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2014-03-16 at 6:00 PM

Getting louder

By tbnewswatch.com
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

Calls for an event centre plebiscite are making their way to city hall.

Six presenters will appear before city council at their Monday evening meeting advocating for a question regarding the event centre to be added to October’s municipal election ballot.

They will appear on the same night council will be looking at moving ahead with the third phase of the feasibility component, with the majority of the $1.4 million study being funded by the provincial and federal governments.

The $106 million project would be practically shovel ready following the stage

The deputations come on the heels of a public meeting last Tuesday that supported a plebiscite.

A meeting held by a group of concerned taxpayers last week at the Mary J.L. Black Public Library drew approximately 100 people who voiced opposition against building an events centre.

For a few of them, it should at the very least be an idea decided by voters in the form of a ballot question.

An unscientific poll conducted by tbnewswatch.com on Feb. 10 saw 63 per cent of respondents vote in favour of adding a plebicite.

Also on the agenda is the former Cumberland Cinema Centre and council will hear plans to demolish the old theatre and replace it with a condominium building with underground parking facilities.

(With files from Thunder Bay Television)

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error

Tbnewswatch.com(76)

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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
progress now says:
My impression is everyone wants to do right about event facilities in Thunder Bay. I honestly believe the vast majority of citizens are willing to listen to every proposal.

The problem is a lack of trust. For most, the end does not justify the means and cost overruns at the waterfront (and loss of waterpark, boutique hotel etc.) does not inspire confidence in this city to plan, build and operate the proposed facility.

Worse, the multiplex morphed into an event centre and the cost went from 50 to over 100 million dollars and it hasn't even started - and we are told WE pre-approved it.

Now people talk about a plebiscite but they are really trying to find a way to plug into a decision making process that they feel has become something of a runaway train.

How deep and wide this lack of confidence runs, well, we can make our own minds up about that.

People are upset - are they upset enough to replace council. If not - same old same old.

3/16/2014 7:13:00 PM
sky high says:
This is getting disgusting. I think we should hold a plebiscite for a change of the name of our city again...'CaneShaking Bay', or 'THE CaneShaking Bay'.
3/16/2014 7:20:40 PM
tiredofbull$ says:
What are you scared of, if it goes do a plebiscite and the majority is for it, build it, as long as the funding is in place. If the majority is against it, stop spending money, instantly. Majority's should always win in a democratic society. Your only argument for it ever is calling the people against it caneshakers, all of us can see by your comments how mature you really are, you must have some financial interest in this multiplex with all your caneshaker comments.
3/17/2014 2:02:11 AM
tbaycat says:
You are the disgusting one “sky high”. You are just an unintelligent bullying troll. Why the moderator’s on this site continually allow you to spew your vicious derogatory crap against seniors is totally beyond me. PS please refrain from replying to this post with another one of your lame “Cane shakers” is just a metaphor” crap. It never fooled anyone. Everyone here has already come to the conclusion that you have SERIOUS Mommy and Daddy issues. Why else would you continually attack one of the most helpless and vulnerable segments of our society?
3/17/2014 4:23:20 AM
forum rider says:
I think that if you want to leave an opinion, you should also have to say how much your taxes went up. I'm willing to bet that most of the people on here that are for the Even Center do not pay taxes.

Here's the facts. Taxes are going up, jobs are going down. This is going to cost us money (that we don't have) to build and even more (that we don't have) to run. If the Gardens already operate at a loss of over 1 million per year, how much is this going to cost?
3/17/2014 2:44:57 PM
musicferret says:
Needs vs. wants people!

Wish I was in town; i'd love to give a deputation as well.
3/16/2014 7:22:07 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Needs before wants is as ridiculous as Cane Shakers. Nobody I've ever heard of manages their personal life that way. Never once have I heard of a person who fully pays off their mortgage before they buy a TV or a second pair of shoes. They'll buy a TV when the needs are manageable, and until anybody knows what the real financial implications are to the residents of Thunder Bay, and how the City plans to address those implications, you don't know what's manageable and what's not.

Maybe we should cancel the Symphony funding and use that to pay for Event Centre borrowing.
3/17/2014 3:52:03 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Priorities...?

Are we in any position to even consider spending hundreds of millions on another project in light of the truth about our current taxes ? What ever happened to the report from the University ?

