Hopefully Mayor and Council will see the long term benefits of approving the proposed convention centre at this week’s council meeting.
It’s time to get this development moving.
We’ve gone to the meetings, we’ve seen the plans, read the reports, and heard the economic forecasts — and they all point to long term benefits for our city and province.
The convention centre is a progressive step towards enhancing Halifax’s ability to compete with other cities for these important events, growing our economy, securing sustainable jobs and our competitive position as the Atlantic hub city, and welcoming the world.
Leadership is being able to make difficult decisions with imperfect information.
Even after all the studies done to prove the viability of this opportunity, there can never be absolute certainty of success. However, what the comparisons or concerns over the broader convention market doesn’t take into account is, that Halifax is a better destination.
While Halifax is aiming for conventions and events larger than we have now, we are still in a niche market, which removes us from the mega-convention industry that is causing so much concern. Comparison cities like Las Vegas, New York and Chicago, where conventions and conferences draw tens of thousands of attendees, In Halifax’s small to mid-sized market, conventions and conferences would be running concurrently with attendance in the 1,000 – 2,000 person range.
Halifax has carved out its niche for conventions and conferences, and the new convention centre will only add to the appeal. A draw for small to medium-sized conference, Halifax offers a friendly, efficient, safe community, add to the mix world-class convention and meeting spaces and how can we loose?
Haligonians are sick and tired of losing out on great opportunities because we can’t get 100% agreement. Investing in our urban core is long overdue. We don’t have any more time to waste if we are going to turn our downtown core in a showcase of sustainable urbanism in the foreseeable future.
Let’s face it. The debate around this convention centre isn’t about its appearance or the economic viability. It is about the height of the buildings attached to it. Those making this argument couldn’t win on the basis of view planes, as the proposal fits within the much consulted and approved HRMbyDesign. They have now moved on to the economic integrity of the project.