Monday, March 30, 2009

Let’s get ready to grumble...

For a trade show that apparently no one was inclined to attend, the recently cancelled attempt at projecting Prince Rupert’s business community certainly has people talking around town.

The discussion over just why the Trade Show was cancelled seems to have pitted one of the Trade show organizers, Mike Slubowski, up against the City of Prince Rupert’s Michael Curnes, as each suggests that the other might possibly have their facts wrong.

The opening salvo came in last Wednesday’s Daily News when Mr. Slubowski was quoted in a front page story as suggesting that the rates from the City for the rental of the Civic Centre had risen two times from the rate from two years ago, making the normal venue unaffordable for the Trade Show this year.

That has apparently got Mr. Curnes from the Civic Centre just a little bit upset, expressing his unhappiness with that Daily News story from Wednesday, he found some equal time for his impression of the debate in Friday’s paper.

The page three review of the differences of opinion , featured his side of the controversy, where he said no blame should be assigned to the Civic Centre staff for the cancellation of the event, going so far as to suggest that Mr. Slubowski didn’t even wait for the rate discussions to take place before he took the show over to Chances.

From Friday’s Daily News, a seemingly upset Curnes outlines his thoughts on the issue, “The rates did not go up, and we hadn’t even got to the rate discussion yet when he booked with Chances without even telling us.”.

In the Friday article, Slubowski countered with “I know what the price was then – I know what was talked about this year.” He went on to say that he stood by his earlier claim over the increasing spiral of cost with the Civic Centre.

Both can at least find common ground in the idea that the absence of the car dealers (who apparently couldn't afford to attend this year) probably proved to be the final blow to the Trade Show option for 2009.

Clearly communication hasn’t been the strong suit in any of this, considering the mixed messages and confusing aspects of the math of it all. Though the drama of the ongoing discussion certainly has potential for some fine fund raising.

Perhaps instead of a car show for the trade show, they should set up the Boxing ring, give the two sparring partners some mitts and hold a ten round exhibition match, counter claims could give way to counter punches, each seeking that knockout blow to bring the saga to an end.

Though we must admit that in these more modern ages, physical conflict is no way to settle a dispute. So let’s take away those mitts and instead give each a microphone and a sheet of financial figures.

Rupertites have shown that they love a good debate, send the gents to neutral corners and have them come out with some furious calculating and amplified verbalizing…

We suspect that such a showdown might very well prove to be a powerful draw, providing the city with some of that 4,000 dollars that they suggest they lost by the Trade Fair organizers decision to relocate this year and adding something a little different to the usual offerings of the Trade Show program.

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