1. Have we finished with the Charity Casino, the Hospital, the equipment for the hospital, the big boat pier for stage five of the waterfront development, the roads, the sidewalks, the new rides for Chipewa Park (we have not bought anything in decades ?), the conservatory up keep ?, new rock work, and concrete work for Hillcrest Park ? Centennial Park needs maintenance ?

Okay, next question, what are we going to build ? we don't need another Gardens there are decades of life left for that ? (Yes we could use the Zamboni from the waterfront... ;) )

Yes we need a convention hall, a mult-use, I had suggested one in the 1996 or 1998 election.

But where ? The proposed side lacks room for many things...

So what is the question, or questions to ask...?
3/16/2014 7:22:40 PM
chezhank says:
@caesarjbasquitti
The report that Mr.Greg Alexander prepared in 2006 against LU building an event centre is applicable to the proposed event centre today.
The only difference is that LU wanted a plebiscite to ask residents if they supported the idea, and now administration and this council
is not willing to give residents a question on the ballot.
Residents should read the executive summary in the report from administration when LU asked if council and administration would put forth an idea for an event centre to the public back in 2006.
What is different,that would invalidate that report today???



henry wojak
mayor in waiting
3/17/2014 6:05:22 AM
Wolfie says:
"What is different,that would invalidate that report today???"

Following a quick skim of that report, here are a couple:

"The Gardens has a minimum expected life span of 10 years"

The earliest that an events centre could be constructed would be over 10 years after this report.

"the Thunderwolves provide 22 events (games) whereas the Soo Greyhounds present 36 events (both exclude playoffs). Those comparators with Ontario Hockey League (OHL) franchises then have a 14 event advantage over Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay would have to attract additional events to cover this disadvantage if the projected revenues are to be achieved."

With Thunder Bay Live there would be both an AHL team and LU. Therefore, what was a "disadvantage" at the time is now an advantage.

3/17/2014 9:29:04 AM
chezhank says:
@Wolfie
Happy you caught that.
"The Gardens has a **minimum** expected life span of 10 years".
The KGS structural report done in 2013,says call us back in 5 years.
Now remember the consultant projects an attendance of 4500 to only lose $1.2 million a year.
The Thunderwolves average 2200 souls.
You better get busy tonight and create some more souls.
3/17/2014 10:18:09 AM
Wolfie says:
Structural reports just mean the place isn't about to fall in, which is definitely a good thing. However, useful life is a totally different matter.

You can't compare LU hockey to AHL hockey. I, for one, have little interest in university hockey and haven't been to a single Thunderwolves game, but would definitely buy AHL season tickets.

The Manitoba Moose struggled to fill the lower bowl of the MTS Centre. By your logic, I guess the Jets draw under 10,000 a night, right?
3/17/2014 11:24:03 AM
truthseeker says:
'With Thunder Bay Live there would be both an AHL team and LU. Therefore, what was a "disadvantage" at the time is now an advantage'.

Except this is Thunder Bay , the event center supporters keep on telling us this is a great hockey town. LU Hockey 1 sellout(9 days ago) in 2 years.

This is Thunder Bay where people show up to hockey games disguised as empty seats.
3/17/2014 11:35:52 AM
fastball says:
You advocate the acquisition of a convention centre/hall, despite your contention that the Gardens is still viable for decades.
Let's be real here - even if we concede that the place is still structurally sound, let's admit that the Gardens' life span is limited (the place is a dump, the only thing going for it is that it's a "paid-for" dump).
Why would we want to end up with TWO facilities at the end of the day, working at cross purposes and tying up land space in the city? Good, useful land space is limited - especially since everything we build seemingly MUST be "centrally located" for the more single-minded of us.
3/17/2014 9:34:07 AM
brandon says:
Council is scared of the people. They know that most people outside PA downtown are against this thing but they want to get past election first so they have 4 years to work out how to screw us.

Mark my words: this will be like hospital. Even if govt. s fun some of it, it will move forward and costs will balloon to $200m, and we'll be stuck paying for it.

Bad idea. Wrong time, wrong place.
$40m arena is what we need. Not a $106++++++m 'events' centre. When did this thing change its stripes from hockey arena to 'events centre' anyway!?!?

