Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
2:15 PM EDT
2014-02-19 at 16:05

Having a say

Ray Smith of Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay is hosting an open house March 11 for people to express their position on an event centre plebiscite.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Ray Smith of Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay is hosting an open house March 11 for people to express their position on an event centre plebiscite.
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

More than two decades ago Ray Smith successfully helped fight to keep Fort William Gardens from the wrecking ball.

These days the head of Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay is fighting to ensure the public has its proper say before talk of a new event centre proceeds any further. Smith, who says he’s not against a scaled-down version of the $106.1-million proposal, says a plebiscite is a must on both the decision to proceed but also the location.

On March 11 Smith plans to host a plebiscite open house at the Mary J.L. Black Library, giving the public the opportunity to speak their mind about the project.

“The public hasn’t had their say yet, despite some of the things you may have read in the newspaper,” Smith said Wednesday afternoon.

“The public is clamouring to have their voice heard.”

A plebiscite is the only fair way to determine what the city should do said Smith, who also led protests against recent multi-million-dollar improvements made to Marina Park.

“It’s long overdue and the costs since we first started talking about (a new arena) have climbed from about $50 million to about $106 million. And the site the city has chosen is certainly not the site that the majority of taxpayers prefer,” he said.

Story contniues after video ...

Smith cited a number of unscientific media polls, including several conducted by tbnewswatch.com, as proof the community favours Innova Park over a downtown location.

Asked if it wasn’t the job of politicians to make these type of decisions, Smith said not in all cases.

“Not when the price balloons from $50 million to $106 million,” he said. “Not when the public is so against what they’re doing. And it’s quite obvious.”

Henry Wojak, another outspoken opponent of tax-dollar waste, said contrary to what council told the public two years ago, Fort William Gardens is not 10 years past its life expectancy and does not need immediate replacement.

It’s quite structurally adequate, Wojak said, quoting statements made recently by city-hired consultants.

“I would like to see direct democracy in action where the people have a say in a plebiscite on a ballot. The elected officials we have in place show total disregard for the public once they have gotten into office,” Wojak said.

“I would like to see if we can rally the public at that meeting to see if they will come and bang pots and pans in front of city hall on March 24 so that this mayor and council will hear the people and put a plebiscite on the ballot.”

At-large Coun. Iain Angus, already on record as saying he won’t back a plebiscite, said he’s heard the call from some taxpayers to put needs ahead of wants.
Angus thinks the city can do both.

“They have every right to that opinion to pursue those view and to try to convince the council of the day not to move forward to it. But at the same time we have others who are saying we need this kind of investment. We need to find a proper replacement for the Fort William Gardens,” Angus said.

A new centre would provide opportunities for larger meetings and conventions for the city and a place to showcase the city’s hockey talent.

A group headed by Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment has said it will consider moving the NHL Jets’ American Hockey League farm team to Thunder Bay should the facility move forward.

Angus points to the controversy surrounding waterfront development.

“You go down there last weekend and the place was jam-packed,” he said.

“Our role as members of council is to take the long-term look, to have the vision and to say what does this community need? And yes there is a difference between needs and wants, but we can’t just be a community that plows the snow and cuts the grass. We’ve got to be a community that has arts, has culture, has entertainment – things for people to do and things that will attract new people into Thunder Bay.

The March 11 meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and will include about two hours set aside for public comment.


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Jon Powers says:

Only those who are against a Plebiscite are affraid that their project will be lost.

After all its their way are the highway.

See You All At The Meeting!
2/22/2014 9:42:27 AM
Watchful says:
Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Minniapolis and Winnipeg are close to other major centres. Thunder Bay is in the middle of no where. Put as much money as you want into this town, nothing will change. We are just the lunchbox town of Ontario. Dream on
2/21/2014 12:24:17 AM
jo123anne says:
I am wondering what is the rush? Can we not finish one project - Marina Park - before taking on another? Right now the reasoning for a new facility is kind of iffy - maybe we will get a Jets farm team, and maybe we will get bigger events but is there anything that is really definite? Seems like this is a situation that would never pay for itself and the city and ultimately the taxpayers would have to bear that debt for a very long time to come.
2/20/2014 11:38:40 PM
Events Centers are successful in bigger and smaller cities in Canada, why can't TBAY get modern and have an EVENTS CENTER.Look at Sudbury and STE ST.Marie they are smaller than Thunder Bay and the have new events centers.I think the Naysayers in Thunder Bay fear change and have never even been to a newer area.The events that would happen in Winnipeg would come to Thunder Bay then Minneapolis.Now everything goes from WPG to MINNI and bypasses Thunder Bay.TBAY is the only city of its size that is unmodern,no COSTCO or new events center,were in the middle of Canada on the Transcanada Highway and TBAY is being bypassed.
2/20/2014 4:09:42 PM
Pandora says:
how much money do we have sitting around invested?
2/20/2014 1:43:40 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
The last financial statements completed were for 2012. The amounts at Dec 31 of that year are:

Cash 6.7 Million
Investments 110.0 Million
Taxes and Accounts Receivable 81.2 Million
Other Receivables 10.6 Million (I don't know what these are)
2/20/2014 3:46:37 PM
fastball says:
Stop....too many facts...head...hurts. Brain...exploding.
Supposition, theories, rumours, speculation, half-truth, mob mentality - all so much better.
Head works better...when shoved firmly and deeply into....the sand (had you going there for a second, didn't I?)
2/20/2014 4:35:02 PM
reese says:
I betieve Detroit has the Red Wings it is no secret how Detroit is doing
2/20/2014 12:24:39 PM
Pandora says:
Does everyone understand this statement posted by 'commonsense'.
Ask your Councilor: What do we pay(yearly) in interest only to pay down just the debt the City carries?

