Here’s what we know:
- The Marble Mountain Development Corp. board was under fire from the public for a few weeks over its decision to close in early April (even though this decision was made in 2016).
- The board stuck to its plan despite the pressure and said the loss of revenue of staying open until Easter was too great a burden.
- Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore publicly supported the decision of the board to close in early April given the financial implications of staying open.
- Following continued criticism, the province decides to sever ties with board members whose terms have already expired (but who had volunteered to stay on until the transition to a new board was completed).
- The province then appoints longtime operations guy, Tony Abbott, as the interim board chairman. It’s worthy to note Abbott works for Melissa Dwyer, the general manager of Marble Mountain. This move now makes Abbott his boss’s boss, which is peculiar and odd, and questions the role of the GM in seeing this mess through.
- The province announces Marble will open for Easter weekend.
What happened to spark such a drastic move by the provincial government is anyone’s guess at this stage. Surely there are reasons, it’s just that they are not being made public. And to think Mitchelmore alone made the decision is shortsighted and naive.
Every work board on every level has its shares of victories and struggles. The Marble board was surely no exception. It did some great work and there are areas where it struggled.
If this most recent annoyance with the board — whatever it was — was too great for the province to overcome, there had to be ways to find a more tactful resolution.
Instead, the province’s aggressive stand mimicked the subtlety of an armoured tank.
Realizing the error of its reaction, the province is now offering free skiing and rentals at Marble over a weekend in an effort to win the PR war through buying our favour.
The damage is done, however, and those volunteers are left with sore cheeks from the massive slap.
Picking up the pieces will take time.
It will mean making a quick transition away from the interim board, which, save for Abbott, is filled with government bureaucrats.
It will also take a new board that is strong, determined and willing to challenge the province on decisions without fear of reprisal, especially at the scale of which we’ve seen this week.
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DRAWING FOR THE DAY: Cadence Noseworthy, Shearstown, N.L.
The political upheaval over the Marble Mountain Development Corp. is all but settled, yet there remain few answers on what it was all about.
Here’s what we know: