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2012-08-17 at 14:52

City delegation heading to AMO

By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
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Ring of Fire development, the event centre and RegenMed are all on the agenda for city officials heading to the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference.

City councillors Joe Virdiramo, Ken Boshcoff, Brian McKinnon, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso have all booked their tickets for Ottawa to attend the conference. 

The four-day conference, which starts on Sunday, allows municipally officials a chance to have some face-to-face time with a number of provincial ministers.

McKinnon said they have already booked time to meet eight ministers. He added that they wanted to speak to Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews about RegenMed and Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid about the Ring of Fire development.

“We’re going with an agenda for each minister,” McKinnon said. “We’re really going to push the preparation for the Ring of Fire mining development. We’re creating our own plan here, which is what they told us to do. It’s called the Mining Readiness Strategy. We’re looking for some help from the province as we develop this mining readiness.”

The strategy developed by the city focused on specific areas such as creating a workforce, ensuring the mine has enough power and making sure Thunder Bay can handle the potential thousands of new residents, he said.

With that strategy in hand, McKinnon said he hopes the minister will come onboard and give more direction on how to prepare for the Ring of Fire development.

In regards to RegenMed, McKinnon said they want Matthews to support the company and give direction on how to manage it. Canadian Blood Services has wanted two or three tissue banks across the country and the city wants RegenMed to be one of those suppliers, he said.
But those items aren’t the only issues being brought up.

Virdiramo said they will also be talking about the proposed event centre and the city’s infrastructure.

He added they also want to know why the province hasn’t full filled its promise to place an Aboriginal Affairs office in Thunder Bay.

“We do have needs,” Virdiramo said.

“I know the economy isn’t in the best shape and there might not be much there. However, we want to keep them up-to-date to our needs. In the past, we have been very successful in getting what we have asked for. Not totally but we have made some inroads. It’s good to put a name to a face.”


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yqtyqt says:
It will take 5 of them to get their message paased on to several ministers who could care less what they have to say. Perhaps only two of them could accomplish this little. I always thought that face to face time with our MPPs who are supposed to represent us should be sufficient to get councils message across. Or better still, maybe they should invite the two mpps to several municipal council meetings for questions.

Do these guys have to produce a written report avaialble for public scrutiny on what they accomplished (I mean what they were able to produce for the money spent). Or do they simply say that they face time with senior officials.

But then again, it's a beautiful time of year in Ottawa, the weather should be great and the citys restaurants and bars will be busy with tourists (and politicians and bureaucrats).
8/17/2012 3:20:38 PM
Chaos says:
These guys should be the United Nations envoy to Syria.
8/17/2012 3:31:51 PM
Marak says:
Sigh...there goes 25-30,000.00 dollars (my best guess) of our tax money we will never see back.

It would be nice if ALL expenses incurred on this trip were available on-line on the Thunder Bay City website. I'd like to know where they are staying and how much their meals are...especially since I'm the one paying for it!
8/17/2012 3:51:57 PM
tsb says:
Yep, you're the only one paying for this! No one else is. Just you.
8/17/2012 8:06:11 PM
udecide says:
Virdirmao, Boshcoff, etc: should be LMAO conference
8/17/2012 3:57:18 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Without Rebbecca and Angus this is just a waste of Tax Payers money but i feel relived that Virdiramo is going.For after Hr entertainment could suggest a couple of nice Bars.
8/17/2012 4:55:33 PM
wayne says:
From May: "Council also requested the business [RegenMed] work with the Ministry of Health and the local MPPs to secure provincial funding."

I guess the City is doing the homework for them at the cost to us tax payers.

and as for the multitax event centre, give it up already! Hobbs said two months ago in relation to the failed sewage plant: "We’re going to put everything on the backburner, the events centre, whatever it takes. We need to fix this problem first."

8/17/2012 7:08:39 PM
nvjgu says:
I can not wait for them to report back and why is regenmed on there agenda. I think they should put paveing roads on there agenda.
8/18/2012 5:31:31 AM
jimmyboy says:
There is no way that one can justify sending 5 people to this conference...at best there should be 2 maximum...and about RegenMed it is my guess the city wants to get this monkey off their back in a big way.!

When it comes down to the 100 million dollar multi-plex which this city cannot afford...again a waste of time discussing this with any minister...Thunder Bay requires untold millions of dollars to repair and or redo our sewer infrastructure which has been identified as being in extremely poor condition...and then we have the horrible conditions of our roads...so it goes to show that when it comes down to prioritizing what it is the city desperately needs...the mayor and city council are not on the correct page of the city's agenda....therefore making this entire trip and the expense a complete farce.!

8/18/2012 10:00:53 AM
wayne says:
The breakfast keynote speech on day two of the conference, which is being hosted in the 'Bloated Municipal Admin Costs Banquet Hall':

"You Can't Spell Funding Without The Word 'FUN': How to have fun investing your City taxpayer dollars in failed start-ups and projects"

8/18/2012 3:47:21 PM
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