A motion about whether or not a viewing party for the upcoming FIFA World Cup turned into a debate amongst Gravenhurst councillors about what they can or can’t ask staff to do.
Coun. Jo Morphy brought forward the idea to have staff look into the possibility of hosting a watch party for Canada’s games in November’s FIFA World Cup. The Canadians qualified for the event for the first time in three decades, and only the second time in the country’s history.
It would have been up to staff to look into what venue would be able to host the games and report back to council with their findings ahead of Canada’s first game on Nov. 23.
Morphy and Coun. Sandy Cairns were the only ones to vote in favour of the motion.
Coun. Heidi Lorenz was one of the six to vote against it and wondered aloud if council should be involved in this. “We don’t tell staff what movies to play at the Cinema Under the Stars,” she said “We don’t get staff to get certain bands for the opera house. I believe that our staff are well capable of making a recommendation if they feel like this is not competing with the local bars.”
Morphy said she brought this idea up at the latest Gravenhurst Business Improvement Area meeting and said she received support from the town’s businesses. “I brought that up at chamber [Monday] and we got resounding support,” she said, adding businesses didn’t think it would take away from them. “After the game is over they go to celebrate or cry away their sorrows at restaurants and bars.”
“I, myself, have asked for many different things to come back in a report over the past many years,” Cairns said. “I don’t want council to think that we can’t give suggestions or ideas to our staff. I really think that we’re allowed to do that. Staff can’t think of everything.”
It was noted during the meeting that there are upwards of 40 events planned in the town in 2022. Mayor Paul Kelly said he’s concerned adding another event would stretch staff too thin.
“They’re being pushed to the limit with all of the events they’re concerned with right now,” he said.