City to discuss alternative future sponsorships with Prince Albert firearms business

Photo of the removed sign that was on the outfield fence. Melanie Markling/Facebook.

Although a request to re-install Northern Elite Firearms’ signage at the Kinsmen Baseball Complex was denied by City Council, the local Prince Albert business has been given an opportunity to discuss possible resolutions for future sponsorships with City Administration. 

The motion was defeated seven to two at Monday’s meeting after Council heard from City Solicitor Mitchell Holash that there was no theft or breach of contract by the City of Prince Albert after the signage was removed from the under-18 recreation facility. 

Holash said the Prince Albert Minor Baseball Association has acknowledged that they did not follow proper protocols upon entering into a sponsorship agreement with Northern Elite Firearms. 

“The City of Prince Albert does not have a contract with the proposed sponsor, the City has a contract with Prince Albert Minor League Baseball,” said Holash. “There are situations where Prince Albert Minor Baseball does have authority to enter into these sponsorship agreements, but it has to do so in accordance with the provisions of its contract with the City of Prince Albert.”

He said the policy clearly states that all recommendations for entering into a sponsorship agreement have to go through the Director of Community Services and forwarded to Council for final approval based on the Director’s review. 

Jody Boulet, Director of Community Services, said a review was done to determine whether it was appropriate to promote firearms at a recreation facility. The Department of Community Services found there was an opportunity to utilize the signage as education around responsible gun ownership. 

“The next step could have potentially been an opportunity to engage the proposed sponsor further to get some of those facts and some of those details and have some of that justification in front of Council,” Boulet said. 

He said the Department of Community Services’ priority is to form positive relationships between the City and interested sponsors.

“The opportunity to still have that discussion, to work with a local business, a local sports organization, to do that in a respectful way, is where we landed with the overall review,” said Boulet. 

After the original motion was defeated, Coun. Dawn Kilmer made a motion in support of Boulet’s suggestion for City Staff to meet with Northern Elite Firearms and discuss a future positive relationship. 

Kilmer’s motion passed seven to two. 

“I like the idea of meeting with them and offering them other opportunities. We have lots of places [where] we can put signs in the City of Prince Albert,” Mayor Greg Dionne said. “I do believe they do good business in the City, but we have bigger things to fight. We have other issues where we have to stand together to be successful.”