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Answers from the Municipality de Blanc-Sablon

LOCAL NEWS – AUGUST 17, 2022: BLANC-SABLON, QC. - The Municipality of Blanc-Sablon answers questions on the recent situation that unfolded with the local arena administration and committee

CFBS was made aware of an issue that had taken place between the two organizations following a social media post made by the Comité Des Loisirs Blanc-Sablon stating that the administrative board of the Corporation Développement Économique Est-Ouest as well as the Arena management had collectively taken the difficult decision to step away from their duties. The organization stated that the constant feeling of having to prove to the municipality that their board can be trusted regarding the operations of the arena had been overwhelming.

In light of this, CFBS reached out to the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon to ask questions regarding this situation, which were answered by the council members of the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon in an email:

1. Can you explain the situation that is currently happening between the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon and the Comite des loisirs Blanc-Sablon?

The municipality met with the management of the Corporation de Development Économique Est Ouest to discuss and go over the details of their yearly subsidy. As per usual, the council requested to have financial reports completed within the time limit. Considering the municipality is dealing with taxpayers’ money we want to remain transparent. We recognize the importance and need of such an establishment and want to work together in the best of both parties. When the meeting was over, it was agreed by both parties involved that we would have a second meeting with more members of their board and our missing councilors as well. It was supposed to happen in early September. They told us that they had financial difficulties. To support them, we consulted other municipalities that had an arena and no financial problems. We were able to identify ways to facilitate their management.

2. In the meeting mentioned, was the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon questioning the running and management of the arena?

The municipality has not questioned the need or importance of such a facility. Given that the municipality gives such a large subvention to the arena every year, we simply asked the management to provide the council with a financial report every 3 months stating where these funds are being disbursed, and the annual financial statements documents are required by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MAMH) that we are obligated to adopt before May 31 st to be able to be conform with the Commission Municipale du Québec. Since both parties are suppose to be working together, we did ask to have a follow up meeting to see if and what was needed.

3. Can you explain the process of granting subventions to organizations like the Comite des Loisirs Blanc-Sablon, and what is the amount granted per year?

The municipality contributes a grant of $60,000 to the Corporation de Development Économique Est Ouest. When given a large subsidy like this amount there are conditions and procedures that need to be followed. The management would have to complete quarterly reports to the municipality and the annual financial statements within the deadlines giving by the MAMH.

The Comité Des Loisirs Blanc-Sablon also stated on their social media post that they will be inviting the population to their AGA, and to answer any questions that the public may have regarding their decision. The date and time will be announced within the next few weeks.

Abbygail Wellman

CFBS Journalist

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