Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
1:27 PM EDT
2014-03-18 at MIDNIGHT

Moving on

The gallery at city council listens to debate Monday night.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
The gallery at city council listens to debate Monday night.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

City council voted unanimously to move ahead with next phase of the proposed event centre but not before hearing from nearly a dozen people, most wanting the public to decide its fate.

Deputants, including city council hopefuls and past candidates, argued that the the project should become a ballot question during the next municipal election on a sometimes heated Monday night that had to be cooled several times by shouts of order from chair Coun. Aldo Ruberto.

Frank Armiento, who has run in Northwood in past elections, said that he doesn't have an opinion either way on the proposed $106 million project but with so much at stake, the decision shouldn't be council's alone when the city seems so divided on the issue.

"Your job is to represent what the people want whether right or wrong,” he said.

Armiento then took issue with ward councillors being able to make a decision for the whole city when they're only elected by a part of it. Several ward councillors, including McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga, took issue with that asking Armiento why he was a candidate in a ward if he doesn't agree with the system.

"I’ll tell you why uts because it’s the easiest place to get in,” he said to laughter from the gallery and calls for order.

Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds said that for a ballot question to be binding, around 41,000 people or 51 per cent of voters would have to turn out. How many people are going to read the various reports council has received on the event centre over the years in order to make an informed decision.

"That is our job and you're saying I'm not reading this stuff and I'm not representing (the public)," Foulds said.

Armiento, before saying maybe he was a bit too rough on the ward system, didn't think a lot of people would take the time to get informed.

"I expect you to do what they want," Armiento said.

McKellar hopeful Doug Powell said the city has more important things to worry about, like affordable housing and infrastructure, than an event centre. The public should decide on a project that will burden future generations with more debt. He also called out the mayor Keith Hobbs for previously wanting the public to decide on the project before retracting the idea in a recent editorial.

Hobbs said he made the statements before he was informed and had since changed his mind after getting the facts.

Phase 2 of the project projects annual spending impacts from the event centre to be around $17 million with 380 full-time jobs not including another $6 million directly from visitors, including conferences.

He asked Powell if he'd read any of the previous reports that state the project will be an economic driver for the city. Powell said he hadn't.

“How could you ask for a plebiscite when you’re uneducated (on the project) yourself?” Hobbs asked.

Council regular Joanne Richard said if the city wouldn't agree to a plebiscite it should at least send out a survey on the idea.

"It should be to every household," she said.

City manager Tim Commisso later said that the city will have a third party do a survey that includes 850 to 1,000 people, well above the standard 500, in order to gauge public interest.

A group calling itself Citizens for the Waterfront Event Centre also made a deputation supporting council and administration on the project. Rod Bosh and John Susin said there is a lot of misinformation about the project out there.

“You’re moving in the right direction. You’re following a logical set of steps,” Bosh told councillors.

The $1.4 million final phase of the project's feasibility, funded mostly through the provincial and federal governments, was eventually voted on. It was awarded to BBB Architects.

The study will include the design, final business plan and capital and operating costs. It's expected in September.

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my 2 cents says:
I read the report and it still seems rather vague. It says that the event centre should attract new events, but there is no indication of what these money making ventures may be. For a feasibility study the information appears to be confusing at best. Here's what I can kind of gather from the numbers.
It should contribute to bringing in 6.1 million revenue from out of town to Thunder Bay (as a whole, not directly to the centre). Since the operating costs per year are between 10.8-16.8 mill (not including the construction)even if you pretend that entire 6 mill is going directly to the event centre this still leaves our community to fund up to 10 million per year, even at the low it is still 5 mill.
They are already saying that the convention piece is expected to operate at an annual loss and this is at a 90% booking rate.
I hope I am missing something. Someone take it to the Dragon's Den. They will let us know if it is a sound investment. I want the centre, just not at this cost.
3/19/2014 12:58:41 PM
Jon Powers says:

john@OTB: + New Friends Of Marina Park and The New Friends Of The New Event Centre;

"Thanks once again for basing your comments on speculation, rather than education. Yet again, I shake my head in amazement at some of the comments on this site."

"I also commend the 2 gentleman that started "citizens for the downtown event centre" I support you guys and council 100%"

Who's the Speculator Now?

If you were back in 1997 why would not support a "New Casino + Hospital" Plebiscites?

