Halifax pays bill in concert scandal
Halifax regional council has agreed to pay the outstanding bill from the city's concert scandal.
After a long debate Tuesday, council voted to pay what's left of the $360,000 it lost after a promoter got a cash advance for two concerts in 2010 that didn't go as planned.
Council didn't know about the money, which was funnelled through Trade Centre Ltd. and Ticket Atlantic. The loss was on their books and they wanted the money back.
Concert promoter Harold MacKay repaid about $38,000 last year, leaving an outstanding bill of $322,000.
Municipal staff looked for ways to cut that further. They asked Trade Centre Ltd. to share the financial burden, but TCL wasn't interested.
Now, the money will come from the municipality's fiscal services department.
Coun. Steve Streatch is bitter that the costs will not be shared.
"Let's remember this is a small community and we all have to work together, not just today but tomorrow," he said.
Previous discussions about the concert scandal were held in private. In this case, council ignored the advice of HRM's solicitor and refused to talk behind closed doors.
"Some councillors may think it was two hours wasted, it wasn't for me," said Coun. Debbie Hum.
"I think it cleared the air. This has been a burden on many of us thinking over the last months, 'what could we have done different?'"
Mayor Peter Kelly and councillors Dawn Sloane and Jerry Blumenthal, who sit on the Trade Centre board, did not take part in the debate because of a possible conflict of interest.
Kelly was involved in the decision to give MacKay the advance based on ticket sales.