3/16/2014 7:40:25 PM
sinkoreswim says:
Give it up already you fanatics! Your measly little group of barely 100 people can't even make up their minds on what question should even be on the plebiscite! Sort yourselves out!
3/16/2014 8:12:25 PM
tbaycat says:
Applauds loudly! Another post from the yes side that does not offer anything relevant to the discussion besides a derogatory comment! Here here! All sane and rational discourse must now end because this forward thinker said so! LOL. (I’m actually starting to wonder how many secret children Stalin actually did sire)
3/17/2014 4:57:04 AM
spazz says:
"You are the disgusting one “sky high”. You are just an unintelligent bullying troll."
"Eeryone here has already come to the conclusion that you have SERIOUS Mommy and Daddy issues."
"Are you totally illiterate? Have you no reading comprehension skills?"


You're right @tbaycat, name calling and attacks are uncalled for. Maybe you should reread your own post before you comment anymore?
3/17/2014 1:11:46 PM
signman says:
The public's voice must be heard!
Mayor Hobbs said prior to being elected "The electorate SHOULD VOTE on any big-tickets items" TBTNewswatch Sept 23, 2010.
Please plan to attend the council meeting tomorrow in person or watch it on Shaw Cable, Channel 10, at 6 pm.
For more information on this issue please plan to attend the public meeeting April 1 at the DaVinci Centre 7pm. Open House begins at 5:30 pm and voting continues. Have your say and let your 'VOICE BE HEARD'!
3/16/2014 8:14:16 PM
Vanity says:
Plebiscite What will be the choices this time?
Remember Lakehead, The Lakehead or Thunder Bay
3/16/2014 8:14:48 PM
bluebear1985 says:
How convenient that this group happens to be making their presentation at the exact same meeting where they are hoping to go ahead with the next phase. It seems like they are more determined than ever to try and kill the project. I just hope that the group, who I assume is from the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay, realize that if this project doesn't get off the ground soon, it would be even more expensive to do it ten or fifteen years down the road. If they have any solid reasons as to why the event centre shouldn't go ahead, I haven't heard them yet. I'm waiting to hear them assuming there are any.
3/16/2014 9:36:46 PM
tbaycat says:
???? Are you actually saying that you’ve never seen any “solid reasons as to why the event centre shouldn't go ahead”? Are you totally illiterate? Have you no reading comprehension skills? The reasons why this is a bad idea has been spelled out many, many numerous times. Just because you refuse to see what is in front of your face and chose not to understand it is your fault not anyone else’s.
3/17/2014 5:57:21 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Haven't heard any solid reasons yet ? Really ?? How about : Marina park ;it isn't even finished yet , how many more millions will this cost , Water treatment plant ; how many millions will this lawsuit cost after our premiums skyrocket , Horizon Wind ; more millions from a lawsuit because of backroom deals made by the previous Council . Just in case you haven't noticed yet bluebear1985 , skyhigh and other pro cheerleaders , the tax base in this City has dramatically shrank only to be replaced by people on social assistance and people who have fallen through the cracks . The ones left holding the tax bag will not be able to afford the rate hikes a year or two down the road to even consider attending an event center production or dining at one of the restaurants downtown .
3/17/2014 8:56:23 AM
chezhank says:
There will be a public meeting on zoning first that will probably last 1/2 hour.
The 6 deputants asking for a question on the ballot need your support,please attend and fill the gallery and lobby at city hall.
We have an event centre it is called the FWG and it is located in a downtown core.
The city has 34 years left of a 99 year lease with the FWG curling club, they have to keep the Gardens open.
Let the farm team play in the Gardens and see if the average attendance increases above the 2200 that the Thunderwolves draw down from the 2800 average?
We do not need a Mistake by the Lake.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
3/16/2014 10:09:04 PM
ou812 says:
I think its time we, the supporters of the event centre make our voices heard. The minority whiners get all the pub. TBT show both sides of the story

BUILD IT COUNCIL!
3/16/2014 10:22:04 PM
razor_burn says:
All I can do is shake my head in disgust. What a sad bunch.
3/16/2014 10:25:51 PM
truthbtold says:
Lakehead, The Lakehead, Thunder Bay. Let's not let the question be the decision maker.
3/16/2014 10:45:10 PM
dynamiter says:
Once again I would like somebody to ask and get an answer for this question at the meeting. How much is it going to cost to move the big brick Camelot street substation. Is this move necessary ( I have heard that it definitely is not)? This is nothing but a devious way to not include this cost ( which is probably close to 1 million dollars all in) funded by the Hydro rate payers of the city. How many other similar underground projects are associated with the event center and are not being disclosed?
3/17/2014 12:32:29 AM
hadenough says:
TBH has been in the process of converting from the step down sub stations which feed 4KV to homes and businesses to 25KV which will see the end of the substations altogether. This will see the end for the maintenance of these buildings and their eventual removal. John Street substation is now a vacant lot as a result.
The Camelot station was likely last on the list to go but would simply be bumped up in the conversion.