"What people don't realize is that we are neglecting our infrastructure by directing TBayTel dividends into Renew Thunder Bay, and using that money to say " funds in place" for event centre.
Then they borrow for necessities.
2/20/2014 11:20:29 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
Each of the last 4 years, the interest the City has earned on it's investments has been higher than the interest they pay on their long term debt. They borrow at very low rates. I suspect 2013 will yield a similar result. The information is available in the audited financial statements on their website.

So I guess, go ahead and ask your Councillor how much interest we paid, but to make a fair assessment, also ask how much we earned on the equivalent amount of cash that was invested instead of spent.
2/20/2014 12:28:47 PM
S Duncan says:
Youre full of it.

2/20/2014 1:15:42 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
I already told you where you can see it for yourself. Do you need me to hold your hand to get there? And you seem to know everything about everything, so I'm pretty sure you won't stumble in finding the information in the statements. It does require a bit of grade two math, but I'm pretty sure you can figure it out.
2/20/2014 2:08:44 PM
Baor says:
Pot meet kettle.
2/20/2014 4:31:46 PM
aces & eights says:
K-Rock Center in Kingston,5380 seat arena, if constructed today would cost $51.4 million. Got to love the thunder bay factor for driving up the price to 106 million and when finished probably would come in at 120 million. The thunder bay factor: desperate for development, stupid and gullible.
Lot of peoples hands are being greased and the canadian taxpayers predominantly thunder bay taxpayers are going to be fleeced.

2/20/2014 11:15:11 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
As far as I know, the K Rock Centre doesn't have an attached convention centre. Maybe find out the construction cost for the Donald Gordon Convention Centre in Kingston, then add that to the K Rock cost and then compare.

Comparisons are great, but only if you compare an apple to an apple.
2/20/2014 12:45:19 PM
aces & eights says:
Donald Gordon convention center is owned and operated by queens university. the taxpayers didn't put a dime into that. So if the arena end of this event center costs 55 million , you're telling me the convention center part will cost just about the same around 51 million. talk about a fleece job. Like they say a sucker is born every day and they are all in city administration and sitting on city council.
2/20/2014 3:15:49 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
It doesn't matter who owns it. You're comparing the cost of an arena to the cost of an events centre that will contain a lot more than just an arena. Dr Suess could own the Donald Gordon Convention Centre for all I care. But if he built it, he didn't get it done for free.

Your original post claimed that the high cost of our events centre was due to the "Thunder Bay factor". I'm saying it has a lot more to do with the fact that the building you're referring to is only a portion of the building that is being considered in Thunder Bay.

Once again, add the cost of construction of both buildings together, then compare. Is there a Thunder Bay factor? I don't know, maybe, but it's not nearly as much as you're stating it is.
2/20/2014 3:53:38 PM
Pandora says:
The obvious and most affordable time to have a plebiscite is at the time of an election, on the ballot. Otherwise they will say it is too expensive. The time is now, so what are they afraid of?

We all know of other cities that have built Arena/conference centre for a lot cheaper than "the Thunder Bay Price( I have heard this expression now from developers and consultants). What does that mean exactly? I know what it means to me.
The scariest part of this project or any project proposed by this City is that there is NO Cost Control. This project has already doubled once... and we have yet to put a shovel in the ground.
I don't know about you folks but the 2013 tax increase of 35% in my taxes(spread over 4 years)and add on top of that another yearly increases and a water bill that is now equal to my heat bill, it is all getting pretty hard to swallow. I need to budget for a new car a pot hole just ate mine!
2/20/2014 10:52:41 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
@Pandora. Your taxes haven't increased by 35%. Your assessment has. That doesn't necessarily mean your taxes are going up at all. If the average house in Thunder Bay increased by the exact same amount as your increase, then you'll see no change in the amount you pay, other than the 1.75% that Council has approved for 2014. If the average homes assessment went up by more than your 35%, then your 2014 tax increase will actually be less than 1.75%, whereas if the average assessment went up by less than your 35%, then your 2014 taxes will go up slightly more than 1.75% But I guarantee that they don't change at the same rate as your assessment does.
2/20/2014 4:04:50 PM
Mrbusinessman says:
This is the leader of the NIMBY's quoting unscientific polls, and using incomplete data to scare as many people into believing that the events centre is going to ruin our city. Ok now that I've had a good laugh, Mr Smith what do really think that the Ft. William gardens attracts major events to this city, or is factored into the decision of any professional looking at moving his family to Thunder Bay. We need to continue to modernize our city.
I say build it ASAP!
2/20/2014 10:51:12 AM
bluejay12 says:
S Duncan for Mayor!!!
2/20/2014 9:26:59 AM
fastball says:
Yes....because every village needs an idiot.
2/20/2014 11:08:53 PM
SMB says:
blah blah blah Event Centre blah blah blah Marnina blah blah blah plebiscite.

Plebiscite, derived from Plebian - the lowest class of ancient Rome. Just sayin.
2/20/2014 9:01:47 AM
grs says:
I heard that the reason the James Street bridge is stalled is because all the consultants across north America are working on the design for the event centre. I also heard that the reason for the gridlock at the hospital is because when it was being built all the construction materials were being hoarded for the eventual building of our event centre, thus it was built too small.

