Caution – speed bumps ahead. Cheque, cheque, cheque – oops it bounced.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON March 23, 2011 – There is a better than even chance that the elite cyclists will not race around downtown Burlington on Canada Day or hold events in the roads outside the city for that matter.

Burlington may not see this level of elite cycling on Canada Day

Burlington may not see this level of elite cycling on Canada Day

An event that many hoped would be the start of a “sports tourism” business in Burlington has not lived up to the promise despite untold hours of time on the part of city hall staff and the Halton Regional Police, who reportedly put in more than 300 hours of volunteer time and sent a deputy chief to a council meeting to speak on behalf of the event.

But last week the race promoters, Mid Week Cycling, failed to show up at a scheduled meeting to go over the outstanding issues which are critical to the city and the police.

General Manger of Community services Scott Stewart reported that they were pretty close to having the definitive agreement in place and that he felt the matter of insurance was under control but that there was very serious concern about the routes that were going to be used for the events and the financial capacity of the organization.

What Stewart didn’t reveal at the meeting was the that Mid Week Cycling had bounced a cheque for a reported $769. that had been made payable to the Halton Regional Police.


Craig Fagan is lucky he isn’t in handcuffs for that one.

Burlington has been at this opportunity for more than a year, they have done everything a city could do to make it happen but council decided Monday evening that the deadline of March 31st was to be firm. If the four issues are not fully resolved the city will pull the plug and there will be no elite cycle racing in Burlington on Canada Day this year or in 2012.

What is particularly disappointing is that the 2012 races were to be qualifying events for the 2014 Olympics. Were those races to be held in the Burlington community, the city would certainly have benefited from the world wide media exposure.

Some felt that Mid Week Cycling, the event promoters, were playing a game of “chicken” with the city in the hope that the city would buckle and put up more than the $50,000. that has been promised by both the city and the Burlington Hotel Association.

The council meeting, which was being cable cast live by Cogeco, saw the Mayor look directly into the cameras and tell Mr. Fagan that he had until March 31st to make everything right.

Burlington withdrew from talks that had the potential to lead to the Hamilton Tiger Cats moving into a stadium complex in the Aldershot community. When the numbers didn’t look right – the city walked.

Only a fool would take this council as a bunch of rural rubes.

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