Most of Westfort has already been converted
3/17/2014 12:20:50 PM
Tiredofit says:
If there is so much support for the multiples, then why are so many people afraid of a plebiscite? Just ask the dam question, let the residents be heard. Poles and surveys will not give you a proper picture.
3/17/2014 6:19:23 AM
bttnk says:
I don't think anyone is "afraid of a plebiscite". There are those who think that $300,000 spent on a plebiscite is a waste of money, those of us who think it is money well spent, and those of us who would prefer to wait until the appropriate time to have a plebiscite, which would be once the business plan is developed and funding sources are known.
3/17/2014 10:48:18 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
How can one trust what council is saying when they have shown the complete opposite. This council has stated that the youth are supporting this but have no proof. Claim mostly seniors are opposed. That the majority support this. No survey or poll done. This is also the same council that tried to close outdoor skating rinks and swimming pools which are primarily used by the youth. Closing city run daycare. Council uses the youth when it is convenient for them. Voted down a reduction in council numbers.Started with a 30 million dollar reserve fund that is now down to 20. Taking a loan out to finish the Golflinks corridor to do between Oliver and John street. What will happen from John to Red River? Another loan? Why do they ask," should we be in this business " , when they want to close something yet are moving ahead with and entertainment venue? Should we be in the entertainment business? Let's get the real facts on who supports this. Plebiscite please.
3/17/2014 6:53:01 AM
fastball says:
For the love of Mike - could we maybe wait until we have some official idea of what this would cost the city, and the individual taxpayer?
Let the process unwind and THEN...when we have an actual working number...THEN we could decide on a single question, or if one is even necessary.
I don't want one at 106M dollars. If I can get it half-price...sure, I say - go for it.
3/17/2014 7:41:55 AM
tiredofbull$ says:
We the taxpayers are paying the full cost, the cities share would be paid from municipal taxes, the provincial share through provincial taxes, and the federal governments share through federal taxes. Most of us pay all these different taxes so unless it is build privately, taxpayers are paying for it. Every level of government is in massive debt in this country. If this is such a great idea why don't we see private enterprise jumping at the gun to build it or even contribute to it. Also look at the new arena that is being build in Edmonton, there are no federal dollars being used.
3/17/2014 4:34:38 PM
fastball says:
This is the new Edmonton Arena - being built for a price of 600M dollars, spearheaded by Daryl Katz, the owner of the Oilers?
Let's look at the dollars, shall we? (courtesy of the Edmonton Sun newspaper, dated Feb11/14.

Community Revitalization Levy = 200M dollars (that sounds like a fancy word for a local TAX)

Other city funds - 80M (sounds like TAX$ to me)

Ticket surcharge - 125M (sounds like a TAX on the ticket buying public to me)

Provincial/Federal share - 40M (that's TAX $, too...isn't it?)

My math isn't all it's cracked up to be, but that sorta adds up 400-odd million dollars of the cost is comprised of some kind of public money. That's 2/3rd's of the cost.

In the spirit of even-handedness, I will point out that Mr. Kratz is paying 135M dollars - his share is spread out in payments over 35 years.

So..while the feds aren't paying a ton of money (you are correct) - don't ever think that this was built with PRIVATE money.


3/17/2014 6:07:47 PM
tiredofbull$ says:
I think you should read this and not only the parts you want,


I will point out a few of the key main points of Edmonton's agreement of building a new arena,

-Does not increase current property taxes

Arena Operations
•EAC will operate Rogers Place and pay all operating and maintenance expenses, and will receive all operating revenues, including naming rights and parking revenue.
•EAC will pay the City a maximum of $250,000 in municipal property taxes annually, for EAC arena operations that are only open during event hours, and will be responsible for paying all required Education Property Taxes.