And, if you fly over the city it's obvious that the neglect in snow plowing is for the event centre, as all the 8 foot high snow banks strategically spell out "EVENT CENTRE GOING HERE" in letters that sprawl out across the city with a big arrow pointing to the downtown north core.

I also saw Conrad Boychuk with some Horizon Wind folks chopping down some maple stands on the norwesters...

Might as well push all the hot buttons at once, no?
2/20/2014 8:53:49 AM
exceptionally local says:
There is never anything new in Fort William! Port Arthur gets everything! Fort William doesn't even get two rusty bent poles!
2/20/2014 12:10:32 PM
sd says:
I am not quite sure what your intention in this comment was. If it was a sarcastic comment to go along with the great sarcastic comment above then well done.
If on the other hand you believe this to be the truth and feel that FW gets nothing new and it all goes to the PA side of town can you please tell me what that brand new building is at the corner of May and Donald St. or perhaps that other large building under construction down the street?
2/20/2014 7:12:05 PM
dockboy says:
The City does not want a plebiscite for one reason only, the construction of the multiplex would be voted down by a substantial margin. There's more to this multiplex construction than you or I are aware of, and that's why the City will turn down our chance to say ya or nay.
2/20/2014 8:37:56 AM
Arch Stanton says:
But Hockey SUCKS!!!!!
2/20/2014 12:04:53 AM
reese says:
Has enyone asked the police chief if they can handle the hockey hoodlums like Vancouver
More jail cells?
2/19/2014 10:52:07 PM
bttnk says:
The city has grown tired of the act from this crew. Fortunately we have a council with a spine that isn't going to bend under pressure from a group led by someone who achieved 49 votes in the last election. They are a loud minority that will either get on board with the progress of Thunder Bay and the waterfront, or whine about it no matter how ridiculous they sound. Either way, almost no one cares.
2/19/2014 10:48:04 PM
Tbcanada says:
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion but just another old koot standing in the way of progress. We should have built a event centre years ago! Next time a major concert rolls through lets have the concert in his backyard.
2/19/2014 10:37:39 PM
Dan dan says:
The public has spoken loudly and clearly. It's people like Mr. Smith who are putting their fingers in their ears and trying to tune them out.

YES to a new events centre.
YES to the downtown north core.

Innova Park has absolutely NOTHING going for it as a location - except parking. I can't believe that anyone would support that location after giving it any more than five seconds of rational thought.
2/19/2014 10:17:46 PM
musicferret says:
We have had plebiscites on issues much smaller than this one.

This issue is over $106,000,000.00 before cost overruns, PLUS ongoing losses of at least $1,000,000.00 per year.

It costs virtually nothing to have the plebiscite question on the municipal ballot, so why not put it there.

Unlike the old "Thunder Bay/Lakehead" question, just keep it simple:

1) "Do you support the construction of an events centre at the estimated cost of $106,000,000?"

2) If an events centre was going to be built regardless of your opinion in question 1, which site would you support: downtown Port Arthur or Innova Park.

Simple. Factual.
Put it in black and white and let us decide.

Plus, having something of this importance on the ballot will likely increase voter turnout.
2/19/2014 10:17:01 PM
ring of fire dude says:
The LAST thing Council wants is a high voter turnout .
2/20/2014 5:05:08 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
1) "Do you support the construction of an events centre at the estimated cost of $106,000,000?"

YES - who wouldn't want a $106 million events centre?

My real answer:

YES (if we receive a substantial amount of outside financial support)
NO (if we don't receive a substantial amount of outside financial support)

You're asking to shape our future without anyone having the information needed to shape it.