Don't be an old "Cane-Shaker"!

Don't you want to vote Yes for your new arena?

Stop the "Voter Supression" of Thunder Bay's youth!

Let's Vote Yes to Event Centre!

Do you remember when you supported progess!

Wht don't you want to vote for this?

Your just like our City Council.

A "Bunch Of Sell-Outs".

"Flip-Floppers" Too!

Great Posts!
3/19/2014 12:57:08 PM
ou812 says:
I was breathing a little easier last night after watching those deputations to council. What a Joke! I love that the city council members totally discredited them and call them out for being the uninformed nay sayers that they are.

I also commend the 2 gentleman that started "citizens for the downtown event centre" I support you guys and council 100%.
3/18/2014 11:09:45 PM
Jon Powers says:
fastball+sky high+Dillon:


"Onward Upward Build Build"

I now see who the real "Cane-Shakers" are.

Don't you want to vote Yes for a New Arena?

Don't stop the progress of the project!

Vote Yes in Oct 2014!

"Onward, Upward, Build, Build,"

Opportunity Thunder Bay Slogan.

Great Posts!
3/18/2014 9:51:57 PM
dillon says:
Again, you're completely ignoring what we're saying. It's like you're sticking your fingers in your ears and signing the national anthem. We don't want a plebiscite because a yes answer is just as bad as a no. Why would I want a yes in October? We'll have no idea what the cost will be or if there are other sources of funding. If the vote says yes, and it turns out that no other funding comes through, then the city is left holding the bag. Why would I want that? A plebiscite makes no common sense in October.
3/19/2014 8:59:55 AM
fastball says:
Seriously, Jon - either make some kind of point using clear, coherent sentences...or maybe switch to decaf.
3/19/2014 9:49:42 AM
jimmyboy says:
so much for putting this to the public as has been done in this city thru the use of a ballot question during the next municipal election...one should seriously ask themselves why is this project EXEMPT from using this legitimate process...!!!
3/18/2014 6:07:14 PM
Waldo Lydecker says:
Its a sad day in Canada and an especially sad day for Thunder Bay when the citizens of this city have to fight just to have a VOTE on this project that exceeds the realm of municipal government's charge.
3/18/2014 6:06:43 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
Who will support this? How can families who make small yearly incomes afford to even go to events let alone pay taxes for this? How many people in our town make $50,000 or more a year? I know some events right now are $75 per person. That's a day's wage if you make minimum wage and let's face it, Thunder Bay is a minimum wage town.

3/18/2014 5:53:43 PM
Dan Dan says:
It's fortunate that we have identified that those in opposition to the events centre are comprised largely of a single demographic, and also primarily uninformed.

It's time to move forward and get this project done. The location is the right one. Let's get shovels into the ground!
3/18/2014 5:44:55 PM
Eastender says:
More like lets get your head out of the sand, and see this farce for what it is. Forcing everyone to pay for the priviledged few to play.
3/19/2014 10:16:04 AM
fastball says:
Yup...because only the elite will be able to afford to attend a show or concert, right?
The 1-percent crowd are just rubbing their hands together with gleeful anticipation at finally having a place where they can hang out. They won't have to worry about Joe Blow Commoner selling off a kidney to afford a concert ticket, or attending a show, or spending up to 13 dollars to see a TWolves game.
After all, isn't this supposed to be a "minimum wage" town? 22 people apparently agreed with that statement.
3/19/2014 10:58:55 AM
Eastender says:
Fastball, there are going to be a lot of empty seats in that big puffball. Maybe all you pro centre big spenders could occupy it during the winter months and keep it warm with all the hot air that gets wasted in trying to convince the antis that they should pay dearly for the pleasure of a few!
3/20/2014 10:51:13 AM
fastball says:
Well, you'd know something about the wishes of the few driving the whole.
How many people again were there are your little coffee-club group?(I'd use "crowd", but that's being overly generous)
You got...what, 100 or so people demanding that something be stopped? Seems to me that's the LITERAL translation of "the wants of the few". Emphasis on the "few".
3/20/2014 2:49:24 PM
Eastender says:
Rather late for this comment but I 'll make it anyway.
Youknow and I know that if you can get 100 people out of the house at supper hour, that they are just the tip of the formidable iceberg that lies below the waterline. Downplaying that fact is tantamount to burying your head in the sand. You can trivialize the gravity of this number, but you cant shake the desperation you feel in your chest. Ergo your desperate attempt at trying to forestall a plebiscite. I can smell the fear!
3/21/2014 12:26:23 PM
fastball says:
I'm NOT forestalling a plebiscite...merely one at this time. Since nobody knows any actual numbers - you're asking us to decide with no facts? Unless you're just opposed to the entire concept, PERIOD...in which case, there's not use even talking about it to you.
Give me some actual numbers to mull over. I don't want the city to build it for 106M dollars...but I'll say GO on 50M.
3/23/2014 9:56:10 AM
Dillon says:
Jon- you're not jnderatandinf that it's not the concept of a plebiscite that people are against. It's the concept of a plebiscite without all the information being known. Huge difference.
3/18/2014 3:17:25 PM
Jon Powers says:

Opportunity Thunder Bay would oppose a Plebiscite for the Hospital? Casino? Auditorium?

Yes Or No!

Stop "Cane-Shaking"; Let's Vote for the New Arena too!

"Thanks once again for basing your comments on speculation, rather than education. Yet again, I shake my head in amazement at some of the comments on this site."

I guess you would oppose progress too!

Don't Hate what others have voted for.

You too can vote for your new Event Centre too!

But Wait!

You don't like Plebiscites!

What a bunch of "Flip-Floppers"!.

If you voted for our new Hospital/Casino/Auditrium:

Why would stop a vote on a new arena too?

Answer The Question Mr. Susin?!

Great Posts!
3/18/2014 3:10:57 PM
fastball says:
Jon...double-spacing everything and putting exclamation marks at the end of every sentence doesn't increase the intelligence of an statement.
Incidently - what is it that you're trying to say? You're not making any cogent point, you're just trying out slogans that might look good spray-painted on a placard someplace.
If the city wants a plebiscite - fine, I'm OK with it. But the other plebiscite questions that you keep endlessly referring to had dollar figures on it - so we KNEW what we'd be spending.
3/18/2014 3:57:56 PM
sky high says:
You have, of course noted, that in your research the plebiscite resulted in a major capital expenditure and a project go-ahead each time? Which is exactly what a plebiscite on the events centre would result in as well. Let's just quit wasting taxpayer money on useless plebiscites and get going on this Jon-Boy. Our taxes are relatively low, especially with our urban sprawl....so get onboard ma boy
3/18/2014 6:52:10 PM
bttnk says:
@ Jon - Pretty hard to engage you in meaningful dialogue when you are so clearly close minded.

If the city were to hold another plebiscite for the hospital, the results would be the same, if not more in favour of the Medical Learning Centre that has attracted a madical school, young families, saved millions annually in operating expenses and generated significant spin-off business for the community that continues to grow.

You see, that is your problem. You are willing to focus on a systematic national healthcare problem to suggest something so vital to the future of our community has been a mistake, and ignore all of the benefits because clearly it is only about what your want and not what is better for continued growth. I feel sorry for you.
3/19/2014 9:57:35 AM
Geezer1 says:
To those who take offense to comments from "Cane Shakers" let me say to he younger of you:
Remember why there isn't the money for the city to provide proper medical care to you family. Remember the costly damage to your 4x4's suspension and exhaust systems because of poorly-maintained and pot-holed roads. Remember why there isn't sufficient funds for books and other things needed to educate your children. Remember why there isn't sufficient long term care or nursing home space to accommodate your parents when faced with hard decisions. Remember why there was insufficient funds for initiatives by the city to attract new businesses to employ you or your family.
3/18/2014 2:57:36 PM
zeppelin says:
Oh yeah, I'll be sure to remember all that when I'm rockin' out and/or cheering on at the new events center...WITH my 60+ parents!
Books!? I seemed to have been able to get a fine education in Thunder Bay (not to mention we have one of the best universities in the country) Well-maintained roads? find me one city in Canada with perfect roads. My family has been provided proper medical care thank you very much (WE LIVE IN CANADA!?) Nursing homes? damn near every building that used to be a school when I was a kid is now a nursing home.
and newsflash, THIS IS NEW BUSINESS which will also attract other new business to the area.
I honestly done care about the taxes either, higher taxes usually mean better quality of life (and yes entertainment counts) where the hell do people think infrastructure comes from, for free from the government?
3/18/2014 4:14:53 PM
Event Centre Fan says:
Since when is it the city's responsibility to provide endless old-age care or medical care of any kind? Thunder Bay will provide the exact number of senior-care beds as required under the law. Why would they spend a dime more? To borrow the mantra of the anti-event centre crowd, if caring for the aged is such a great business to be in, why doesn't the private sector jump on board and fill the void? You want to put your parents in a home, fork out the dough and take care of it yourself. Don't burden your fellow taxpayers.
3/18/2014 5:52:14 PM
Shane Caker says:
At least half of the things on your list are not the cities responsibility. Get a clue!!
3/18/2014 6:22:00 PM
ou812 says:
let me address those points:

