The decision for Iqaluit ratepayers in their upcoming referendum on whether or not to proceed with a $40M aquatic centre now seems to be a referendum on how to pay for it.
That is unfortunate. I wonder how the next council could consider themselves to have a mandate to proceed with the centre if ratepayers decide to not borrow specifically for it.
I do like that there is a “here is what it costs, this is what it will mean in terms of tax increases for these number of years” type of discussion on the cost of borrowing for it (though there is some local questioning of those numbers) but from the reporting on this issue, that discussion doesn’t include the costs of leasing to own the new facility — which are only stated to be higher than borrowing costs.
There are other issues coming forward in the comments on whether to go for it, which can be summed as a question of confidence in the capacity of the city to run the facility properly once it’s built, what else needs to be solved in the city and a skepticism of whether what is proposed now is necessary for that community.