Brampton City Council has decided by an 8-2 vote to give $1,500,000 of taxpayer dollars to prop-up the Brampton Beast for the next 3 years. The Beast, a privately owned and run group led by Gregg Rosen, owner of Kimco Steel in Kingston and minority owner Cary Kaplan, both pleaded their case to “help the team make a run at growing pro hockey in Brampton”, and asked council for an infusion of taxpayer cash. Mr. Rosen stated that “he isn’t willing” to continue to lose millions of dollars. Eight Councillors (Gibson, Moore, Whillans, Palleschi, Bowman, Fortini, Miles, Sprovieri) on the other hand have no qualms about giving away taxpayer dollars to private business people.
Why is the City of Brampton using taxpayer money to fund a private business, especially without any guaranty or collateral. Strangely, a clause that would have Mr. Rosen match the infusion of cash that the city was willing to give to the Beast was withdrawn. And what do the taxpayers of this city get for this handout? A big fat ZERO – No free tickets – No guarantee – No security – NOTHING.
Meanwhile, Brampton community groups have had their funding curtailed or totally withdrawn and organizations like Carabram continue to face an inquisition like justification for funding. Our city tax bill has gone up by 11% over the past 2 years in part to address crumbling infrastructure, yet we have money to throw at a private business. Brampton City Council doesn’t appear to understand fiscal restraint or responsibility to the taxpayers of this city. Council loves to throw money in the wind at every opportunity and continues to make terrible fiscal decisions.
The two dissenting votes were Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon. The Councillors that voted for the handout should put their own money into the venture if they believe it to be a good investment and leave the taxpayers money out of it.