It looks as if it’s on – but with these guys – you’re never sure.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON March 31, 2011 – Nobody particularly likes the guy, few trust him but he’s the front man for Mid Week Cycling Club and they are the sponsors chosen by the Canadian Cycling Association to hold a multi-day event in the Burlington community around Canada Day.

The planned elite cycling event planned for late June and Canada Day could still come crashing down – but there is now a contract in place.

The planned elite cycling event planned for late June and Canada Day could still come crashing down – but there is now a contract in place.

So, a council committee held their noses tightly and passed a Direction enabling Community Services Manager Scott Stewart to sign the agreement with Craig Fagan and the Mid Week Cycling Club to hold the six scheduled cycling races in Burlington.

Once again, Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief Bob Percy was on hand to get their concerns on the table and then tightened up the financial requirements considerably. The $115,000 it is going to cost to cover policing has to be in the hands of the police by noon of May 16, 2011 or the Halton Regional Policed Service will withdraw their support. That puts a squeeze on the Mid week people but bouncing a cheque made payable to the policed doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

This event has been a problem that created its own problems and Scott Stewart General Manager Community Services, has been stretched to the limit to make this happen. “This is how it goes and it shouldn’t go like this” was the way he summed up the working relationship with Mid Week. Ward 6 councillor Blair Lancaster didn’t have much faith in the financial capacity of the Mid Week people when they were before council last and she had even less this time. However, Ward 4 councillor Jack Dennison thought he had a better feel for the way athletes register for events. “The time frames are tight” he agreed, but “there is a pent up demand for this event – there are people waiting with baited breath to register but they can’t do so because Mid Week doesn’t have a contract with us.”

The cyclists, who move at up to 75 km an hour, are going to have to compete with people who want to pick strawberry’s on June 23 – should be fun.

The cyclists, who move at up to 75 km an hour, are going to have to compete with people who want to pick strawberry’s on June 23 – should be fun.

This key issue this time was the closure of Bell’s Line for the Time trials and the operation of the strawberry fields at Spring Ridge Farm on June 23rd, a prime strawberry picking day. They have an event that is expected to draw 1,800 cars that day – and police aren’t entirely sure how they are going to manage all that traffic.

Ward 1 councillor Marianne Meed Ward wanted to know why this concern had not been ironed out months ago. Ward told the meeting that “if this issue were being voted on tonight, I would not support it” – and she didn’t but enough council members did and the city is going to sign the agreement that appears to have more than enough clauses for the city to get out of the deal if they are not happy.

For Mid Week, the promoters, the signed contract is something they have been working towards for more than two years. With the contract signed, explained Craig Fagan, head of Mid Week, we can open up registration and registration fees will begin rolling in and Mid Week will have the funds in hand to give the Halton Regional Police a cheque for $115,000. by the middle of May – they hope

This seems to have been one of those chicken and egg situations. With a contract we can begin bringing in some revenue” explained Fagan while Ward 6 councillor Blair Lancaster said several times that she just didn’t believe Fagan’s organization had the financial capacity to make this happen.

Councillor Taylor took a more sanguine approach. “We have this unique topology” and this event is going to happen. “If it’s a bad experience we won’t do it again.”

Mid Week has their contract, registrations can begin, cash will flow – but the fear is that there will be yet another problem that should have been foreseen. Scott Stewart says we are covered legally and we won’t lose a dime.

Mid Week could look for a better front man for their organization.

[retweet]

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply