AC/DC concert: Secrecy shrouds Moncton's financial commitment
Halifax Examiner's Tim Bousquet says many questions surround public funds for Moncton's AC/DC concert
Moncton’s refusal to disclose financial details surrounding the upcoming AC/DC concert is raising questions from a Halifax-based investigative reporter.
Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc confirmed on Wednesday that AC/DC would be returning to Moncton for an outdoor show on Sept. 5 and that city taxpayers were chipping in to pay for the Australian rockers’ concert.
Just how much Moncton residents are on the hook for is still a mystery, however.
Tim Bousquet, the editor of the Halifax Examiner, has been investigating the financial side of concerts in the Maritimes for years.
Bousquet said he is skeptical about Moncton's AC/DC concert and said there are many unanswered questions about this deal with the city and the concert promoter.
"What is this costing us? Give us the exact dollar amount. Tell us what the potential liabilities here are in terms of loans and all the rest. Have that information on paper on the record before you agree to these things,” he said.
LeBlanc wouldn’t give an exact dollar figure of the city’s financial contribution, citing "confidential commercial information."
"We will certainly make as much information as we can that is possible to make public. Something that may be competitively sensitive — we'll comply with whatever the requirements of the right to information act are,” he said.
The provincial government has not put any cash into the latest concert at the Magnetic Hill concert.
The city has blocked past attempts from the media to get information about how much Moncton put into the outdoor concerts.
In December 2012, Jacques Dubé, the city manager, said that disclosing how much bands or promoters were paid would put Moncton out of the concert business.
In 2011, Coun. Daniel Bourgeois said taxpayers have lost money on some of Moncton's previous outdoor concerts.