Does our city have anything like this in play for the arena they want, I do not think so, all they are worried about is getting it shovel ready, again putting the cart before the horse. And if you reply they have someone willing to operate it, is that with our money or theirs?
3/17/2014 11:33:10 PM
chezhank says:
The report in the link below,that will give BBB Architects $1,440,300 to complete a schematic design for the event centre.

The 'doubling' of costs for phase 3 of this project is what I find troubling.
I compare the costs for phase 3 .

2013 Budget...($465,000) Renew + ($465,000) (Fed or Prov.funding)=
($ 930,000 ) Total

2014 Budget ...($465,000 +$375,000) Renew + Fed Nor ($577,139.00) + NOHFC ($577,139.00) = ($ 1,994,278) Total


An extra $375,000 was added from city revenues for this phase 3 and no one on council blinked an eye on council at budget talks.

But council reviewed the budget...whatever!

They are nothing but apparatchiks for administration.



mayor in waiting
3/17/2014 8:13:58 AM
fastball says:
What percentage of the city budget is 375K?
Less than one percent?
3/17/2014 10:22:33 AM
Dockboy says:
Not everyone could make it to the library, but that 100 people represent 1,000's who are smart enough to realize it's just not feasible at this time.
3/17/2014 8:43:15 AM
taekat says:
I would like to know if there are any details of the talks with True North - such as any form of "Supply Agreement" similar to what is in Abbotsford:



It's important to be aware of this because it could end up cost tax payers more money, above and beyond operational costs:

+Heat+financial+losing+streak+cost+taxpayers+million+last+season/9359870/story.html
3/17/2014 9:45:55 AM
Grammy says:
"Field of Dreams" build it and they will come, if we cannot afford to keep our heads above water with the existing "NECESSARY" infrastructure we have, we should not be taking on any more high maintenance costs, lets get our ducks in order. Talk to Sault Ste Marie who has a much larger catchment area to draw from they don't fill that place all the time, even with the big name entertainment they sometimes get. Who's supplementing the heat and lights THE TAXPAYER and most of them have jobs and are complaining. We continue to draw from our dying surrounding communities which we are having difficulty housing, because they can't afford the 400K plus homes so will they afford to go to step into our dream?
3/17/2014 9:47:32 AM
REG says:
If this goes to the people of Thunder Bay to decide in a plebiscite I want every decision made in this down with our tax dollar put to a plebiscite. There is no reason why this should be the only thing decided in this manner. What's good for this vote is good for all things done in this city!!!
3/17/2014 9:49:50 AM
musicferret says:
REG, do you really have difficulty seeing the difference between a $106,000,000.00 'events centre' which is not needed, but theoretically wanted; and every last little $1000 decision council makes?

This is a MASSIVE expenditure; one of the largest in city history. THAT is why it deserves a plebiscite.
3/17/2014 10:12:25 AM
Wolfie says:
Agreed. I can't wait for the plebiscites about the needless widening of Golf Links between John and Oliver, and about the money-sucking sprawling suburban developments.
3/17/2014 10:20:15 AM
mystified says:
In all reality planning events so there would never be a hockey game and convention happening at the same time the ice surface could be used for both cutting the cost by half.

3/17/2014 10:20:10 AM
Reignmaker says:
Every time someone who is pro Event Centre speaks there is inevitably name calling spewed forth and little else.

On the other hand, the folks speaking against it usually have information to provide and refrain from name calling.

Want an Event Centre? Then provide more than grandiose statements with no factual basis for things. "If we build it, they will come" is not a factual statement. Neither is name calling. All that does is make the whole side look like school yard children unfortunately. I am sure there are good points on both sides of the argument, but one side is completely masked by immaturity at this point.
3/17/2014 10:29:04 AM
Wolfie says:
Really? I see it the complete opposite way.
3/17/2014 11:25:55 AM
fastball says:
If you are pro-centre - you're labeled as a socialist who wants the taxpayer to pay for your hobbies, who don't mind future generations paying their debts, or have some other slanderous allegations made about dark, self-serving money-making agendas (as they MUST be part of the cabal).
The only thing I've heard about the anti-side is that they're primarily a bunch of senior citizens, opposed to paying anything that they wouldn't frequent.
The only difference is that the pictures of the meeting seem to bear out the latter.
3/17/2014 2:02:44 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
@ Reignmaker. You say "one side is completely masked by immaturity at this point." I would counter that statement with - one side is completely masked by lack of information at this point.