1. medical care- for one the city doesn't pay for it... its the province and the reason there isn't proper care is because people waste doctors time going to emergency for minor issues, people continue to smoke, drink, and eat way too much.
2. Roads get pot holes and cracks because we live in an extreme climate.

3. the reason there is no money for books is because the government funds 2 school systems where there should be one.
3/18/2014 11:21:55 PM
john@otb says:
On Facebook, you can check out ?Citizens for a Downtown North Core Multiplex. Also see Opportunity Thunder Bay, for more support of the Event Centre. We own a house in South Gillies, and one in the East End, so I guess I do pay taxes, and have every right to educate and correct the misinformed, and I have every right to sit in front of council, and share my views. Thanks once again for basing your comments on speculation, rather than education. Yet again, I shake my head in amazement at some of the comments on this site.
3/18/2014 2:14:41 PM
fastball says:
Good luck trying to "inform" people. They don't want to be informed - all they want is validation for their views.
Beware of stupid people in large groups.
Beware of stupid people who CHOOSE to stay stupid.
3/18/2014 3:25:50 PM
Jon Powers says:
fastball+sky high+bttnk+sinkoreswim:


In 1983 TBCA Plebiscite; Yes to build.
In 1997 Casino Plebiscite; Yes to Build.
In 1997 New Hospital Plebiscite; Yes to Build.

I guess that if you people were back then you would oppose a Plebiscite to build those buildings too.

Who needs those jobs and econimic spin off either?

I say that it is you who are truely affaid of new buisnesses in the City of Thunder Bay!

All of you would have opposed the New Hospital/Casino/Auditorium too.

Your all about long term jobs right?

Stop your "Cane-Shaking" ways and lets have ourselves a Vote!

Stop saying no and say yes to a vote!

Great Story + Posts!

3/18/2014 1:27:23 PM
moi says:
I am neither for or against the center.

Let's see in a few years time who gets the last laugh.
3/18/2014 1:25:25 PM
thunder-bay-guy says:
Rob20, I do consistently attend LU games. My business also supports the team through sponsorships as well. When the AHL team arrives at the new event centre, I plan on continuing to sponsor the Thunderwolves as well as support the new team as well. Also, when the new team arrives, I plan to be one of the first in line to purchase season tickets.
3/18/2014 1:08:38 PM
Pandora says:
the problem is City Admin does not know how to contain a budget.
The original price of $50-60 million is ALL it should cost.

Lets wait and see just how much hockey investors value this project. It is my opinion that PRIVATE INVESTORS should invest at least 50% of the total cost of the project.
I personally can not see how this project will fit at this location, the lack of parking for one. It is my opinion, the total building cost needs to include the price of a large parkade, estimated at $18-20 million.
The logistics of loading and unloading of the large transports bringing in the big shows will be interesting to see. I'll be there for that show, for that is all I'll be able to afford because my TAXES will be so high by than I too will be living in the park, under the underpass.
People should make an effort to read the reports, they are not that daunting. They will be at the library. They usually and easily spell out the deficiencies.
3/18/2014 1:08:16 PM
Pandora says:
Andrew Foulds behaved like a bully and Mayor Hobbs is full of himself.

As far as I see it we cannot afford this at this time!
But we know how this will play out.

