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2014-02-27 at 14:10

Provincial attention

City manager Tim Commisso, Coun. Joe Virdiramo and mayor Keith Hobbs hold a media conference Thursday morning.
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
City manager Tim Commisso, Coun. Joe Virdiramo and mayor Keith Hobbs hold a media conference Thursday morning.
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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Energy, the proposed event centre and health care were the main priorities for the city at a recent provincial conference.

City officials, including mayor Keith Hobbs and city manager Tim Commisso, returned from the Ontario Good Roads Association conference late Wednesday.

They, along with councillors from the intergovernmental liaison committee said the three days were spent meeting with cabinet ministers and opposition leaders on a number of issues that matter to the city and region.

Hobbs said overall the conference went well and the city feels they were listened to.

But a meeting with energy minister Bob Chiarelli was the exception. The city and province are still at odds over the future of the Thunder Bay generating station, which will see 50 jobs lost when it converts to biomass.

"I wasn't particularly pleased with the outcome of that meeting," Hobbs said.

"I still don't think the minister gets it."

The city was more pleased with a meeting with Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Glenn Murray.

With the event centre being the city's top priority on the list, Murray offered to come to Thunder Bay to discuss its future.

Hobbs said the centre will be a job creator and economic driver for the city, which officials in every minister understood.

A potential youth centre was also discussed with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Coun. Joe Virdiramo said that project needs other levels of government to step in to help out.

"It's hard to get financial commitments from government at this time," he said.

As for health care, Minister Deb Matthews told the city that a plan is coming to deal with a critical shortage of long-term care beds. 

At the conference three years ago the city asked what the province was going to do to get the Ring of Fire moving. They were told at the time to form a plan, which the city developed into its Mining Readiness Strategy.

Returning to Good Raod conference with a city plan in place this year, Hobbs said the city asked Premier Kathleen Wynne what the province's plans were.

They were told the province needs to get it right.


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Comments

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The Beaver..... says:
Hobbs said overall the conference went well and the city feels they were listened to. Ok that line is now 20 years old.
Heee that's Michaels line please leave that one alone. As for the rest I hope the Food was the best.
2/27/2014 2:36:41 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Returning to Good Raod conference with a city plan in place this year, Hobbs said the city asked Premier Kathleen Wynne what the province's plans were.

They were told the province needs to get it right.
thatv is Michaels line as well please do not tough.
2/27/2014 2:57:05 PM
CM punk says:
"It's hard to get financial commitments from government at this time," he said.

This statement should be no surprise as the province is broke.
But do not worry, these three musketeers will hike up those taxes in order to get what they want.

Something tells me they already know whether they are getting federal and provincial funds for their dream projects. Something also tells me the taxpayer is gonna get smashed with the expenses.

But do not worry, the ring of fire, upcoming mining boom and everything else in between will fall into place one of these decades.
2/27/2014 3:03:47 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I'm surprised the Province didn't ask the City to float it a loan since Council seems to think that we are awash in taxpayer cash . Nothing but lip service at this conference on both sides .
2/27/2014 3:19:51 PM
dockboy says:
"I don't think the minister gets it." Hobbs said. Bob Chiarelli gets it alright, he's just making sure we don't get it!
2/27/2014 4:18:41 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
"With the events centre being the city's top priority on the list, Murray offered to come to the city to discuss its future." Is this true? With approx. 150 million dollars of infrastructure needs, the events centre is top of the list? The future of Thunder Bay is the events centre? Really? The mayor stated, "the centre will be a job creator and economic driver for the city," Are you sure you quoted him correctly? He can not be that delusional. I understand the events centre will have a projected deficit of 1 million dollars per year. We will be losing 50 jobs at the generating plant. If these are true facts then it only shows how out of touch city council and the mayor are with what's really going on. How can I trust anything that comes out of cityhall?
2/27/2014 4:40:45 PM
Eastender says:
The answer to that million dollar question is "You cant" (trust city hall, that is).
3/1/2014 8:41:21 AM
Kam River says:
Hobbs "With the event centre being the city's top priority on the list, Murray offered to come to Thunder Bay to discuss its future.
He went on to say a job creator."
Maybe 5 full time jobs and a few more flipping hamburgers at the concessions
In turn you and I are going to pay 2 million a year in operating cost out of our taxes>
Not counting the millions for construction. Which would be better fixing the pot holes and providing beds at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital.
2/27/2014 5:44:03 PM
jimmyboy says:
HOBBS and all of his "went well" comment....does absolutely nothing for the city...no different than what he has done during the past 3 years...and yet he continues to push for this event center....saying that the senior population wants it...how about re-directing monies and time and effort to seniors affordable housing...as well housing for all low income people in the city....more long term health care beds...the list goes on and on...as does all the Blah Blah Blah of Hobbs the empty promises mayor....the cities worse in many an opinion...!!!
2/27/2014 6:04:44 PM
mercy mercy me says:
Larry, Moe and Curly?
2/27/2014 6:29:30 PM
musicferret says:
Fail #1: putting the events centre at the top of the priorities list.

