Tensions flared at city council on Tuesday and it all hinged on what remains a beloved moniker for some.
A motion to reinstate the “City of Champions” slogan was put forth by Ward 7 Coun. Tony Caterina.
“There’s been plenty of discussion, certainly from the public weighing in on social media and calls and emails to the office,” he said.
A motion to amend the old slogan from Ward 9 Coun. Bryan Anderson passed. He suggested the slightly revised “A City of Champions.”
“I will support the amendment ’cause it gives us a slightly better slogan to vote against,” said Michael Walters, Ward 10 councillor.
That comment sparked laughter in council chambers.
The debate was peppered with laughter and snickering, prompting a stern response from Caterina.
“To thousands of Edmontonians, this is extremely important. And if people think it’s funny, I’m disappointed with that,” he said.
“The belittling that is going on here is incredible.”
Friends of the City of Champions had been lobbying for Edmonton to adopt the slogan again, but in the end the amended slogan was defeated.
Wilf Brooks, a member of the group, said that doesn’t mean the conversation is over.
“I hope that if council does nothing else, maybe our mayor could just once say he’s proud to be part of the City of Champions,” he said. “I’m tired of it being ignored by the people who should respect it the most.”
Watch below: Edmonton Eskimos head coach Jason Maas has fighting words when it comes to ‘City of Champions’ slogan