Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
CLE president Danny Mosa says the organization won’t close its controversial boardroom bar, but it will be asking members with keys to the room to turn them in. In future members wishing to use the room and access the liquor cabinet will have to sign a key out ahead of time.
Despite a demand from board member Ken Boshcoff to permanently shut their boardroom bar, Canadian Lakehead president Danny Mosa says it will remain open.
However, the privately-run and funded organization says it has made a policy change aimed at quieting public outcry at the bar’s existence.
Board members currently in possession of boardroom keys are being told to turn them in at the CLE office and from here on in they’ll have to seek permission during office hours to use the facility for post-business meetings.
Mosa said Boshcoff’s call was little more than political grandstanding. Boshcoff is one of four candidates seeking Thunder Bay’s mayoralty.
“It appears that only one board member wished to have the board room closed permanently and is making a political issue out of this, though he has many times frequented the board room himself,” Mosa said on Wednesday.
Mosa added the CLE is not unlike other service clubs and businesses that have an anteroom where drinks are served once official business has been conducted.
The whole issue is being blown out of proportion, he said.
“I’ve been here for 20 years and we have never abused the board room,” Mosa said. “And I don’t see what the concern is. It’s just been perceived and exposed to the city on facts that aren’t true. We don’t do anything different than any other organization in the city does.”
Mosa said the CLE’s total liquor bill to date this year is about $509. In contrast, the organization spent about $13,000 last year on soft drinks and snacks.
None of the money used to purchase these items comes from municipal or provincial coffers, he said.
“Contrary to public belief, the CLE does not receive public funds to operate.”
Members who use the facility do so in accordance to Liquor Control Board of Ontario policy, and members aren’t staggering out to their cars, too drunk to drive.
“We’re responsible citizens. We don’t want to go out there and kill somebody, get charged with impaired driving. The consequences are severe and we don’t want that happening to anyone here.”
Boshcoff, who was unable to attend Tuesday night’s meeting, earlier in the day sent a letter to the board office, imploring the organization to put an end to the bar.
“The public will only be satisfied with a closure,” he said.