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2014-03-03 at 13:37

Big meeting

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
91.5 CKPRWin a backyard BBQ valued at over $1500 with Your At Play Station, 91.5 CKPRClick here

The city is hosting municipal officials from across the country for one of its most significant meetings of the year.

More than 100 board members from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will converge in Thunder Bay this week for the annual spring meetings. While the organization does not have any legal authority, the federation does serve as an influential lobby group.

Coun. Linda Rydholm, who also serves as a board member for the federation, and its vice-chair of the women's’ committee, said the organization has been able to achieve significant victories in the past, including with the recent international trade agreement with the European Union.

“We did get 25 per cent Canadian content with the Canadian and European Union trade agreement so that 25 per cent should greatly help the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay,” Rydholm said.

The group has also been successful through lobbying for direct funding to municipalities and she listed accessing the federal Gas Tax Fund, federal portion of the GST rebate along with receiving increased infrastructure funding as ways the organization has benefitted the city.

One of the topics expected to be addressed during the meetings is how different municipalities can access the federal government’s Building Canada Fund.

That fund has major implications for Thunder Bay, as mayor Keith Hobbs admits the construction of the new event centre is likely reliant upon that money.

“The Building Canada Fund is huge for major infrastructure projects, like the events centre. Those are the kinds of funds we would have to rely on to see that project going forward,” he said.

“The (upcoming federal) election is a big issue because will the Building Canada Fund still be there if another party gets in.”

Rydholm said she expects the board members to also discuss other national issues such as a housing strategy and rail safety.

Hobbs said the meeting is an opportunity for representatives from municipalities from across the country to compare notes and adopt practices that have proven effective.
That includes one significant municipal duty where Thunder Bay has jumped ahead of the curve, according to Hobbs.

“Infrastructure is crumbling in a lot of communities and Thunder Bay has been identified as a leader in our infrastructure enhancement in the province and recognized Canada wide as well,” he said.

“We’re going to be putting $40 million into our infrastructure which is historic levels for our municipality. Other municipalities are looking at us for enhanced infrastructure programs.”
In addition to the meetings visiting board members will participate in a variety of activities across the city, including a book drive at the Mary J.L. Black Public Library on Friday and a Women in Politics forum on Saturday.

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Comments

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old vienna says:
Hobbs give it up already regarding the events center. You and this out of touch council are doing your best to ignore all the polls conducted 'THE ROUT IS ON'. No matter if it's the plebiscite or whether to build the money pit, the event center supporters are being routed. Time to throw in the towel. Todays poll question and results shows how out of touch you've become with the voting public.
3/3/2014 2:56:36 PM
mystified says:
It is to bad tbnewswatch wouldn't add a disclaimer that the poll conducted here are in no way accurate. I can login and vote on 7 different devices in my home if I wish, these polls are hogwash.
3/3/2014 3:39:18 PM
Eastender says:
If you can, so can everyone else, so that makes it equal, and still if not completely accurate a significant indication of the sentiments of the citizens regarding this stupid hockey rink/concert hall thing. (Event Centre)
3/4/2014 1:09:51 AM
fastball says:
Stop holding up these polls, with their insipid questions as some kind of "scientific" social barometer of the community.
All that shows is that 270 people disagreed with a incredibly stupid question.
Not that they agreed/disagreed with the event centre..just that they didn't think old people were the driving force behind some opposition.
3/3/2014 3:42:11 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Hobbes..can your welfare hockey arena or resign. NOW.
3/3/2014 3:59:40 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Cash addicts getting together to study and learn each others con-artist techniques and how to bamboozle the iggerunt taxpaying fools....
3/3/2014 5:37:24 PM
Ozone says:
How's outputting a training course for this town's council on how to listen and be accountable to the local tax payer on the agenda!!!

Or have this council teach other cities councils on how to ignore, avoid and manipulate civic issues to lead the public.
3/3/2014 6:22:18 PM
chezhank says:
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business(CFIB) held a workshop at the big met of the FCM in Vancouver,where 2000 delegates from Canadian municipalites attended.
Their message to delegates if anyone listened was to get their mismanaged spending under control,then you would not be begging to the federal government to do help pay for infrastructure work you neglected while in office.
The CFIB suggests that municipal tax increases be tied to inflation and population growth.The latter reflected in new assessment for the municipality.
It is something the Small Business Consulting services(SBCS) said indirectly in their report by saying that tax increases will be high if this city continues on their spending spree which council and administration dismissed.Their report is referred to to as the Chamber of Commerce report.
Well it is nice to see the delegates spending taxpayer's money in Thunder Bay.
3/3/2014 8:01:06 PM
reese says:
Extreme stick fighting on Youtube
check it out City Hall?
3/3/2014 9:40:58 PM
Det John Kimble says:
"That fund has major implications for Thunder Bay, as mayor Keith Hobbs admits the construction of the new event centre is LIKELY RELIANT UPON THAT MONEY.
Likely?? according to city hall documents it not likely IT IS UP TO %^ MILLION!!
" A preliminary Option for City funding of 33.3% would require $35.4 million. Of this, $25 million is currently in place through Renew Thunder Bay (an interest bearing reserve fund) and a further $8 million will need to be confirmed in 2013/14. This option assumes combined Federal and Provincial financial support of $55.7 million and private investment of $15 million."
3/4/2014 7:32:57 PM
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