Sackville Town Council has rejected a motion to delay accepting the gift of an armoured combat vehicle for installation in the town’s Memorial Park.
During council’s meeting Monday night, Councillors Shawn Mesheau and Bruce Phinney moved and seconded a motion to postpone signing an agreement to accept the vehicle, known as a Cougar, until the council meeting in March.
They argued that a postponement would allow time for consultation with the Sackville Legion.
The 8th Canadian Hussars want to donate the retired Cougar to symbolize the regiment’s long association with the town, but Councillor Mesheau said that while he respects the Hussars’ connection to Sackville, he thought the Legion should have a chance to comment.
However, other councillors voted to accept the gift immediately after the town’s Chief Administrative Officer said CFB Gagetown, where the Cougar is being stored, is apparently anxious to move it within the next month or so.
Phil Handrahan added that the Hussars had “a couple of communities” that were interested in receiving the Cougar, but preferred to donate it to Sackville.
“I’m not saying it’s urgent, but I know that they’re basically anxious to have a decision so that they know it’s going to be moved off base,” Handrahan said.
“I’d be very, very disappointed if this Cougar went somewhere else,” said Councillor Joyce O’Neil.
“I can’t see any reason why the Legion would even really need to be asked about this, I guess in all fairness maybe they should, but I just don’t like to see us put it off so that there’s a chance that we would lose that,” O’Neil added.
Councillor Allison Butcher agreed.
“I think it’s important that we try and get approval for it sooner to make sure that it could actually be placed in our park,” Butcher said. “I would hate to take the time and then lose that opportunity.”
“I’m a little disappointed in the fact that we can’t give it another four weeks,” Councillor Mesheau said after the defeat of his motion to postpone accepting the Cougar.
“We seem to see a lot of things that become pressing all of a sudden [and] as a council, we have seven days to consider something.”
Mesheau also wondered just how urgent the matter really was.
“How long has it been sitting there waiting to moved?” he asked, “and when will it actually be moved here?”