Who wouldn't want a 106 million dollar arena? Everybody wants one. Some just don't want to pay for it. So the answer to your question as presented should be a resounding YES. Do I want a 106 million dollar arena? Of course I do. That's the hole poked in that simple question. No matter how the question is worded, huge holes can be poked in it because the issue is way too complex to state in one yes or no non-subjective question. The hospital question was easy. It wasn't a multi faceted issue. It was very linear. Far different than the events centre.
2/20/2014 8:03:06 AM
fastball says:
What part of "if there's no significant financial contribution by other levels of government, then this initiative goes on the back burner" DON'T you understand? I really don't think that the city would consider paying for the whole thing by themselves.
Fine (for the sake of argument) if the City decided that they'd pay the whole 100M or whatever amount by themselves - then I'd say there'd be reason for a plebiscite on the matter. But if there were matching contributions from other sources - then I'd be all for it, no questions asked.
But at this point, no one has a clue what the finances are like - nor what the tax burden would be for the individual homeowner. Don't ask people to demand a vote when they haven't got any facts yet.
I have a feeling that this crowd is more about SHOULD we build it, and WHERE should it be built - rather than about the money.
I really don't want 1-2 percent of the population demanding in on the decision-making process. That's holding democracy hostage.
2/20/2014 9:00:28 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Well after the debenture for the hospital was paid off we were told the tax would cease to exist , it's still there collecting money . So why should I believe that the City wouldn't go it alone or with the Provincial Gov't to build this hockey rink and tax us into oblivion for the next 30 + years ?
2/20/2014 11:28:11 AM
fastball says:
Well, when I read your proposed plebiscite question, I see three potential questions posed.
Do you support the construction at all? Y/N
At 106M dollars? Y/N
And where?
A lot of people support the construction - but perhaps not if TBay taxpayers are paying the full 106M dollar price tag on our own. If gov't chips in a chunk of $$$, sure, build it.
Or will the question be posed, as I suspect it will be - with WHATEVER the dollar figure is? Some people are dead against the project, no matter if we get a sweetheart financial deal on it or not.
And why in God's name would you ask someone who doesn't support the building of the facility in the first place, to have a say on where it should (shouldn't) be built? If you voted NO to the first question - you don't get to vote on the second.
Otherwise, you end up with a percentage of the people voting Y/N on should it proceed...Y/N on the cost figure quoted, and Y/N on the location.
To me, that's absolutely stupid and totally counterproductive.
2/20/2014 11:19:41 AM
hey_buddy says:
Ray Smith and his gang are all quacks!! Best cane shakers you'll ever encounter.
2/19/2014 10:05:14 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
What makes you think I'm using a cane. I'm in my 40's! I'm really offended by this comment! This city does not seem to be able to keep costs under control. They ran over budget on the Marina. Made, in my opinion, bad decisions on the million dollar sticks called art. And they can't keep a budget for plowing the streets. If you think they have the ability to make the proper decisions on this project then YOU have not looked at what they have done in the past. Ya! It's makes sense to get the same people to make the same mistakes. Get your head out of your hole!
2/20/2014 8:23:56 AM
CLETE says:
Time to stop all of the this talking and start building this new arena. To those who oppose the project you can leave the city. The value of your homes have never been higher.
2/19/2014 9:58:03 PM
blah blah says:
plebiscite on all city run services please, cut services to police and fire like rebecca wants. close our welfare pools and golf courses all indoor and outdoor rinks. please no parks, they cost too much to maintain. shut down thunder bay district housing. I as a home owner pay taxes why should i pay for others. Wants and Needs blah blah. life in thunder bay is boring unless you are old and dont want change. Take a look at the age of people in this town. its just getting older as the young people leave. and i cant blame them. people like ray that drive them away
2/19/2014 9:54:27 PM
ou812 says:
Not this guy again! I remember him fighting for the Gardens in the 90s when it was 30 years past its prime then.

TBT… why do you give these lunatics the platform???

I call on all supporters of the event centre to gather at the MJ Library and show council that this town DOES support a downtown event centre
2/19/2014 9:50:28 PM
tsb says:
We need to hold a plebiscite NOW because everyone who opposes the multiplex will be DEAD by 2014!!! :O
2/19/2014 9:37:32 PM
tbaycat says:
“For all of those soldiers that gave their lives to protect our rights and freedoms and to all of those that lived through the hardships that ensued ….. please be aware that there are now several generations of children who ridicule you as being old and stupid and say that “YOU” have no idea of what the “REAL” world is all about “ ……. Way to go TSB in trying to make a joke of (and maybe having joy in) these peoples impending deaths……
2/21/2014 4:20:54 AM
jonthunder says:
I am not to say whether there should be a new arena/events centre or not; but, why is it that our democratically elected city council will not allow the citizens of our community a direct democratic vote on this matter? Why? Are they afraid if the results? Or is it something else? If they do not believe our fellow citizens should have a legitimate voice in such a matter they should resign from elected office and let those more deserving take their place at the wishes of the people.
2/19/2014 8:39:22 PM
gone for good says:
HANK WOJAK for mayor.
Hobbs was just a retired union boss. What makes Keith an expert and Henry not?
Hobbs wants to blow as much cash as possible it seems. Hank wants to save that cash.
What makes more sense?
Go get em Henry,,,,,seriously, Go get em.
2/19/2014 8:11:30 PM
ou812 says:
Spending it of course!

2/19/2014 10:32:18 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Wow . Sure looks like Commisso has his trolls out in full force judging from all the anti-plebiscite posts .
2/19/2014 8:04:09 PM
S Duncan says:
yeah, its slightly obvious huh? All of a sudden we have a rash of new names all using the same lame sentence structure and poor punctuation in favour of a welfare dome.

Even more reason for us to have that plebiscite.

That way the people who can actually vote (not children, and people from out of town) would have their fair say.
2/19/2014 9:12:06 PM
Baor says:
Yeah ok pieislandrefugee
2/20/2014 8:47:11 AM
S Duncan says:
Wow, now hurry back into your mystery machine Scooby, another mystery awaits your amazing mystery solving talents.

Have you ever made a comment that pertained to the story?

Now stop letting your imagination run wild, adults are trying to discuss grown-up topics.
2/20/2014 11:38:30 AM
mystified says:
We Know when you changing your name too Wayne.
That is exactly how we know it is you Tim H, Wayne, we watch the grammar and the agree counter and we know it is one and the same.