Fail #2: believing that our broke province and feds are going to give us money for it.

Fail #3: If the province or feds actually give us money for it. They have thousands of things to worry about before giving a cent to this type of project at this time. If they do, it will show just how whacko their priorities are.

Projected outcome: municipal taxpayers will foot the bill all while floating more bonds to pay for the actual wants in this city, thereby mortgaging our future for a hockey rink.

Needs before wants.
2/27/2014 8:19:20 PM
Swirly-Q says:
With regards to your Fails #2 and 3... I predict that the province will offer a significant contribution towards the event centre (I've been wrong before, of course).

Even when money is tight, politicians love infrastructure investments, particularly high profile infrastructure (look at the new Nipigon Bridge).

I'm not saying that I agree with the expense, I just think you are misinterpreting the position of the province.
2/28/2014 9:33:58 AM
The Beaver.... says:
@ cm punk you and I have known for a long time that there is no provincial money out there. So what is it that these people don't understand. Spending on consultants left and right is not feeding the kiddie. So wen is this lunacy going to stop. Maybe the next Election will do that.
2/27/2014 9:21:56 PM
S Duncan says:
These money wasting bozos are beyond embarrassing for all of us.

their whole game is to just beg, borrow, and steal money for whatever they tell us we want.

These tax dollar parasites are sucking the life out of Thunder Bay while whispering in our ears how much they love us (our money).

just so we can have a welfare dome.
2/27/2014 9:39:53 PM
patti says:
Any operating deficit of the events center will be ""more** than made up from surrounding new business and tourism.

It's coming / DEAL WITH IT !!!!
2/27/2014 10:37:30 PM
musicferret says:
You're right, it likely will cover the 1m per year.

That being said, what will cover the $106,000,000.00 of taxpayer money used to build this white elephant?

Thats what people are concerned about.
2/28/2014 8:48:37 AM
Eyesopen says:
People....The ring of fire is over. Plain and simple. No one reading this article will ever see development there in time for them to work there. Cliffs was the only company with money and the know how willing to develop it and the province did nothing and let them walk away. Vote Liberal!
2/28/2014 7:29:58 AM
richy says:
Since Duncan is talking about welfare how about those oil companies throwing us some money. We have no problem giving breaks to the rich.
2/28/2014 7:48:49 AM
S Duncan says:
The liberal government loves the oil companys. The more they charge, the more tax they can collect.

They love inflation as well which is why they are happy to raise min wage.

The breaks dont go to the rich, the breaks go to all of us. If you keep taxing all the business owners they will pull up stakes and leave.

The oil business is the only thing keeping Canada afloat these days. Be careful what you wish for.

but besides that, why are you just making liberal talking points that dont make sense or pertain to this story?
2/28/2014 12:41:40 PM
udecide says:
Mr Hobbs, please tell me how much of tax payers dollars are given to " healthy people who just refuse to work in this city and receive social services and or a disability payment ". We are a welfare city.
2/28/2014 8:34:02 AM
westfortforever says:
If the events centre is the city's top priority on the list, the rubber stamp Mayor ,council and the person they jump for Tim Commisso have to leave the ivory tower they work in and really check out this city. An events center would be great but let's fix up our other real issues first and no I am not a senior or cane shaker just a tax payer that cares about this city.
2/28/2014 11:21:58 AM
Blah blah says:
In order for the city to grow you need to invest. Last time I checked the population of the city is down, again. I for one will encourage my kids to get out of this town when the time comes. Stick all the money into infrastructure at least all the old people will have nice roads to drive on as they watch the city and tax base shrink and shrink. Then who will pay for your infrastructure. It's a balancing act people. If you wait to build, it will never happen. Events Center- yes
2/28/2014 3:14:02 PM
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