The City of Winnipeg has purchased a group membership with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for all 15 of its councillors, but at least one council member says the move caught him by surprise.
The city clerk's office bought the group membership for $724.50 so that councillors can buy tickets to Mayor Brian Bowman's state of the city luncheon, set for Friday, at nearly half the price.
But Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie says he won't attend Friday's luncheon and he doesn't think a group membership will save the city a significant amount of money.
"I don't want to be a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce," he said Wednesday.
"I meet with the Chamber of Commerce. I will attend meetings because I am for business. But I do not want to be a member, whether it's a group or individually, of an organization that is regressive to the City of Winnipeg."
But St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard says he will go to the luncheon, and he has no problem with the city paying for the group membership.
"In the case of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, I think we do want to be working with business for a better Winnipeg," Allard said.
Council Speaker Devi Sharma, who helped organize the group membership, says the deal will save the city money and she hadn't heard any complaints about it.
"None of my colleagues have mentioned anything to me here — just on a positive note, saying they were happy that we arranged such a membership," she said.
Sharma added that if councillors do have a problem with the membership, they should contact her.
The city councillors who will attend the luncheon will be joined by 31 senior city staff and managers. The tickets for staff and management will cost $2,433.50 plus GST, according to the city.
An earlier version of the story reported the city clerk's office bought the group membership for just under $1,200. The amount is in fact, $724.50.Mar 19, 2015 6:51 AM CT