A plebiscite will not work because it will turn into the ole Port Arthur and Fort William battle as people base their vote on personal preference without looking at the focus of the city. We already know it will go downtown North Core eventually.
2/20/2014 10:55:43 AM
ring of fire dude says:
AND it looks like the BIA Waterfront committee has a concerted effort going on to flood TBNewswatch with pro event center drivel , name calling and general unsportsmanlike like conduct unbecoming a so-called business entity that speaks for all of the waterfront businesses . They are running scared and Council probably signed an agreement with the Hotelier that they cannot back out of without getting sued , again .
2/20/2014 10:06:04 AM
gone for good says:
Hey paper cut. Thanks for the laugh. Im always at the MTS Centre. Just bought some more tickets to Sabbath and then ZZ is coming in 16 days as well.
You really got to stop listening to the guy that drives the zamboni there. Chipman has told no one of the deal or where its at.
Go get em Hank.
Democracy in Thunder Bay. What a novel idea.
Plebiscite. Is that possible there?
2/19/2014 8:03:24 PM
Thundereye says:
If Thunder Bay had to hold a plebiscite for everything they wanted done, we would have nothing. It seems we are full of NIMBY, not with my tax dollars, not there, it should be over here, I can't park there, I may have to walk, wah, wah, wah. The gardens is 20 years past it's due date. No restaurant or catering services, no private suites, no bar, no modern concessions, no decent press box, entry level hockey, no big concerts, need I go on. Let's get it built. We, a city of over 100K should be embarassed in our facility. I know I am.
2/19/2014 7:51:21 PM
Who-cares says:
“Our role as members of council is to take the long-term look, to have the vision and to say what does this community need? And yes there is a difference between needs and wants, but we can’t just be a community that plows the snow and cuts the grass. We’ve got to be a community that has arts, has culture, has entertainment – things for people to do and things that will attract new people into Thunder Bay.
What council and Mr. Angus need to realize, it's not up to the "city" to always provide these things. The city can and should help out when needed, but if these things are so needed in our community then let "Private Investment" pay for these. If these things are in such a demand then the there should be no problem to find the private investment for these services. Not to have our tax dollars used to fund and prop up money losing proposals.
2/19/2014 7:01:29 PM
fastball says:
SD - quick, make up your mind...is the city run by socialists or totalitarians? You keep swinging from one end of the political spectrum to the other, depending on the story.
If the go ahead with a project, they're liberal lefty, union-loving welfare socialists. Or are they the black-clad totalitarians, with their jackboots firmly planted on the throat of the democratic process?
The electorate voted those people into office - they just didn't sneak into into office. They're not alien pod people, taking over the previously-sane and responsible council members - who mysteriously all lost their collective minds and all good sense when they foolishly embarked on a course of action that you happen to take issue with. They were good enough to have been voted into office, and not just once either.
So how many people have to attend this meeting to be taken seriously - 1, 5, 10, 50 percent of the population? Frankly, if they get 50 people - that's .005 percent? Yeah...let's hold a vote.
2/19/2014 6:52:10 PM
trips says:
mr. Duncan...I have to wonder if you were against the computer when it was first developed ...a useless piece of machinery at the time ...think back at the price you paid compared to now for your computer...im sure you were against the computer because it was a waste of your money ..but now you have realized that you can use it everyday like you do spending literally hours a day blaming people of their forward thinking...remember that this event centre will not be built without provincial and federal monies in place
2/19/2014 6:52:00 PM
S Duncan says:
Here we go again.

You have no logical rebuttal to my comments so the best you can do is lash out at the person who made them.

You're either a child or a lost soul desperate for welfare hockey.

Please step up to the plate and tell us why theres no need for a plebiscite but theres a need for welfare hockey.
2/19/2014 8:53:23 PM
mystified says:
A Plebiscite is no good because Thunder Bay still stinks with the Port Arthur and Fort William issue and people will vote to have it closest to home.
You can knock it off with the welfare hockey as you too, if not already will be collecting your welfare Canada Pension.
People may be on your side if you stop clicking on your own agree button.
2/20/2014 10:43:55 AM
Reasonabletbay says:
I honestly hope that people don't allow the volume of negative comments about the event centre on this website to represent public opinion.
2/19/2014 6:45:08 PM
lake superior guy says:
I don't see how a plebiscite is warranted when there isn't that great an outcry from the public. What we are seeing in regards to this issue is the same individuals posting constantly numerous times on each story. At this point there are 11 comments but 4 are by the same person. Also there aren't a lot of comments by those in favour of this multi-use facility I believe because they are satisfied by the potential outcome of a centre located in the north downtown core, as I am. We participate in the democratic process of electing officials to represent us and should be satisfied with the outcome whether our choice is voted in or not. That is what democracy is.
2/19/2014 6:31:05 PM
Kam River says:
The question that need to be asked
Do you want provincial Dollars spend on

(a) the Multiplex, youth centre, art Gallery

(b) getting the Hospital our of grid lock.

2/19/2014 6:26:59 PM
commonsense says:
The Friends of Marina Park were NOT against thoughtful, well-planned improvements to Marina Park, that would benefit the citizens of our City.
That is most of what you see there now.
What wasn't necessary was to use our stimulus funding to increase the size of the park, service that area, and remediate the land TO FACILITATE PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT. Why should taxpayers who paid the bill not be able to park there, or the boaters who pay for slips?
Another facility that would be FOR the public could have been planned instead.
As the condo takes occupancy, and the hotel comes into being, we will see how the public is displaced from our own park. We taxpayers will pay to build more parking for them. And it looks like we will subsidize an Art Gallery "for them".
What people don't realize is that we are neglecting our infrastructure by directing TBayTel dividends into Renew Thunder Bay, and using that money to say " funds in place" for event centre.
Then they borrow for necessities.
2/19/2014 6:21:15 PM
Eastender says:
Mary J. L. Black library,
March 5th, at 5:00 PM.
Come out and voice your concern.
2/19/2014 7:21:10 PM
progress now says:
Interesting comment"

"What people don't realize is that we are neglecting our infrastructure by directing TBayTel dividends into Renew Thunder Bay, and using that money to say " funds in place" for event centre.
Then they borrow for necessities."

