The City is modifying the wording in its advertising on the proposed performing arts centre after a critic of the project said it is misleading the public.
Frank Dwyer has no intention of letting go of the matter, though. He is filing a complaint under the Canadian code of advertising standards on the ad that was published Tuesday in a local newspaper. Dwyer believes that the City is obligated to provide accurate information on the proposed PAC in order to ensure the public is properly informed prior to the Nov. 7 referendum on municipal borrowing.
“My complaint falls under the provision … regarding accuracy and clarity,” Dwyer noted in an email to David Trawin, chief administrative officer with the City. He indicated that he is lodging the formal complaint based on the City’s initial reaction to his specific concerns.
Trawin, told media on Tuesday that he would not be changing the advertisement based on Dwyer’s concerns.
However, Trawin indicated to Dwyer Wednesday that he has instructed the City’s communications department to revise the ad by adding the words “estimated at” before cost projections on the PAC project. He told Dwyer that he still believes the ad is accurate and the change is irrelevant, but that modifying the wording would at alleviate concerns.
Dwyer argues that the ad is misleading because it states that the annual operating cost of the facility would be $900,000 annually. No one can make those sort of projections with any accuracy, he said.
He also objects to the economic spinoff benefits cited in the ad, $11 million annually. The common experience with performing arts centre projects in the U.S. is that they underestimate costs and fail to realize economic benefits 90 percent of the time.