This project should be 50% payed for with Private investors $$$.
Hockey is Big Business and if the investors are so keen they should put up.
3/18/2014 1:00:36 PM
Rock49 says:
Also love the fact that's it will never be built at Innova Park. Thank you Federal and Provincial politicians for supporting the downtown core. I'll be purchasing season tickets for our AHL team for at 10 members of my family. Finally, REAL hockey in this town.
3/18/2014 12:46:19 PM
anvil of crom says:
are you being sarcastic? I hope so, and if you mean the support of federal and provincial politicians as in their 66% contribution of the whole thing ,
that's my BIG BEEF, but that AHL team is coming oh yes!!
I hope you purchase season tickets in advance for the rest of your life, and put some of YOUR money where your mouth is ,if you don't...its proof we need more chlorine in the thunder bay gene pool.
3/18/2014 4:09:21 PM
orig junkyarddog says:
This is for those who haven't read it.See what your opinions are after.I'll bet lots haven't let everyone become informed

3/18/2014 12:44:26 PM
Rock49 says:
Let's say that they put the question on the ballot and 20,000 said yes and 19,000 said no. The losers would use the old adage that there are 75,000 voters(just an example) in Thunder Bay and since over half of the eligible voters didn't say yes, then the results are illegal. Isn't that what we hear every election where first through the gate wins, not a majority of voters.
3/18/2014 12:32:02 PM
tbay87 says:
So Foulds says: "That is our job and you're saying I'm not reading this stuff and I'm not representing (the public),"

History around North America (possibly the world), shows major infrastructure projects, especially sports arenas/stadiums, have a bad track record. Does Foulds really believe Thunder Bay's politicians are better than those in so many other cities? As much as seeing a bunch of reports does make council more informed, I also feel they are in a biased position since most politicians want to feel they accomplished something big, not just navigated the day to day problems of a city.

Also, I think having all the reports is a bit overrated for making go/no-go decisions on major infrastructure projects. While I get that councilors do have some responsibility to move the city forward, looking at past decisions like the Auditorium, I'm not sure the high-level decision (build a nice, but expensive, facility) requires reading a bunch of reports.
3/18/2014 12:17:59 PM
djs says:
I am assuming that there were "reports" created about the viability of Victoriaville and Keskus that showed how these dinosaurs would improve the city. Look what happened to them.
Word is the city is getting out of the daycare business but still funds 3 golf courses. There is a contract with the Fort William Gardens that still has 30 years to it. Dease Pool needs 1 million in repairs--no one noticed it was wearing out over the past years???
So if I have this right...get rid of Dease Pool. Get ride of the Gardens. Get rid of township funded daycare. Pour more money into golf courses and a new hockey areas and expect an increase in taxes to cover the future defecit, because so far, no one seems to show how this centre is going to be profitable. Yes, it will create jobs...but will we be in the red each year with running it?
3/18/2014 12:16:16 PM
MD says:
2 golf courses not 3.
3/18/2014 2:02:03 PM
djs says:
According to the city website: http://www.thunderbay.ca/Visiting/Attractions_and_Adventure/summer_recreation/golfing.htm

"The City operates three full-service public golf courses."
Maybe they need to spend some money updating their information?? I am sure they can hire someone to do a report on this.... :P
3/18/2014 3:28:02 PM
MD says:
According to the city website: http://www.thunderbay.ca/Living/recreation_and_parks/Facilities/Golf_Thunder_Bay.htm

"Two courses comprising 36 holes for golfing enthusiasts to enjoy - Chapples and Strathcona..."

It appears they have hired someone to update it but only on a part time basis.
3/18/2014 6:49:46 PM
djs says:
Isn't it interesting how information is open to interpretation...it is all in where you find it! Thanks, MD, you made me laugh!
3/18/2014 8:41:47 PM
jimmyboy says:
mayor Hobbs and others on city council are doing what they do best this project..."Putting more LIPSTICK on a Pig"...nothing more...
3/18/2014 12:10:33 PM
tbaycat says:
Before I post my comment, I have to first apologize to you “jimmyboy”. I used to be a Hobbs supporter. I could never understand your attitude and comments against him. He always seemed to be honestly standing up for the average taxpayer. Even though he is a conservative and I am not (we are at totally different ends of the political spectrum), I honestly believed that we both shared the same basic values when it came to truth, honesty and fairness to all no matter what age, race, creed or social situation.
3/19/2014 4:21:25 AM
tbaycat says:

Unfortunately I am now seeing him for the true person he really is. After his recent belligerent stance and condescending remarks towards concerned taxpayers and this except from a post on “Citizens for a Downtown North Core Multiplex” .... “If that is pitting seniors against others then I'm guilty as charged”, I am now loath to agree with you. This man truly has two faces. He only pretends to be on the side of the average taxpayer. When it comes down to the crunch, he is more than happy to sell us all out to the highest bidder
3/19/2014 4:25:34 AM
Arch Stanton says:

Let's just wait for the "40% of the $106m spent was unaccounted for" criminal investigation.


