Next time you gaze upon your lofty Rogers’ cellphone bill, try to placate your anger in the knowledge that Rogers Communications apparently needs a lot of dough-ray-me for a new ballpark for their baseball team.
There are hints that Rogers might actually be coming cap-in-hand to the taxpayers for yet further stadium subsidization. And looky here: the guy sitting in the Mayor’s chair down at City Hall just happens to be the same guy who is still very well-connected with – you guessed it — Rogers.
Indeed, Toronto Mayor John Tory recently said:
“There’s now a decision to be made when it comes to the owners, of whether to reinvest in the building or build something new. I think you’re going to see some action on it, because [Rogers Communications] have a decision to make.” (...)
“I think the people at Rogers are aware of the fact that the notion that you’re going to get a lot of big cheques or any cheques written by government for the stadium is not likely to happen. Therefore, they’re going to need to come up with a way to pay for it.”
Ominous detail #1: Tory says taxpayer funding is “not likely to happen.” He doesn’t say it will NOT happen.
Ominous detail #2: As The Star notes, Tory is a former Rogers executive with close ties to the Rogers family, and is STILL involved in the business of the Rogers group of companies. Given the reach of Rogers’ tentacles in the city of Toronto, this surely makes for a conflict of interest, no?
And yet, John Tory remains a trustee on the advisory committee of the Rogers Control Trust, which is largely comprised of Rogers family members.
And if anyone accuses me of fear-mongering, I’ll retract everything if His Honour stages a press conference and says there’s absolutely 100% no way that Rogers is getting a dime from the taxpayers for a new ballpark. And while he’s at, Tory MUST announce his resignation from the Rogers Trust.
But will he do those two things? I think that’s about as likely as the Blue Jays winning the World Series this year.