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Moncton Mayor confident City of Moncton and Université de Moncton can work together


Moncton Mayor confident City of Moncton and Université de Moncton can work together
Issues regarding the Vision Lands will be resolved

Dear Editor
Times and Transcript

Recently there has been a lot of media coverage highlighting the issues involving the City of Moncton and Université de Moncton. I am confident that these issues can—and will—be worked out in the best interests of the City of Moncton and the Université de Moncton. 

The university is a very significant player in our city and a key contributor to Moncton’s growth and success.  Without a doubt, the Université de Moncton is essential to our city’s economic success, a major employer and adds significantly to the quality of life and cultural vibrancy of our community. 

The Vision Lands project is a very important one for the City.  This area, also known as the lands north of Wheeler Blvd., will be Moncton's newest, greenest neighbourhood—and one of the best of its kind in Canada. Our discussions with the university involve the installation of underground infrastructure - a sewer line - that will be a catalyst for growth in this area.  This is required so we can move forward with development of the Vision Lands.  We understand the university’s position, and I think they understand ours.  I am committed to working hard on this project and ensuring that a resolution is found soon. 

Moncton’s new Stadium is unquestionably a key facility for the City and we would not have it today, but for the foresight and vision of Moncton’s Council of the day who approved its location, design, and construction.  The university can also be commended for their foresight that has brought this facility to Moncton. 

The Stadium is a key sports and entertainment facility for all Monctonians, citizens and students alike.  It adds to our already impressive mix of sports and entertainment infrastructure and is the envy of many other cities.  The IAAF Track and Field Championships and CFL game were at the Stadium and the Uteck Bowl, and other significant events are coming.

A partnership agreement with the university guides the use and operation of the Stadium.  The facility was built on land owned by the university, and the City of Moncton has a 25-year lease for the facility, with the option to renew.  The City of Moncton and l’Université de Moncton are equal partners in managing the Stadium through a joint management committee (soon to be appointed) that will run the facility and have the overarching responsibility for scheduling, operations, and finances.
The City has always viewed the Stadium and its operation as a partnership between the City and the university. And the agreement that we have in place reflects that. As such, we would also expect that level of co-operation to continue when it is time to look at naming the Stadium. 

Our relationship with the university is very important, and we must work together on many issues.  As in any healthy relationship of this type, there will be issues of shared concern and we both must be vigilant in looking out for the best interests of those that we represent.

It is unfortunate that these issues have escalated.  I have discussed my concerns in this regard with Université de Moncton President, Yvon Fontaine, and look forward to future discussions with him.  While the issues are complex, I am confident that we will find common ground in resolving matters in a manner that addresses the concerns of the university and in the best interests of the people of Moncton.


George LeBlanc
Mayor
City of Moncton