I don't understand how anyone can be either for or against this project at this point. I understand on one side, being for the IDEA of it, and on the other side, making sure it makes financial sense. But at this point NO ONE knows any financial details. You can't possibly make smart decisions without a lot more information. How much private investment will there be? How much support will there be from the other levels of government? What will it do to assessments of buildings around it? Lots more questions that need answers before anyone can make an informed decision. To flat out say either we can or can't afford it is ridiculous - both sides of the argument. We don't know what we'll have to pay, how can we know if we can afford it?
3/17/2014 3:45:46 PM
fastball says:
EXACTLY!!
I've posted dozens of times, saying exactly the same.
I don't want the city to spend 105M dollars on a facility....I think that's a bit much for municipal taxpayers to shoulder. But if the City gets half or so of the final cost from the province/feds - I say go for it.
But you've got people here that declare NO taxpayer money of ANY sort should be used for these projects. You have some people who adamantly declare that "we can't afford it"...despite not having a clue on what the final price tag would be.
Then you've got the location people, still clinging to some 1970's idea of a "central location" opposing the City's vision of a revitalized north core. Then you've got the "Port Arthur/Fort William get EVERYTHING" crowd. Then you've got people who want plebiscites on anything costing taxpayer money. Then you've got wannabe candidates stirring the pot for their own purposes.

Can everyone just hold their water until we get some final numbers, please!
3/17/2014 4:39:10 PM
CM Punk says:
A couple of weeks ago Hobbs said that the meeting with the province did not go well as far as getting monies for the youth centre.

I would expect given the financial state of the province and the strict rules laid out by the federal govt for monies for this type of project, it will not fly.

Hobbs needs to realize he is going back on his word, and has done this many times over.
Yes, we need an events centre because the city is lacking it in order to get higher level events to come here.

But I am sure the taxpayers do not want to be burdened with the full bill which will most likely balloon like other past city undertakings.
He and council have said they will not pursue this without fed and prov. monies, but judging the councils past track record, they will move forward with it anyways.

Sadly, city folks here will pay for it for many many years to come.
With only $20 million left in the reserve fund, pending lawsuits over the flooding, and snow removal budget overflow, brace for it.
3/17/2014 11:18:17 AM
CLETE says:
To all concerned there's a lot of wasted tax dollars in this town. How about those two bent poles at the water front we know how much that cost. Maybe it's time to rethink everything and start shutting down some city owned operations. We know how much the zoo makes and the waste at that area all together.
3/17/2014 11:18:58 AM
SomeGuy says:
Get over the bent poles already.
3/17/2014 3:23:25 PM
Dillon says:
I've withheld my opinion on the event centre until I see a business plan, the other investors/funders involved, and how much it's going to cost me personally. At that point I'll make a decision. I have a question for those against it already: What do you want the question to be? I can't possibly think of a question that makes sense at this time. And what if the answer is "yes"? Is the city then obligated to build one, despite the cost? It's way too early to put this question to the public, and I feel that the group opposing it has made a real error in timing this appeal. They've set the bar for opposing it too high.
3/17/2014 11:54:03 AM
signman says:
The council meeting is TONIGHT!

Please watch or attend in person.

Lots of info that may help everyone understand this issue a little better.
3/17/2014 11:54:05 AM
sinkoreswim says:
On March 14th our mayor clearly said “NO” to a plebiscite and gave plenty of good logical reasons why. In the past many councilors have gone on record stating that they would NOT support a plebiscite.

This quaint little group of 100 concerned tax pays have less until the end of April to put their battering ram through to get a plebiscite. First, the problem is, they can’t even agree amongst themselves on what question it should be (last I heard there where three!), and second it’s too early to have a plebiscite on something before all the facts, reports, ect are in. This leaves me to believe that they are not interested in hearing facts (just their own biased misinformation), they only want one thing and that is to crush this project as hard and as fast as possible. Most of tonight’s meeting is going to be a COMPLETE WASTE TIME for the mayor and city councilors.

