CLE ignores motion to close board members' bar

The issue of having an open bar available to board members came up again at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition’s annual meeting Wednesday night in Thunder Bay.

The issue of having an open bar available to board members came up again at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition’s annual meeting Wednesday night in Thunder Bay.

Over the past several months, the CLE has been embroiled in controversy after a former director, Linda Gambee, expressed concerns about board members having free access to a bar located in the boardroom.

Former CLE board member Linda Gambee tried to table a motion to shut down the bar, but it was unsuccessful. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Gambee was removed from the board in September. Officials said the reason for her dismissal was unrelated to the bar issue. 

Gambee attended Wednesday night's meeting, which wound up being a tense affair. 

"I move that the bar ... and all of its stock, be closed,” she said.

Her motion wasn't heard, so for the time being, the bar isn't going anywhere.

The bar that's available to CLE board members. A reflective mirror has been blurred out to protect the identity of the person who took the picture. (Supplied)

City councillor Ken Boshcoff, who sits on the board, said he thought it was unlikely the bar would be shut down.

"I think that the board will come back with a report showing that the city understands there's no liability questions,” he said.

“So now we're just dealing with hearsay and accusations that are unfounded."

Boshcoff's comments come months after he said he'd be willing to consider shutting down the bar because of the negative "public perception" of the situation.

After the meeting, Gambee said she wasn't surprised.

"It's always been for me about the bar. It's a liability issue. It's a social issue. It's a responsibility issue,” she said.

“As you would have seen tonight, we were shut down right from the beginning."

Coun. Ken Boshcoff says he expects the issue of the bar will be resolved "soon." (Adam Burns/CBC)

Boshcoff said he wants to assure people the bar is being handled responsibly.

"I wouldn't know how to say that specifically, except, have there been any issues raised? Any items of specifics? No there haven't."

About 100 people attended Wednesday's meeting, including 56 voting members. The CLE board members conducted other business at the meeting, including choosing a new president, Danny Mosa, who replaces Reta Stoger


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