This, from my perspective, speaks to the heart of the issue. Budgeting is really just a shell game. That is all renew Thunder Bay is. Get this message out in the next election and we may just elect a new council. Its not enough to change the mayor, as we found out.

Mr. Angus has been around for over 30 years. Lets give other people the same opportunity he asked for so many years ago. He had ample opportunity to make his mark. You can decide if we are the better for it.

Time for fresh faces and fresh ideas.

Other voices want to be heard too. I believe we need to hear them.
2/19/2014 9:12:44 PM
exceptionally local says:
I didn't realize the Friends of the Marina were not against well thought out expansion. I was approached many times by members of this committee and many times was told that expansion in the park was going to ruin the park. The impression I got was that they wanted no development at all. Maybe some of your members were a little more severe in their message and did the comittee a disservice.

However, it might be that I have a different definition of "thoughtful, well-planned improvements" because I love the direction this project is taking.
2/20/2014 8:41:20 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Wait till the hotel and condos are built , then we'll see if your opinion has changed .
2/20/2014 9:51:53 AM
exceptionally local says:
I'd be willing to bet my opinion won't change. I mean, open minded people may have a change of opinion when the facts change, so it's possible. My current opinion is that condos and hotels only allow more progress. More people living and visiting the marina mean more business and so far the businesses in that area are fantastic. Mostly small business, locally owned. I can't wait to see what other businesses pop up over the next few years. The best part is that all of the businesses create jobs, pay land tax, generate hst on their goods and services. The whole area wins. I love it.
2/20/2014 12:08:24 PM
peas08 says:
Let us hope that they ask not only if we want one but where we want it.
2/19/2014 6:20:54 PM
ou812 says:
That has already been decided. There were plenty of opportunities for the public to voice concerns. I was there for one of the meetings.
2/19/2014 9:59:29 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
This city has not even paid off the water treatment plant and you want to invest in more buildings. Pay off the plant and update the hospital first. Then we can talk. The Marina was packed! Oh joy! You know why? There is no other place to go! The parking sucks and when it's summer in the parks, I'm not going because my wife has trouble walking. So we don't go. You have created a place for people living near the area. As usual Westfort gets screwed again. We had to fight to keep open the pool and that is all we have here other than a couple of fields. The event center is a joke. What happened to the plan that was suppose to join the complex, Auditorium, area, and ball diamond. Why isn't that on the table? Combine the arena and stadium. Wasn't that the plan of the future years ago too?
2/19/2014 5:31:57 PM
spazz says:
"The parking sucks and when it's summer in the parks, I'm not going because my wife has trouble walking. So we don't go. You have created a place for people living near the area."

@YellowSnow13 You must not be aware that the city runs a FREE shuttle service from the parkade during large events at the marina. I've made use of it myself on more than one occaison. Lots of parking and a free handicap accessible ride from your car to the event.
2/20/2014 1:38:47 PM
S Duncan says:
judging by the comments on here, the past polls, the letters to the editor of this site as well as other new agencies,

Its pretty darn clear that a plebiscite is needed.

Why would anybody be afraid of a plebiscite? Are they afraid of the truth? Are they afraid the majority wont go along with this mess?

Why is someone afraid of democracy? What kind of person fears the public opinion? If a person thinks they should be able to tell us what we want and we don't have a say, is that someone we want in our government?

Is that someone we want in our society?

That's not what Canada is about. We are not about totalitarian rule, or are we now?

If we examine those on council, look at their backgrounds. How many of them actually earned a living instead of having a union hand it over to them? How many of them are former representatives for the communist party?

How many of them are living off the backs of the taxpayer not just now, but their whole lives?

This group needs to go! All of them!
2/19/2014 5:19:08 PM
hadenough says:
You have a plebiscite already. It's call the October election.

You know what councillors voted for or against the event centre or marina development or whatever else you're for or against.

Vote them out instead of siting here daily whining about everything that comes across. There's no need for a specific plebiscite until the province or federal government offers or denies funding.
2/19/2014 6:04:47 PM
S Duncan says:
We already had a mayor campaigning on the promise of a plebiscite.

He obviously lied to all of us.

What stops the others from doing the exact same thing? We all know they promise one thing and do whatever Commisso tells them.

If we have a plebiscite we will have a definitive answer from the voters in this city. The ones that matter, the ones who will be paying for it.

I ask again, why would anybody be against a plebiscite??

the only person against it would be because they are afraid of the outcome.

and also, the number of people that show up at this meeting has no direct relation one way or another on how people feel about this welfare dome.

People contacting Hobbs, or Angus or whatever.. is there any proof they are residents of Thunder Bay? Ive seen very few letters in the paper supporting this, and they were from outlying areas which will not be paying for it.. of course they're in favour of it, they don't pay!

theres no need to go a single step further without a plebiscite.
2/19/2014 8:47:49 PM
TBDR says:
Actually you're only telling half the story. He said he'd want a plebiscite if the city had to borrow money to pay for it.
2/20/2014 4:08:03 PM
Baor says:
4 letters to the editor. Polls here that anyone can vote on more than once. Trolls like you with more than one handle spouting the exact same comments over and over and over , hardly makes for a convincing reason for a plebiscite.
Calling it a "mess"? Really? There are many backers already with deep pockets who are a part of it. The city isn't even going to be funding most of it.
As for political affiliations , what is the relevance of that comment? Yes we are a democracy....which is why unions and CHOICE of political preference is allowed. Demanding all people be conservative (like you do), and demanding the ousting of FREELY ELECTED city council because YOU don't like them , hardly sounds like the democracy you pretend to speak of. They are elected representatives and direct voting on every little project would grind growth and development to a halt. There was no plebiscite on the marina, no grand protests and marches...and it is coming together nicely WITH investors.
2/20/2014 4:15:17 PM
spazz says:
Angus points to the controversy surrounding waterfront development.

