Edmonton city council has unanimously passed a motion by Coun. Dave Loken to immediately cease all downtown arena negotiations with Oilers' owner Daryl Katz.
The first point of the motion reads: "As a result of Mr. Katz’s letter and unwillingness to have an open discussion with council and the frustration of the interim design agreement, all negotiations and ongoing city work related to the October 26, 2011, framework be ceased immediately."
"Some councillors earlier asked for an amendment to the motion, so negotiations are simply suspended, not ended. They argued that would leave the door open for further talks.
But others argued that it's time to end discussions and explore other options.
"It's fairly apparent at this point that Daryl is just not that into us," said Coun. Kerry Diotte.
Although council passed the motion, Loken said council is still open to communicating with Katz — but not through letters.
"If you want to negotiate, get to the table," he said. "If you want to talk to us, we have a meeting in two weeks."
"The door is wide open Mr. Katz. We're still willing to make a deal here."
In October 2011, the city and Katz reached a framework agreeement on how to proceed on the arena development.
But Mayor Stephen Mandel said that negotiations became increasingly difficult because The Katz Group kept making more demands, without providing the information to back them up.
He said the situation became unfair to the city.
"There is a love for that game here that does not exist in any other city and I think it's wrong to hold us up for ransom," he said.
The motion was the first under consideration by city council, one day after Katz announced in a letter that he would not attend today's meeting to explain his outstanding issues with last year's framework deal.
Many have concluded that the message and tone of Katz's letter meant he was walking away from arena negotiations.
The motion also calls on adminstration to report to council about the city's "current, transferable investments in a potential downtown arena project."
It also asks for a report on how council could explore ways to achieve "sustainable NHL hockey" in Edmonton.
A spokesman said that there would be no comment from The Katz Group today.