City Assets and Dirty Corporate Money

Toronto is doing the sponsorship dance currently, this time regarding the ice rinks.
Apparently, this is the world’s largest hockey market and yet our public rinks were scheduled to close last week, to save money. In steps Green for Life with a sponsorship offer, to keep a dozen or so open for a few extra weeks. Everyone wins right?

Not so fast. GFL has had to rescind their offer, as they are a current supplier to the city and there is some concern about a conflict of interest. So, Tim Horton’s has stepped up, which is great, but there are some concerns

First, if the city can’t afford to run ice rinks for more than 2 months, then they should find other ways to get them running. There is demand, they just refuse to meet it. Thus, why not let a private company step into the void? Because they are on public land? This is a classic example of where a PPP would work really well.

And who is opposed you ask? Well, some of the leftie Councillors say we shouldn’t take corporate money at all for Parks. That we should struggle along with pathetic civic services forever, while, you know, keeping ourselves free of dirty corporate dollars.

If GFL wants to step up with some cash to keep services running, set some practical guidelines and let them in. Hell, open it up for bids. Just like corporate subway stops, or buses or lots of other ideas, let’s rethink how we provide. If the city can’t do it on its own, then find a partner who sees the benefit and make the experience great.

Why is this so hard for Mike Layton to get his head around?

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