“You go down there last weekend and the place was jam-packed,” he said.

That says it all. All of the people that were up in arms about the marina development moved on to be up in arms about the event center. Every time I enjoy Summer in the Park, every time we take in one of the outdoor movies, every time I take my daughter to the splash pad / skating down at the marina I'm thankful that the small minority screaming bloody murder were ignored.

Also, I can't say I'm surprised to see S. Duncan championing the cause of a guy who was served with a trespass notice at city hall.
2/19/2014 5:17:58 PM
S Duncan says:
what kind of city has to serve trespass notices to a citizen who does exactly what he is allowed to do?
2/19/2014 5:23:49 PM
exceptionally local says:
I'd say if the trespass notice stuck, then you were doing something you were not supposed to do.
2/20/2014 8:34:36 AM
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Tbaylifer 1 says:
Angus is a typical old school politition. He believes that democracy ends once the ballot is cast to elect him. Once in, he does not have to listen to anyone especially the taxpayer because he knows best. He was elected. Then again, so was Hitler and we all know how that turned out. Sure, there are issues that we should not be involved with such as where a sewer line should go or the like however when it comes to a large investment,we should have a larger say. Like the Marina, we were asked, should we develop it? We were not asked if that development would result in a commercial/ residential subdivision. Same with the charity casino. Which, we were told would bring in 100 tour buses per day. Ya right. Hiring consultants that tow the party line does not make it right.
The partners that have come forward stating they would move the AHL team here should build it themselves instead of looking for corporate welfare. Plebiscite please.
2/19/2014 4:57:25 PM
conker2012 says:
Just so that you are aware, the outcome of a plebiscite can be manipulated how the question is asked.

The author of the city naming questions was designed in this way so that Thunder Bay would be the outcome.

Plebiscites also attempt to simplify complex issues or questions that are not a simple yes/no/maybe answers. Without reading and understanding the entire phase 2 document with an objective set of eyes there is noway that I would be willing to make a decision on the topic.

I work on two projects that are valued at over 20 times the value of the proposed event center. My experience has told me that without a complete and detailed understanding of every detail a useful decision cannot be made without grave consequences.

The general population will make decisions based on emotions and not facts, regardless of the outcome it will necessarily be the right decision.

We pay council about a million dollars every year to do the research and make sound decisions based on FACTS.
2/19/2014 4:46:57 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
That comment absolutely hits the nail on the head.

It's impossible to sum up this issue with one non-subjective yes or no question. There are far too many layers of complex factors that, aside from a small handful of people, no-one, me included, has enough knowledge of to make an informed decision. It's not at all a plebiscitable (probably not a real word) issue.
2/19/2014 5:34:47 PM
outside looking in says:
I also have worked on large projects and one thing I learned years ago on my first one is that all "so called facts" can be manipulated to support whatever conclusion is wanted. The top construction project leader at the time had some amazing ways to state a "fact". The problem today is that people in high positions that make decisions have lost the trust of the people. It is like the side effects of drugs. Even if only one person has a reaction, it is listed as a possible side effect. Now ask 1000 people about parking for the event centre. If only one person says there is lots of parking, you just ignore the others and say that the study showes there is enough parking.

I find it insulting that someone would think I could not understand a process or project to make an informed decision. It is a simple yes or no. The question is "do I trust the information or facts"..
2/19/2014 10:00:59 PM
conker2012 says:
Facts don't lie, they are based on evidence. Manipulated facts are in fact lies or false information.

The opinion of 999 of people 1000 is only an opinion. If the same 999 people tell you that the word apple is spelled O-R-A-N-G-E and one tells you it was spelled A-P-P-L-E but checked the Websters dictionary, who do you think is right? The 999 have the right to an opinion but the fact is they might be idiots.

Here is a little exercise I want you to do, take the entire phase 2 report and find the parking section for both innova and downtown. There should be a map showing each event center location and a walking distance map. Take this map and go find both locations on Google maps. Pretend you show up to a major event at both locations, but all the spaces show on the phase 2 report are full. I want you to find the closest legal parking space to each event center if all the listed spots are full. I find hundreds downtown, and only one public lot 2.5km way from innova. Facts love'em.
2/20/2014 12:23:38 AM
working_man says:
I would think that if the "masses" are so against this project and its location, the turnout to the March 11th "Plebiscite Open House" will undoubtedly be so great that the event should probably be moved to a much larger venue.
Please publish the number in attendance. Very, very curious to see how many are so truly concerned and wanting a plebiscite.
2/19/2014 4:39:35 PM
Baor says:
I predict less than 50 people show up.
2/19/2014 4:34:50 PM
Papercut says:
I was in Winnipeg last weekend and was talking with someone who works at the MTS centre. They were told that the move of the AHL team to Thunder Bay is a done deal?????

So does that mean the event centre is a done deal????
2/19/2014 4:28:46 PM
S Duncan says:
Hey Iain, intercity was packed last weekend too and it didn't cost taxpayers a cent.

