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At the council's Committee of the Whole meeting this afternoon, the presentation by the consultant on the Tourism Asset Study was received by council with reservations.  T.J. Flynn of the Downtown Coalition  introduced the presentation with the comment that "economics is but one part of the discussion" - like others who commented, he saw the report as just the start of public discussion.

It was made clear that the study was part of the Downtown Vitalization project and its goal was to generate business for downtown - that is, it was driven by economics.

Gil Brocanier emphasized that this is a process or concept and not a plan. He suggested that all relevant advisory committee members be given a hard copy of the report.  He was supported in this by Theresa Rickerby and Brian Darling.

Debra McCarthy resisted this (but was voted down) because she did not want anyone to focus on just this option.  For example, other options would be the status quo or conversion of the trailer park to straight parkland - an extension of Victoria Park.  Besides, the document is now public (copy here). The powerpoint presentation is also public - download in pdf format here.

John Henderson was concerned that the report did not consider planning or financial issues.  The consultant said that those issues would have been outside her scope.  As an example of a planning issue, he was concerned that the Trailer Park might be inside the 50 year flood plain area.

Theresa Rickerby echoed Gil and Debra that the report presented just one option.  Larry Sherwin had no comment on the subject and Forrest Rowden was not at the meeting.

All agreed that nothing could be really even discussed properly until other reports had been completed - notably the Heritage Master plan that is scheduled for completion in the Spring of 2016.

So this idea has been effectively shelved until Spring 2016 and according to the Mayor, it will be up to Debra to bring it back to Council "when appropriate".

Meanwhile it's clear that the councillors see this as a hot potato.



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