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Tache council closes Lorette arena canteen

By: Kaitlyn Kozarchuk

Posted: 07/11/2019 9:00 AM

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The next time a hockey team plays a game at the Lorette arena, they’re going to have to settle for a bag of Doritos instead of a ham sandwich.

Due to too many expenses and not enough volunteers, Tache council voted Tuesday to replace the arena’s canteen entirely with vending machines.

Councillor Steve Stein said with the deficits the arena earned from hiring an employee for the canteen, council didn’t have too many options.

"Volunteerism in the community for some things is good," said Stein. "But the canteen thing has always been a struggle."

Councillor Natashia Lapeire, who made the motion to switch to vending machines, said she hopes this will encourage people to take more responsibility and volunteer.

"Well, we’ll see if people miss it I guess," she said.

Other councillors pointed out there’s lots of other food options for people who want a bite to eat between games.

Councillor Bill Heather disagreed, saying council should consider how the community feels about losing the canteen.

"I understand the dollars and cents of things, but I also understand the value of good relations with the community," he said.

Heather also took the opportunity to cast doubt on council’s decision to take ownership of the arena in the first place.

"This is just an example of another problem with taking over the place," he said.

Stein said it didn’t matter how the arena fell into their hands.

"It’s ours now and we have to deal with it," he told Heather.

Chief administrative officer Christine Hutlet said even if council votes for the vending machines, there’s still time to reinstate the canteen if volunteers step up to the plate.

She said since the canteen equipment is owned by the municipality, it could easily get up and running again.

But Hutlet said it’s not council’s job to take initiative.

For now, the vending machines will only sell items like pop drinks, chips and candy bars.

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