3/18/2014 11:22:05 AM
orig junkyarddog says:
I went there to state a case and yes I didn't read phase 2 .I read it this morning and my view has not changed one bit,And I was not informed completely,but not uninformed,Not to exceeding cost which is a low ball figure,and the now I see the highball figure for Innova Park,Not to the cost of the FWG Curling Club 34 year lease,Not to the cost of demolition of the FWG. Or about generational debt.And the people going to be displaced. And unlike others who would have said they did read it or its just an estimate I didn't and don't lie. So yes I was wrong on that point of not reading it. But I am honest and stand by what I say admit when I make a mistake ,and don't go back on word. By saying I changed my mind. Doug Powell
3/18/2014 12:37:11 PM
fastball says:
So if you have your mind made up on something, and then you read up on it and get the actual facts - that's called "going back on your word"? That's NOT called getting educated on something and making an informed decision?
Lots of people used to think the world was flat, too.
Now the contention is the that price for Innova was deliberately high-balled and Downtown was low-balled to sway the decision to downtown??
Sigh.(face palm)

3/18/2014 2:53:28 PM
Apapa says:
We vote council in to make the right decisions for the citizens of Thunder Bay. We shouldn't need a vote for every issue. There are many people that support the event centre, and a few grumpy residents that will not use the facility want to ruin it for everyone. It's time for Thunder Bay to grow, not be stuck in the past. Good job council. Two thumbs up
3/18/2014 11:18:43 AM
ring of fire dude says:
How about these decisions Council has made in the last decade : Marina Park(grossly over budget and a sell-out to a private hotel)--- Hospital(not enough beds or Doctors)--- Community Auditorium(empty 75% of the year)--- Make-over of City Hall (over budget)--- demolition of Pool 6 (empty lot not being used , Event Center should have gone there)--- sewage treatment plant , lawsuits (3 pending)--- Hand-outs to Regen Med , Indian Friendship Center , meth and alcohol clinics . Yes Apapa , they sure have made the right decisions !
3/18/2014 3:40:39 PM
dillon says:
The marina where I take my family to skate and to play in the splash pad and is always packed? Yes, it was terrible to make this city more enjoyable in which to live. The hospital over which the city has no jurisdiction? The hospital could have 0 doctors and there wouldn't be a thing the city could do about it. Indian Friendship centre has not gotten a hand out. Again, a knee-jerk reaction before all the facts were in place, just like the events centre. And even if they did get the funding, why would it be a handout? They were going to build a youth centre, something that has been a priority for years. I don't necessarily disagree with some of your other points (and definitely disagree with others), but when you scream about things that have nothing to do with the city (for example the hospital), or that you obviously haven't read up on, then it takes away from any valid points you have. Just because you don't agree (harm reduction programs) doesn't make them bad decisions.
3/19/2014 9:25:39 AM
bttnk says:
Sorry Dude. It is hard to take your posts seriously when you are willing to disregard fact in order to try and sell your point. What exactly does City Council have to do with hospital beds and a doctor shortage?

And even the grumpiest of sorts can agree that the redeveloped waterfront is great and going to continue to transition back into this cities greatest asset.
3/19/2014 9:38:02 AM
djs says:
I have heard mention that the event centre could run a million dollar deficit each year that will have to be funded by taxpayers dollars. Is this a possibility? Foulds kept asking one woman, "How much needs to be paid by the government? I found his attitude condescending and arrogant--he asked, "Who is going to read these reports?"
The public is asking questions. They are entitled to answers; they do not want to have their elected representatives blow smoke out their butts and say nothing concrete.
What is this event centre going to cost the Thunder Bay taxpayers now and in the future...if the figures can't be exact, at least estimate...We know that everything that is paid for with taxpayers' money runs over cost in this town, but give the taxpayers a starting point. How much is private business putting into the project--now and in the future? How much is the federal/provincial governments committing to--now and in the future?
3/18/2014 11:06:22 AM
hounddog says:
All I have to say is that this will end up just like the Marina fiasco and I don't want to hear you all whining then. Remember that you are supporting something without asking the right questions and realizing maybe right now this isn't something we can afford. The way council is disregarding what anyone thinks and is moving forward proves that we are back to square one and will be paying through the roof for the Event Centre along with the debacle of the Marina.
3/18/2014 10:59:55 AM
Musicferret says:
The question of reading the reports is interesting. I've given them a good look and frankly don't believe them. They don't seem rational and base numbers on incredibly unrealistic possible outcomes.

