PEI

Charlottetown council votes to dissolve board running Eastlink Centre

City council voted four to one last Thursday in a closed door session to give notice that it wants to dissolve Charlottetown Civic Centre Management Inc. The board is jointly run by the city and the province.

'No decision has been made on the future management of the facility'

The city owns the rink portion of the Eastlink Centre. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Charlottetown city council has voted to dissolve the board that runs the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.

Council voted four to one last Thursday in a closed door session to give notice that it wants to dissolve Charlottetown Civic Centre Management Inc. The board is jointly run by the city and the province.

The city owns the rink portion of the arena and the province owns the trade centre area.

Mayor Philip Brown says council heard about six weeks ago that the province was taking a look at its role and stake in the facility.

"I always felt it was their responsibility, that they should be initiating anything to dissolve that joint management agreement," he said.

Brown said he's not personally in favour of council's decision and he would have rather let the province take the lead in making changes.

"As mayor I do have to go with the wishes of council, but I do have my own opinion. I thought we should have just, slow down. Let's see where it's going to go before we rush into this," he said.

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown says he hopes the province will look at what it wants to do with the arena, 'so we can give a sense of security and comfort for the employees working out there at the Eastlink Centre.' (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Brown said the city is just starting to work out how it would run the rink after dissolving the management corporation.

"We are working on it, it's just what kind of reaction we're going to get from our other partners," Brown said.

The city currently contributes about $700,000 a year to operating costs and the province contributes about $200,000.

"The province, hopefully, I think they will take a look at it more seriously and see where they want to go with it so we can give a sense of security and comfort for the employees working out there at the Eastlink Centre," Brown said.

No decision on future management

The Eastlink Centre is home to Charlottetown's sports franchises, as well as Old Home Week, the Easter Beef Show, concerts and other events.

Five members of council were absent from the special meeting last week when the vote was taken.

CBC reached out to the board, but did not hear back.

However, an email was sent from the province to CBC confirming officials have received the letter on the city's decision to terminate the joint management agreement as of Aug. 15, 2020.

"No decision has been made on the future management of the facility," the email said.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Brian Higgins

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