Council cuts 2017 donation for Treaty 8 tournament

Chris Clegg
South Peace News
High Prairie town council’s support for the Treaty 8 First Nations Cup was slashed in half this year by council.

However, the $1,000 donation made was $1,000 more than they gave two years ago, but $1,000 less than last year.

Council debated the matter at their March 28 meeting after receiving a request for a $2,000 donation.

The reason for cutting funding was simple.

“Youth sports are non-profit,” said Councillor Arlen Quartly. “”It’s [Treaty 8] adults. It’s for profit.”

Mayor Linda Cox was not at the meeting and questioned through Councillor Brian Gilroy if everyone was being treated fairly by the High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board. Specifically, she asked whether the rec board was granting a break on ice rental. Councillor Debbie Rose replied the rec board’s policy is to give free ice for youth events.

“She would know the answer to that,” said Rose.

Quartly agreed.

“Our policy says we help out youth sports.”

However, in this case the rec board did grant Treaty 8 organizers a 10 per cent discount because they moved the date of their tournament to accommodate the Alberta Midget Female Provincials held March 23-26.

“Normally we wouldn’t. They’re not youth,” said Quartly at council’s March 14 meeting.

Gilroy added Cox also asked council to consider the economic benefit to the town.

“We’ve tried to support Treaty 8 as much as we can,” said Rose, adding organizers should approach town businesses. She cited restaurants and stores benefit most, and should be supporting the event.

Councillor Brian Panasiuk agreed, saying at the March 14 meeting that if local businesses do not support the tournament, “Maybe we shouldn’t.”

Treaty 8 organizer’s request was refused at the March 14 meeting because the request was not filled properly. Council’s policy stated a budget must be presented for council to consider any request.

Cox argued the tournament is good for the town.

“We want this tournament here,” she said, citing restaurants are full and hotels and stores are busy. “It’s three full days.”

The tournament ran March 31 to April 2.

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