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City councillors ditch $15K inauguration plan

The city spent a little more than $3,000 four years ago on the ceremony, held in council chambers, as is the tradition. The plan was to move the event to a larger hall – such as the Caruso Club, or the Great Hall at Laurentian University.
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The city's election bus is seen in this file photo from October. Rejecting a staff proposal to move the ceremony, the next city council will be inaugurated Dec. 2 at Tom Davies Square, as is tradition.
The city spent a little more than $3,000 four years ago on the ceremony, held in council chambers, as is the tradition. The plan was to move the event to a larger hall – such as the Caruso Club, or the Great Hall at Laurentian University.

But the logistics of moving the ceremony significantly increased the costs, and made televising the event live more expensive and much more of a logistical challenge. Staff suggested it could be recorded and made available to the public later. But Ward 11 Coun. Terry Kett wondered why they would go to the expense of moving it, when the public could watch it live at home.

“I mean, it's not that interesting,” Kett quipped.

But at city council on April 29, Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann said holding the ceremony at Tom Davies gave it more significance.

“I've had time to think about this,” Landry-Altmann said. “I recalled in 2006, when I was first elected ... just being able to place a hand on the chair that would guide the future of Ward 12. That, to me, was so important. It surpasses having a party or inviting more guests.”

Being in the room where key decisions are made about the city's future was an important element of the swearing in ceremony, she said, and the atmosphere couldn't be replicated elsewhere.

“To me, that was very, very important.”

Mayor Marianne Matichuk, who has disagreed with the Ward 12 councillor on several issues this term, sounded almost surprised to be agreeing with Landry-Altmann.

“I actually concur,” Matichuk said. “I don't think you're going to be able to recreate this atmosphere anywhere ... There's a certain … ambiance in this council chamber that you can't recreate.”

In a unanimous vote, councillors agreed to hold the Dec. 2 ceremony in council chambers. The municipal election is Oct. 27.

Darren MacDonald

About the Author: Darren MacDonald

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