In the meantime, the opposition to this opposition is rising. A rally will be held in the near future for the support of a downtown north core event center. Now is the time to stand up and show your support. Let Mr. Smith and his little club know that they do NOT speak for everyone!
3/17/2014 12:00:33 PM
REG says:
To musicferrit I'am not talking about the 1000 dollar decisions iam talking about the big ones. You can't pick the moves you don't like. It's all or nothing period!!!
3/17/2014 12:00:43 PM
richy says:
If you don't build it they wont come. Should we keep pouring money into the gardens. Why build anything in town then, we have a lot of old building kicking around.
3/17/2014 12:05:25 PM
reese says:
The only way a plebicite would be fair is to have only tax payers vote
Produce a tax bill at the polling station
Every body would like a free lunch on someone elses money on any decision
3/17/2014 12:08:06 PM
SomeGuy says:
We don't live in a feudalistic state. Landowners are not the only ones with a say.
3/17/2014 4:31:50 PM
Wolfie says:
I am a homeowner and a property taxpayer, but I find this comment ridiculous.

You don't think that rent rates are influenced by property taxes? You think that landlords just absorb these expenses and start losing money on their rentals? You don't think that renters spend money in shops that pay property taxes? You don't think that renters would contribute to an events centre by buying tickets?

And yet you want to disenfranchise these people, who are legitimate residents of Thunder Bay?
3/17/2014 4:42:36 PM
buzz says:
Sorry Reese, But unless someone is truly homeless, every voter in the municipal election pays property taxes either directly or indirectly (ie. through their landlord) when taxes go up so does rent.
3/17/2014 4:44:11 PM
The Beaver..... says:
@ brandon .This cat changed its stripes the moment Mr. Harper declared the Federal Government would not under no circumstances support Hockey Rings.
That came up with Quebec City begging for help. Our bright lights picked that up in a hurry and announced we need a Events Centre. All we ever hear them talk about is Hockey however, never did they tell us what events we would be able stage and who would come. I would like to know...would you not
3/17/2014 12:30:36 PM
thatguy says:
These people need to be stopped. We can just go and put projects on a ballot. If we do have to vote on this then we should just not have a government at all and just vote on everything. We elect people to make these decisions. Results from a unscientific poll mean nothing. I mean I can make crap up too. And of course if you go to an anti-events center meeting you will get anti events center view. If you go to a anti gay rally you can say everyone there hates gays but that doesnt mean they represent the public or are right. The fact that so many people in this town are trying to limit amd kill progess make me SICK!!
3/17/2014 12:41:17 PM
bttnk says:
There is a great editorial in the Thunder Bay newspaper today (can be viewed online) that talks about expected benefits, process, etc.

I you want more then the fear mongering that goes on on this message board by the opposition, I challenge you to read that editorial.
3/17/2014 1:44:15 PM
keiths31 says:
I am conflicted on this whole matter. I am all for a new arena (drop the 'Event Centre' name and call it what it is). I think we as a city need a new one to be able to grow, attract new acts, an AHL team, etc. But my issue is the location.
Right now one of the problems with the Gardens is lack of parking. Parking at the waterfront with a new arena will not get any better. I already don't go to the Marina anymore for Canada Day because of parking. Parking several blocks away in the winter is not as easy as everyone seems to make it out to be. We also need to be aware that we are unlike any other city in Canada with the same population. Our downtown is split in to two areas. Other cities our size have one downtown that is twice the size of either of ours. This allows for more parking and less congestion. I think that point has been largely ignored. I know the decision has already been made to where it will be built, but I think the waterfront is a mistake.
3/17/2014 2:31:31 PM
jimmyboy says:
Just got back in...I would like to state for the record that Neebing Avenue....which was re-done a few years ago is a total disaster to drive down....as is Arthur Street....Memorial Avenue...Balmoral Street as is good old Simpson Street and Fort William Road...all of these major roadways need to be totally re-done....take a drive down them for yourself....and yet we have a mayor and city council who are spending $1.4 million dollars on consultants to determine whether or not we can financially support a $106 Million Dollar Multiplex...not too mention the severe shortage of affordable housing for seniors and our ever growing working poor here in the city....plus so many more needs which have been over looked now for years...how pathetic...!!!
3/17/2014 2:43:38 PM
Watchful says:
Might I suggest that the pro event centre people also attend Mr Smith's meeting. Instead of being cowards and hiding behind fake names, come out in the open and see if you can convince the others the pros of this event centre. All that is happening here is a forum to spew hatred, name calling etc. as a community, let us all sit together and behave like adults. Surely we could meet half way
3/17/2014 3:11:35 PM
Wolfie says:
The pro-centre crowd has no reason to attend meetings at this point. Mayor and Council are managing this properly so far, in their view. If Mr. Smith's crowd seemed to be gaining any momentum, then they might be worried.

