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OPINION: 'Situation unacceptable'

Canadian artist Burton Cummings is shown performing at Confederation Landing Park in Charlottetown in this file photo.
Canadian artist Burton Cummings is shown performing at Confederation Landing Park in Charlottetown in this file photo. - SaltWire Network

Taxpayers entitled to ask questions, receive answers in timely fashion on matters of concern



In answer to the recent article in The Guardian on, ‘Missed meeting with residents.’

On Thursday, April 5, the Charlottetown Downtown Residents’ Association (CDRA) held an information session as we do regularly for the residents for our downtown neighbourhood on various topics of concern to taxpayers.

This information session was to discuss originally with the city events co-ordinator all the summer events taking place in the downtown core. However, CDRA had to modify somewhat its agenda due to a decision by Charlottetown City Council to give the green light to concert promoter Mark Fisher to use Confederation Landing instead of the Event Grounds managed by CADC next to Holland College campus.

City council issued a guideline in September 2015 on large concert events. It has been noted that a discretionary clause allows council on very special and unique instances to permit use of Confederation Landing instead of the Event Grounds which is the dedicated venue for large concerts. The mayor now says the city has no information on what is being proposed by the promoter.

It must be stated again clearly that CDRA, as a neighbourhood organization, is the voice of the residents and our mandate is to seek answers and information from the city. CDRA is not against events, festivals or concerts in the downtown core. We support and have participated in past initiatives by many organizations to bring activities to the downtown core during the whole year. CDRA sees such events as positive enhancement to economic activities.

To be clear, the information session of April 5 was well publicized on social media and several conservations were held with the councillors concerned. One councillor declined, and one accepted our invitation. The date of the meeting was known three weeks in advance, City staff were invited and so was the promoter.

CDRA thanks the deputy chief of police who was on hand to answer questions, as always, on security arrangements.

At the meeting, residents judged the situation unacceptable and inappropriate. Taxpayers are entitled to ask questions and receive answers in a timely fashion on matters of concerns to them and on activities which affect them directly.

CDRA is exploring the possibility of another meeting with the city as requested by residents.

- David C. Brown, president of CDRA and executive board

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