Then-Candidates Prue And McArthur On Open Air At Chamber Candidates’ Nights

Then-candidate Prue mentioned his hope that some of those businesses will contribute; then-candidate McArthur mentioned conditions that are going to allow a hotel to open and flourish in downtown Amherstburg. Excerpts of their speeches are below, as well as links to the Chamber of Commerce videos.

Question from the moderator to the mayoral candidates: What are your views on partnering our tourism department with other municipalities to lower costs?

Michael Prue:

I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but…We need to have a real hard look at that and see whether or not it should continue. If it continues I would hope that some of those businesses will contribute because it should not all fall on the taxpayers. If they are making money off this and they want to have it keep going then they have to shoulder some of that responsibility. But I do think that Open Air is a good thing, and I had a really good suggestion from someone the other day we put up barricades, but there are stores on both sides of the barricades that are not getting business. We should put up big posters at the end to say it doesn’t end here at the barricade. There are stores in this direction in this direction and this direction to make sure everybody has an opportunity to benefit.

Chamber of Commerce YouTube video: Prue’s comments at 2:25:58

Question from the moderator to the councillor candidates: What are your views on the future of Open Air?

Donald McArthur:

My views on this are pretty well known. I love open air weekends. I’ve been a proponent from the start.

If we send a message as council that we believe in the transformative potential of Open Air weekends those are the conditions that are going to allow a hotel to open and flourish in downtown Amherstburg. If there are issues with accessibility, we need to ensure that we have accessible parking spaces on the edge, but we need to invest in open air it needs to continue because it’s fantastic for residents and for our tourists.

Chamber of Commerce YouTube video: McArthur’s comments at 33:58

Three Councillors Campaigned To Remove Barriers During Open Air

The burg watch Open Air posts’ viewing statistics have increased, particularly then-candidates’ opinions, which is worth repeating.

Will you remove barriers during Open Air weekends that block people with disabilities from driving to the bank, local stores, bars, and generally driving through town?

  1. Councillor Peter Courtney: Of course I would!
  2. Councillor Diane Pouget: Yes, I am definitely in favor of removing barriers for people with disabilities during Open Air.  The fact that 51% of the businesses in the downtown core want the closure of streets for 3 days on weekends and 4 days on long weekends from May to September is unreasonable and unfair.  This is especially true, since 49% claim that Open Air hurts their business, especially their clients with disability issues.  Further to that, the taxpayers are footing the bill to hurt our most vulnerable residents.  It was disappointing to learn that only one person with a disability was consulted. This is unfair and must be revisited.
  3. Councillor Linden Crain: Yes. It is important that all members of the community can experience Open Air. If there are particular barriers in place, I am more than willing to investigate further and help find a solution.

Councillor Donald McArthur: If there are persisting issues with accessibility, let’s work collaboratively to address them in consultation with the Town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. Let’s not give up on something that engages our youth while promoting economic development, something that sets our Town apart in a positive way and creates the sort of bustling environment where a hotel cannot only open but flourish.

Councillor Molly Allaire: I love Open Air Weekends, my family partakes every weekend for sure. I will be honest after going door to door my eyes have been opened up to a great deal of problems in our town that I was unaware of. Open air has many positives and negatives. I think the blockades that they created this year allow better parking for the majority. We could make it more accessible for people with disabilities by blocking off the waterfront parking area specifically for them allowing closer access to amenities. I also believe that open air is wonderful but should only be one day instead of 3. Many residents say that it is more of a nuisance trying to get to their bank, business, home etc. Business owners have stated that their business has actually done worse during these hours because lack of access to the area. I think having it one day would be a fair compromise and make it still an event for people to come and enjoy.

No Answers:

Mayor Michael Prue
Deputy Mayor Gibb

Should Minutes Be Consistently Corrected?


During a council meeting earlier this year, Councillor Michael Prue had a question about committee minutes, the presence of his wife, Shirley Curson-Prue, at a committee meeting and the recording of votes.

Mayor DiCarlo said the minutes would be looked into and any corrections required would be made.


On August 4, 2022, I read the August 8 town council meeting agenda and emailed all members of council that the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAAC) meeting minutes June 23, 2022 were incorrect.

“The minutes indicate the motion was ‘that the delegation be received.’ However, following my presentation, Chair Shirley Curson-Prue asked, “May I have a motion to receive this document?” Chris Drew said he’d make the motion which was then seconded by Angela Kelly and carried. The audio is available online.”

I assumed errors were to be corrected.

On Friday, August 5, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo emailed, “Thank you for the clarification.”

On Monday, August 8, council received the AAAC minutes without comment.