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St. John's Mayor Danny Breen defends city-corporate partnerships

St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said capital funds can go further with corporate and community partnerships, and said the city is developing stringent policies around sponsorships and advertising “so that we know what is acceptable for us and what’s not.”
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said capital funds can go further with corporate and community partnerships, and said the city is developing stringent policies around sponsorships and advertising “so that we know what is acceptable for us and what’s not.” - Juanita Mercer
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

At the end of July, the city announced plans to build an accessible playground at Mundy Pond Park in partnership with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.

In a news release at the time, Mayor Danny Breen was quoted as saying the park “will provide children of all ages and abilities with more opportunities to play together.”

A top-down view of the playground design. -Computer screenshot
A top-down view of the playground design. -Computer screenshot

Recently there have been concerns expressed about corporate partnerships and the Canadian Tire logo which is visible looking down at the park from a bird’s-eye view.

Breen addressed these concerns at the regular Monday council meeting.

He said the city is “very lucky” to be selected by Canadian Tire to construct the playground, and a roughly $200,000 expenditure by the city will be paired with $1.1 million from Canadian Tire to build the playground.

“It’s great news, but I was curious as I heard some commentary today on corporate partnerships with the city in this range, and if you look at our strategic plan, creating and pursuing partnerships is a big part of it. 

“We can do a lot more in partnership, not only with our corporate partners, but our community partners as well. If you look at the money in terms of community partners that we spend in our community grants program, and how much that leverages in actual investment in the city – the services that we can get by putting our money together and working with our community partners, it’s incredible.”

Breen said Bowring Park, Bannerman Park and Victoria Park, for example, all would not happen – or would take much longer – without corporate partners.

He said it’s the city’s goal to pursue such partnerships to make capital funds go further, though he recognized the need for policies around the way

Another view of the accessible playground design. -Computer screenshot
Another view of the accessible playground design. -Computer screenshot

sponsorships are recognized to ensure “it’s done tastefully.”

Breen said the Canadian Tire logo at the accessible park is really only visible if you’re flying over it, because the park is built atop the logo.

Breen told reporters after the council meeting that the city is working on developing policies around sponsorships and advertising, and they should be completed within a few months.

“Those are things that we’re developing more stringent policies on so that we know what is acceptable for us and what’s not.”

The accessible playground will be upward of 11,000 square feet. 

It will be the eighth playground built in Canada with the help of Jumpstart funding. 

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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