Ward 2 councillor Susan Myers addressed council Monday night with the “real” story concerning Tall Ships visiting the Sault for the country’s 150th birthday celebrations.
Myers drew attention to an online news source she claims got the story wrong.
At Monday night’s council meeting Myers made comment for clarification.
A recent media headline read “City scuttles tall ships visit”. That is not the case.
No report has been presented to City Council requesting a Tall Ship visit to Sault Ste. Marie in 2017. That is because a variety of options for a Tall Ship visit are still being reviewed. It is not accurate to state the City has scuttled a Tall Ship visit. A City hosted Tall Ship visit would be a decision of City Council as a whole and not the decision of the Canada 150 Committee of Council.
The Canada 150 Committee of Council was formed to develop enhanced celebrations for Canada Day for next year. The committee has directed staff to apply for the federal funding program Celebrate Canada, a program designed for municipalities to plan celebrations around four key dates; National Aboriginal Day June 21, St. Jean Baptiste Day June 24th, MultiCulturalsim Day June 27 and Canada Day July 1st.
This funding program is not for any other activity outside those dates. When staff was advised a Tall Ship visit date was being offered for later in the summer, the committee knew it would not be part of the City Council Canada 150 Committee’s calendar of events. The committee did not have the authorization to make that decision and did receive budget information based on previous Tall Ship visits to Sault Ste. Marie. The budget was also beyond the scope of this committee.
The City of Toronto will be the host port for the Tall Ships on Canada Day in 2017. The date offered to Sault Ste. Marie for a Tall Ship visit falls within RotaryFest therefore the Canada 150 Committee did suggest an approach to Rotary be made to see if they had an interest in hosting a Tall Ship visit.
This will be pursued by CSD staff and is outside the mandate of the Canada 150 Committee. Tourism Sault Ste. Marie staff has indicated a desire to review a possible visit of a Tall Ship.
There is great interest in having a Tall Ship visit in Sault Ste. Marie anytime as we know from past experience.
A full report to Council will be forthcoming once staff has pursued all avenues.