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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.