Updated: Mar 30
LOCAL NEWS – September 28, 2022
CFBS was speaking today with Carla Fequet, President of the board of the Corporation de Développement Économique Est-Ouest board, regarding the meeting that had taken place on September 26th with the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon about the current situation regarding funding, administration, and the logistics of operating the local arena in Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon. Many community members attended as it was open to the public, but at the closing of the meeting there was still no solution yet made by both parties, but an agreement made to hold another meeting to take place at a future date.
Board President, Carla Fequet, has mentioned 3 points that their organization hopes in going forward that the Municipality would reconsider to solve the issue:
1. Seeing as we are forced to do a yearly audit costing us well over 7 thousand dollars, then we would like for them to replace quarterly reports with quarterly meetings between the arena board and the council.
2. Keep in place certain donations such as high school SEC V bursary from the Arena. We consider this a very small investment and token of appreciation to our youth that is important for our board. Therefore, we would like that to be accepted in their no donation clause.
3. Seeing as our expenses keep increasing with the cost of living, that they try to apply for funding as a municipality to not only benefit the arena, but the leisure and social activities as well.
The overall outcome we want, Carla says, is a better working relationship with the council. “We would appreciate some trust and less criticism. More public meetings, etc. It is crucial that we keep the building open and have it made more accessible for all generations” she noted.
I asked Carla if she could explain the issue around giving donations, she said: “We receive donations, but the Corporation itself, gives a bursary to a SEC V graduating student. It's been done ever since the arena opened. They (Municipality) asked for that to stop. So we understand it's something incredibly small, but we feel like that shows appreciation to our youth.”
She also wanted to add; “In 2021 we had twelve employees work for our center. Considering how small our community is, that is a lot of people with jobs that invest back into their municipality. If we keep getting less funding, more expense, its going to have an impact on more that just the arena. We were disappointed that the full council did not show up for the meeting, as we were expecting. Therefore, no decision could be made. Which was a little bit disappointing. But I still think we managed to get some points across from both sides. We had a good public turn out too and we want to thank the people for being there. On another note, as of today we are looking for a new arena manager, and there is a seat available on our board, as someone on the board resigned yesterday” she said.
Information for the job posting can be found here, you can follow the Facebook page of the Comité Des Loisirs Blanc-Sablon for more information.
CFBS also reached out to the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon for comment, more info to come...