Cochrane Mayor Denis Clement is offering assurances that the Polar Bear Habitat will remain open, while expressing surprise and confusion that the habitat’s board has ended negotiations to take over its operation.

In a news release, the mayor says the Canadian Polar Bear Habitat Charity Board served notice late Friday afternoon that it’s ceasing negotiations.

Mayor Clement says that as late as October 19th, the board told council that it was committed to continuing talks.  He also mentions that the board said that there were still issues to address, such as the future of the Polar Bear Riders Vintage Snowmobile Club Museum on the Habitat property.

The matter of the failed negotiations will be brought up at the council meeting on Tuesday night.  Meanwhile, Clement says the Habitat will remain open. “There is no intention to close the facility and our highly qualified and committed staff will continue to provide world class care to the bears in on facility,” he is quoted in the news release.

There’s been controversy and displeasure in Cochrane since October 9th, when conservation coordinator Dylan McCart was fired and escorted off Habitat property.