A Fredericton councillor states she has questions about how and why a horse-racing function was arranged last weekend — unbeknownst to her — on the grounds of the New Brunswick Provincial Exhibition.
Coun. Jocelyn Pike is the city’s appointed member on the exhibition’s board of directors and said she had no understanding that an official harness-race qualifying event was organized on the decommissioned track last Saturday.
“It is really unusual that that transpired, I’ll be honest with you,” said Pike, in an job interview Tuesday afternoon.
“I do know there were being judges there from Standardbred Canada, so we have to have to locate out just how that took place.”
Standardbred Canada is a non-gain business that encourages harness racing.
Arranged harness racing hasn’t been held at the monitor because the exhibition decided against renewing the lease held by Fredericton Raceway in December 2016.
Since then, the stables have still housed horses and owners use the keep track of, but only to exercise their animals.
Controversy has been kicked up in recent months next clear efforts by horse-racing fans to do the job from a plan that consists of having rid of the observe.
In March 2022, the City of Fredericton, which owns the residence, and the provincial exhibition, which leases it, agreed on a plan that would see the exhibition keep on being on the web-site, while redeveloping the horse stables and race observe regions for housing.
Then late very last year, Horse Racing New Brunswick shared video online from just one of their meetings in which officers discussed “seizing” the observe in Fredericton by registering for membership with the exhibition in order to affect choices.
Pike said she hopes to locate out additional about who arranged the event and why, thinking of the monitor hasn’t been used for official gatherings in much more than 6 decades.
The event was also held just a 7 days just after Mike Vokey was fired from his role as government director of the exhibition.
Vokey led the organization for nearly 12 years and served build the plan agreed to between the exhibition and the town.
He claimed at the time of his firing, Rob Kitchen, the exhibition’s board chair, told him the board wanted to acquire the organization in a “unique course.”
The celebration past weekend would have both been organized instantly soon after he was fired, Vokey claimed, or “driving the scenes” while he was continue to government director.
CBC News at first asked for an interview with Kitchen area to discuss Vokey’s firing. On Tuesday, he explained he would consult with lawyers with the exhibition and then offer an job interview, even so, he did not return repeated phone calls from CBC News.
In an e-mail Wednesday early morning, Kitchen said the NBex board and Jeff McCarthy, the new government director, continue to be “dedicated” to moving ahead with the town of Fredericton on options to redevelop the exhibition grounds.
“The board appears to be like forward to functioning with the metropolis in the coming days and months to kind a joint committee to ascertain how the system is carried out,” Kitchen wrote.
Concerned by Vokey’s firing
Pike claimed Vokey’s firing was also a shock to her.
She mentioned she joined the board previous fall and knew there was a approach underway to change him in time for his predicted retirement in spring 2024.
Nonetheless, she considered the strategy was to retain him on to changeover the new government director, Jeff McCarthy, into the position and the duties included.
“How’s that going to effect our revenues? How’s that going to impact what is actually been going on in the community?” Pike claimed. “Since Mike Vokey was really considerably engaged in all forms of fundraising routines.”