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In a vote that was really no surprise, The CBC reports that the City of Nanaimo’s ballot to approve an $80 million dollar borrowing for the building of a hockey arena was soundly defeated by a no vote of 80 per cent.

The proposed centre was going to be on a lot adjacent to the water that was also of historical significance for the local  First Nations. The First Nations were apparently not consulted on Nanaimo’s choice.

The thought by Council was that such an arena would attract a World Hockey League team and provide an incubator for the downtown businesses and for the waterfront. Surprisingly, some council members are still pushing for a 5,700 seat hockey arena that could expand to 7,100 seats for concerts, as the magic bullet to move Nanaimo forward.

You’d think that such a vote would be a suggestion Council look at downtown revitalization, creating a better walking and biking environment, and promoting Nanaimo as a hub of business and activity. But no-Councillor Jerry Hong says he was glad the vote was decisive, but that the project could be revisited.“I don’t think this is the end at all,” he said of Saturday night’s vote.”

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