24 Apr 2015 @ 2:34 PM 

So, once again, more loud whining about the Argos. The owner of the
Argos is an old, rich man. You don’t get old and rich if you’re
stupid. Mr. David Braley is hopefully talking up the possibility of a
solution to an issue that is entirely of his own making.
The Argos “play” in a “stadium” called the Rogers Centre. To those of
us who actually paid for the thing, it is Skydome. When I say paid, I
mean $600 million 1980s dollars of taxpayer money went into it. It was
expensive and awesome in 1989. It was awesome until about 1994. It
started getting handed down for pennies on the dollar to various local
corporate interests (remember “Sportsco”?), until Rogers
Communications got it in 2004 for $25 millon. Rogers was desperate to
not have the Argos leave the dome, which they were going to do, to the
new stadium being built (that would be BMO Field, although the
location had not been determined), and so they offered them free rent.
This deal was renewed under Braley.
So the notion that something needs to be “solved” it a bit more
complex than we are being led to believe here. Rogers now realizes
that extending free to the Argos was a mistake. Their actual content
producer Blue Jay baseball team, that fills the stadium and their TV
properties, wants the Argos out so they can put in a real grass field.
Very interesting. For the very reason that Rogers wants the Argos out,
we hear the reason TFC fans do not want the Argos in, at BMO Field.
Grass field is incompatible with Canadian Football.
TFC fans, and the people of Toronto, should be very wary of what is
going on. Rogers wants something. They can promote any point of view
they want, and freeze out dissent completely on their media
properties. Braley wants something that is basically consistent with
what Rogers wants. The large media companies in Toronto get what they
want. Rogers got a friendly write-up about the Argo situation on the CBC
website as well as the Star today. They get this because they pay
the Star and the CBC millions of dollars a year in advertising buys.
You will not hear any mainstream opposition to the Argo move to BMO
for this reason.
Essentially, no one wants the Argos in their facility, which should be
a giant red flag for everyone involved. It will be very interesting to
see Rogers and MLSE trying to deal with this. As TFC’s owners, MLSE
have little to gain and will assume much risk if they take them in. I
was left shaking my head when the Argos did not come to the soccer
stadium when they had the chance. They had their chance, and instead
took the free rent at the Dome. That is where they should stay. Rogers
offered it, and only a fool would help either of them out of their
stupidity.

Posted By: caunter
Last Edit: 30 Mar 2017 @ 09:12 PM

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 24 Apr 2015 @ 2:13 PM 

So, there’s an article on the Toronto Sun website. I won’t make it a link, but here’s the url – http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/24/live-leiweke-updates-bmo-field-argos-talks

Understandably, they won’t publish my comment, which appears below. Spam and pointless bickering is fine, apparently. Sigh.

Here is my take.

Rogers Communications and the Jays situation in the dome is driving the debate about BMO Field. It has nothing to do with the Argos or TFC. The CFL at the dome is simply a problem for Rogers.

This is being discussed because CFL is incompatible with grass in the Dome, just like it is incompatible with grass at BMO. Any serious observer can understand this. The Dome was built to accomodate both the Jays and the Argos. That is why the sections move. The Argos declined to go to BMO field, because Rogers didn’t want them to leave the Dome, and offered to let them stay for free years ago. Now, they desperately want to put a natural grass field in the Dome to improve things for the Jays. Rogers owns the Jays and the Dome. The Argos are in the way for all of their plans for these major assets. Rogers is just trying to make this someone else’s problem, and it’s really amazing to me that they are getting a free ride here. The media seems happy to make this TFC versus Argos. It’s not. This is Rogers not wanting to deal with a problem they created. They won’t pay to relocate the Argos. They won’t do anything for the owner of the Argos (I wouldn’t either, but that’s another side of this). 

QMI won’t say anything because they are afraid Rogers will pull its advertising. Same with every other news outlet. So, the story becomes, the poor Argos, why won’t anyone help them? News to everyone: Rogers can afford to deal with this. Make them pay for a stadium for the Jays, or for the Argos, or both. This should never be allowed to be a problem for the people of Toronto, and it’s a real shame it’s being put in a TFC versus Argos context. It’s Rogers versus the people of Toronto. 

Posted By: caunter
Last Edit: 24 Apr 2015 @ 02:23 PM

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 15 Dec 2011 @ 10:48 PM 

Rogers and Bell have “bought” MLSE, the huge entertainment corporation that owns the Leafs, TFC, and other such stuff. They have done so together so that neither one gets the whole thing. I’ve been watching access to sport disappear on regular, OTA TV for many years, and this is a big deal. You will not see the Leafs for “free” anymore. No more CBC games. Same thing happened when Rogers bought the Jays. All games went to pay sports channels. I don’t care about basketball that much, but it will be the same.
Which brings me to the larger point. If these companies came by the means to buy this property, and use it to reduce access to local teams, for more profit, through good old fashioned competitive excellence, that would be one thing. But the actual situation is that the only thing that Rogers and Bell are good at is lobbying the government for the right to continue holding exclusive monopoly control over telecom, and the enormous cash flows they can pull out of the pockets of everyone in this country. Access to internet, phone and television should be a basic right, and it should be protected from this kind of rampant avarice. Avarice, I remind you, that is supported by massive and continuous transfers to all media companies in the form of advertising. Bluntly, this advertising chills the critical climate. Fortunately, you lucky readers don’t have to worry about this here. But imagine someone questioning the telecom monopolies at a newspaper or tv news show. Imagine an MP with a private member’s bill, proposing nationalization of some of this essential infrastructure, to save Canadians from being robbed continuously, while the same government permits this robbery. That MP would not get campaign contributions or Christmas cards from Rogers or Bell, would they? It’s an obvious solution, that cannot be discussed. Nationalize the Canadian telecommunications infrastructure. There is no reason for it to be in the hands of two out of control corporations, who exist solely to keep lobbying for their continued existence. The government has the power, and all of us would be better off for the judicious exercise of that power.
Basically, the Canadian regulatory framework has enabled the Leafs to be bought, by the very companies that control access to TV and that own most of the TV stations, so that they can eliminate any chance of not monetizing any aspect of the existence of the sport of hockey. If we are going to support that, we the people should own this infrastructure. It should be used for the benefit of the people.

Posted By: caunter
Last Edit: 15 Dec 2011 @ 10:48 PM

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 07 Jun 2010 @ 8:29 PM 

Original published 1988 summit notes from the last “Economic Summit” that closed Toronto. Wonder if anything sounds familiar…
I’ll transcribe it shortly into text; the Apple OCR can’t parse the 23 year old typesetting on this pdf scan that York put up a couple of years ago. Page 4 is the text if you feel like downloading the pdf. Oddly enough, Tony and Carol Lee are still Republican writers.

Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 07 Jun 2010 @ 08:32 PM

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 07 Jun 2010 @ 8:07 PM 

Not liking the double tweet thing…
so I have disabled posting to PBJ laconica through the WP laconica plug in; I had it set to post to pbj, which then reposted to twitter…
Still like the twitter feed on the blog front page, though not as much as the “where am i” google latitude thingy…

Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 07 Jun 2010 @ 08:08 PM

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