ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.10 2016 Flooding Event Follow Up Report Yes 10-0 Regular
10.1 FINA Final Report Yes 10-0 Presentation
7.2 Banning Circus Acts No 6-4 Delegation
8.33 Literary Arts Bookmark Project Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.2 & 11.3 Riverside Vista Declared Conflict of Interest 9-0 Delegation
11.6 2018 Updated Budget Timelines Yes 10-0 Consent
Special: that Integrity Commissioner investigate comments made by a City Councillor in the Media Yes 9-0 Notice of Motion
       
Lights at Little River Corridor Park Yes 10-0 Council Question
       
       

 

10.1 – FINA Final Report: Below is my summation statement on this issue before the vote:

The report provides a large number of very large numbers.

The two most meaningful to me are the ones that indicate two things:

One: that City Staff did a phenomenal job of carrying out the assignment that they were given by City Council – namely – to carry out FINA on time and on budget. They should be commended.

Two: In addition to staff – there were over 800 volunteers that demonstrated once again why our residents are amazing and why our City & Region are spectacular places to work, live and play. We are a community that comes together, that is proud of our City, and proud of our successes. And we know how to put on world class event.

Those two numbers in this report are dependable and rock solid.

Where the report raises serious doubts – is in the Economic Impact Assessment.

Specifically – numbers that claim that FINA generated $32 million in economic activity for Windsor or that FINA reached an audience of 462 million people.

Those numbers are large – and they are largely unreliable.

Those numbers are based on assumptions and multipliers that experts have warned exaggerate the economic impact.

Sports economist Victor Matheson observes that “The vast majority of independent academic studies of mega-events show the benefits [of sports events] to be a fraction of those claimed by event organizers”.

Another professor who studies Sports Tourism – Dr. Milena Parent from the University of Ottawa – was quoted in CBC Windsor stating there are “too many flaws in the methodology of economic impacts” and that the economic impact numbers are exaggerated by at least 10 times.

Finally, a University of Windsor Sports Management Professor states that economic assessments like the one presented today are often “grossly overestimated”.

The point is – we don’t need to inflate economic numbers in order to tell a positive story. And certainly there are plenty of positive stories to tell about FINA without having to rely on numbers that aren’t real.

Where it matters to have real numbers – real numbers you can count on – is when in the very near future we are trying to figure out as a community and as a City Council – what types of sporting & tourism & cultural events we want to invest in and which events bring the best Return on that Investment.

That’s where the real numbers matter.

Just one example: FINA sold 15,000 tickets over six days. The Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) sold 22,000 tickets – or 7,000 more tickets – over the same period of time.

One way to determine the true Cost & Benefit of events like FINA – is to conduct a Value- for-Money audit from an organization like KPMG or a third-party Cost-Benefit Analysis.

The numbers may come back smaller – but they will be more reliable, and more useful as a guide for future investment.

I want to thank once again our residents, our volunteers and our administration for making our City proud during FINA.

** Councillor Francis put forward the Motion to Adopt the Recommendations. I requested a Friendly Amendment to add the following recommendation: that Administration conduct an independent third party Cost & Benefit Analysis of the FINA event. That amendment was not accepted.

7.2 – Bylaw Banning Circus Acts: I strongly support the humane treatment of all animals and in the strongest possible way condemn anyone who mistreats animals. I voted NO on this motion because the Superior Court of Ontario already ruled against a similar City of Windsor Bylaw.

11.6 – Updated Budget Timeline: Something that we pushed for this year is to split up the Budget deliberations into two nights – one for Operating and one for Budget.

We wanted to avoid a repeat of recent marathon budget nights that started at Noon and ended at 2AM.

This achieves two things:

  • It improves accessibility and transparency because residents are better able to attend budget deliberations and have their say or follow along on television
  • It improves decision-making since Councillors debate the budget and multi-million dollar items with fresh eyes and a clear mind

Process matters. Not just the outcomes. And in this case we took a big step forward improving the City’s annual Budget deliberation process.

Council Question – Lights at Little River Corridor Park: I asked administration to report back on options and costs for installing lighting at Little River Corridor Park including solar lighting. This is part of the effort to improve safety and accessibility of the Ganatchio Trail in Ward 7.

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