Until then, however, why would they attend meetings? To say "keep up the good work, everyone"?
3/17/2014 4:36:01 PM
lori says:
I am still not convinced we need a new arena now but I am okay if the city decides to move forward with it and use it for the next several decades. But during this discussion I have not seen the reasons for the event centre. 50,000 sq feet for what. Are we really going to have that many conferences come here? Most of anything, shows, big truck events etc will be held in the rink.

I am just not sure that this plan is the appropriate one for the city and no I do not trust council enough to blindly say yes. I think they have convinced themselves that this is the best viable option and are going ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Too much too fast I think and I agree with the poster above. The people who are giving us this, gave us a marina that was many millions over budget and a wind farm nightmare that still has yet to be resolved. My level of faith is not that high.
3/17/2014 4:07:01 PM
123whatnext says:
I'm all for council to build an events center, just as long as they don't ask the township I live in for funds to pay for extra $$$$ overuns!!
3/17/2014 4:33:23 PM
Shane Caker says:
Clearly he only way to resolve this is to have a plebicite on whether or not we should have a plebicite on the event centre issue. Problem solved.
3/17/2014 4:37:38 PM
JustSayingPleaseThanks says:
I think the current plan for the event centre is wrong. I understand the intent of this centre but I think it's not the right fit for this city. I wish it was but it's not and building something that will hurt us for generations is not good business. The thing I am curious about is everyone talks about the Gardens but what about the Auditorium? Does that close up shop? I'm just not sure where we go from here? I feel like the City is assuming that a Province already in heavy debt will support them when they know there is no money for recreation buildings. The Province will not make an event centre a priority with so much pressure on existing infrastructure... That goes for the City too. I just think we need to be real about what we ARE not what we WISH WE WERE. PLEASE GO OUT AND VOTE everyone and help ensure you have a council you feel is working for you.
3/17/2014 4:43:51 PM
hardwood floors says:
i truly hope that this facility is not built. 10 years later we`ve just managed to pay off student debts, working on paying off the car, trying to save for a wedding and attempting to save for a down payment on a new house (wedding and house savings....about a dollar in change, and a jar of obsolete pennies, it`s going to be a long wait), and that is on top of gouging gas/water/hydro/grocery/fuel rates. i`d like to know the income of those who support this events center because, from where i stand,i can`t afford it in the aspect of taxes or to attend any functions/events that (god forbid it be built) are held there.
*side note* - it would be nice to drive on streets that don`t threaten to break the car we are still paying off....or is it just me bouncing on the roads like a cart going down a chicken trail??????
3/17/2014 5:36:53 PM
fastball says:
Well, as long as it's not all about you, right?
Just because you think you won't use it, it's really gracious of you to insist that the rest of the community shouldn't either.
You say you can't afford it. Do you have a clue what this will cost you? The answer is no..because nobody has a clue what this will cost the average taxpayer. Maybe it'll be an extra 20 on the taxes per year...who knows?
But hey...thanks for making the decision for all of us.
3/17/2014 8:20:53 PM
tiredofbull$ says:
What part of his and some other people's letters do you not understand. They cannot afford their taxes to go up not $1 or not $20 for a multiplex for you and a select group of others to use. Do you ever read any of the articles about more & more people using the food bank and the food banks shelves being bare, commercials where people have to decide on either eating or heating their home, kids being fed breakfast at schools because they are sent there with no food, etc.. I believe it was you (if not I apologise) who responded to someone who had said that their taxes have doubled in 20yrs, with a response that your taxes have also doubled in 20yrs. but that your wage has gone up 30% so it equals out. How is that equalling out? Wage Increase 30% - Doubled Taxes 100% = Negative 70%. The cost of everything keeps going up ( I am talking necessities) and wages are not rising fast enough or at all to keep up. Some people cannot afford and should not have to pay for the wants of others.
3/18/2014 1:13:08 AM
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