Premier Greg Selinger defends $35M loan guarantee to fix Investors Group Field
NDP Premier says stadium safe in the short term, needs repairs to last long term
Selinger was on the defensive after his NDP government quietly gave the consortium that runs the stadium a loan guarantee to fix leaks and cracks that have plagued the building since shortly after it opened in 2013.
"We've been assured that the stadium is a safe facility for all uses, including the Grey Cup," said Selinger. "The repairs that are being made are to ensure that [we] can have the full use of this facility for many decades to come."
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Selinger said Manitoba taxpayers will not be on the hook for the million of dollars in repairs, explaining that when the court fight between the consortium that runs the stadium, Triple B Stadium Inc., and construction company Stuart Olson is resolved, insurance will cover most of it.
Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said he doesn't believe Selinger's claim taxpayers won't be on the hook for the ever-increasing costs of the stadium.
"I feel the way I've increasingly felt I suppose over the last number of months. You can rush a quarterback but you can't rush a construction project. There seems to be growing evidence that the government did push this forward," Pallister said.
"The cost of rushing a stadium project seems to be growing each passing day and now we see this additional loan guarantee as being made necessary as a consequence of a number of alterations that have to be made to the project. It's a sad situation."