If you build a city that caters to welfare takers, that's what you will end up with.

and Iain loves it.
2/19/2014 4:22:45 PM
conker2012 says:
I expect that you turn in your health card and return any Canada pension cheques you get. You don't want government handouts then send yours back!
2/20/2014 12:28:00 AM
S Duncan says:
I pay for those. Give me the option of not paying and I'll gladly turn em over.

I know personal responsibility is a foreign subject matter today for children but maybe its time for you to grow up and consider it.
2/20/2014 11:41:41 AM
conker2012 says:
At some point everyone pays for the "welfare" services that you claim.

If you want to option not to pay for the services I will give it to you. Move out to a remote location and live entirely off the land, no electricity, no municipal services, this way you have no need for money. Not needing money means you have no need for income, this then entail no taxation. Since you do not want the services then you should turn in your health card and refuse CPP.

When will you be moving?
2/20/2014 12:05:43 PM
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The Cougar says:
"“They have every right to that opinion to pursue those view and to try to convince the council of the day not to move forward to it. But at the same time we have others who are saying we need this kind of investment. We need to find a proper replacement for the Fort William Gardens,” Angus said."

Well Mr. Angus, instead of speaking in generalities, why don't we just add this to the ballot and see what percentage of people are for/against this arena. Isn't that what a democracy is all about?
2/19/2014 4:21:07 PM
S Duncan says:
Angus' comments are ridiculous. As soon as you realize he's an NDP socialist, then they aren't surprising.

This is a great move but we all know that Hobbs is incapable of listening, and proven he is quite capable of lying.

Henry Wojak is right on the money. Thanks for at least trying to hold their feet to the fire Hank!

The truth is this welfare dome is directly tied to the hotel at the marina. we knew that before and we know it now.

but every time I bring that up, my comment never gets posted. How come?
2/19/2014 4:16:39 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
How many votes did Hank get last election? 49 I think. I guess that makes him an appropriate spokesperson of "the masses????"....small masses I guess.
2/19/2014 5:40:20 PM
S Duncan says:
does it matter? the mayor ran on the promise of a plebiscite.

he lied.

that means the people that voted for him were deliberately misled on this issue. I was one of the many.

Do you embrace politicians that run on the stance of one enormous issue we're faced with (in the news almost everyday now) but when elected they do a complete 180?

You have some terribly low expectations. Or is it just OK because you want a welfare dome?

Remember children, if you embrace politicians that lie because it suits your agenda, sooner than later you will have ones that lie which don't fit your needs.

Perhaps the answer is to demand honesty from a politician and when they lie like Hobbs did, you hold them accountable regardless of your personal selfishness.

You reap what you sow, so if you like Hobbs' lies, enjoy your crop.
2/19/2014 9:00:22 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Wow. This coming from a Stephen Harper lackey.

The Mayor ran on a lot of untruths. It was frustrating during the election, him making promises that were not possible to keep. I'm not saying he lied. I think it's more likely that he just didn't have a clue as to what the power of the Mayor's Office actually entailed. Nor did he understand a lot of the issues, a plebiscite being one of them. I didn't like him then, and I still don't like him now.

And, I'm not yet a supporter of the Arena. My decision will depend on the level of support given from the private sector and the other levels of Government. If there is substantial support from them, then I am absolutely a supporter. To have it in the city would be great for many reasons.

Give me the wording that should appear on the plebiscite. If you can craft one that ensures that everyone is making an informed vote, then I'm all for that as well. Remember you've said in the past that you'd like to have it built.
2/20/2014 7:44:17 AM
Eastender says:
Mary J. L. black library.
March 11 @ 5:PM.
Be there, bring your friends, your mom, and your grandpaw.
This gang of thugs has got to be stopped.
2/19/2014 6:08:49 PM
fastball says:
How come?
Maybe because they, and everyone with two working brain cells, knows it's complete and utter BS.
If it were tied together, why would Delta have poured millions of dollars into construction already - years ahead of any proposed "welfare dome" being completed...let alone even started? If it the socialist hockey rink doesn't happen, is Delta just going to pack up and leave the place half-done?
Maybe they bought into the big picture of what the area MIGHT become in a decade or so.

2/19/2014 7:01:45 PM
ou812 says:
SO what if the event centre is tied to the hotel at the marina. Doesn't it make sense to tie them together smart guy. There will probably be a couple more hotels downtown when the event centre comes adding greatly to the tax base that you worry so much about.
2/19/2014 9:55:18 PM
ou812 says:
I'm good with a plebiscite if we get 100% voter turn out.
2/19/2014 10:23:38 PM
Reignmaker says:
Your constant misuse of the words welfare and socialist are ridiculous. Use some money and buy a dictionary or at least use your computer to look up what these words mean.
Welfare deals with the minimal level of supports for community members well beings. This has nothing to do with a for profit arena. If anything, your pension (that you refer to later)is welfare since it looks after the above supports. If you want to argue that you paid for it, then fine take only what you put in. I guarantee that you would not have nearly what you actually make right now.
Calling the centre socialist is also ridiculous as socialism is fundamentally opposed to capitalist gains. A for profit arena, though owned buy the City, still is intended to make money. Thus, it is not socialist regardless of community ownership.

For the record, I don't want the event centre either. However, I also don't want to keep seeing you use words that don't mean what you think they do.
2/20/2014 12:41:16 PM
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