changed as people have become more informed,” said Councillor Don Hamilton, who also objects to the current plan. “There now appears to be a majority (of council) against it and there could be more. Some other councillors are still on the fence.”

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