Rather than rely on them, as they are paid to create a case for what council wants to hear, I prefer to look at the cities around canada and what they have paid for their centres. Also, did the consultants supposed numbers match up with the reality that actually came from these projects.

Unfortunately, my experience in the entertainment industry in workin with these type of large facilities is that they are exponentially more expensive to build and maintain in the end and the estimated attendance figures never pan out for more than a year or two as novelty wears off.

Council, start listening to your citizens! Over 50% are incredulous that you would even consider this type of project at this time.
3/18/2014 10:57:44 AM
Papercut says:
I think this deal has been in the bag for quite some time.

The Winnipeg Jet's farm team IS COMING HERE...that is done deal.

Put 2 and 2 together folks.
3/18/2014 10:40:47 AM
sinkoreswim says:
My favorite part:

"He asked Powell if he'd read any of the previous reports that state the project will be an economic driver for the city. Powell said he hadn't.

“How could you ask for a plebiscite when you’re uneducated (on the project) yourself?” Hobbs asked.

I'm willing to bet the people you supposedly represent or just as ignorant as you
3/18/2014 10:27:38 AM
rob20 says:
Ignorant like Hobbs who has repeatedly taken one stance and then 180 back-pedaled later on after reading a bit only to admit his prior stances were not based on any knowledge of the facts. And we're supposed to trust this man's judgement? I'm sorry, Hobbs has just learned how to "spin" and dodge real questions but to him with arrogance of office that his judgments shouldn't be questioned. I'm not a big fan of our mayors in general but Hobbs has proven himself to be one of the worst by far at every turn since the moment he took office and almost saddled the public with his legal defense costs over his slander of that former police officer.
3/18/2014 10:42:12 AM
Eastender says:
No need to read hundreds of pages of reports slanted to misrepresent the worthiness of a questionable project. Any points brought up in these reports can easily be repudiated, as questionable, or of insignificant value, when compared to the points against the building of this big empty box. Jobs? Highly questionable benefit. Of a temporary nature, andmostly minimum wage, or will be a further drain on taxes. Income from events? Insuficient to pay all operating costs. Based on reports, one million plus, with annual increases. Money from both levels of government? Will they pay the millions of cost overruns that will inevitably be incurred, or will the taxpayers be on tne hook?

Inevitably there will be a need eventually for a parking complex. Has this cost been considered? Who will be on the hook for this cost.

Quite possibly we could lose a large portion of Marina Park to accomodate parking for a centre in this location. Demolition and replacement of hydro substn. Cost?
3/18/2014 11:21:51 AM
Eastender says:
It is not the voting public that is ignorant, it is you sir.
3/18/2014 11:24:13 AM
joepublic says:
For all you blind followers, I have one comment for you:

Don't complain when your taxes go up 10% to build and maintain this, or higher when it becomes a burden on the city budget!

Track record speaks for itself...it will!!!!
3/18/2014 10:19:19 AM
jrmh says:
Andy Wolff - perhaps a lesson in spelling and grammar are in order. You sound like an upset child not a "Candidate - Current River Ward"
3/18/2014 9:57:32 AM
thunder-bay-guy says:
I am a home owner and a business owner in this city. I am also a young person who plans on staying here for many years. I am all for this events centre in this location. This centre will allow thunder bay to move forward and become an even better city. For those who say the gardens in solid, that may be true. But it is also small, cramped, not accessible, and beginning to show its age. The events centre would allow for bigger concerts, better sporting events, bigger trade shows, and larger community events. I am excited that city council is not bending to suit a small group of people who don't want this city to move forward and become a vibrant modern city. I am looking forward to being in the audience in the next few years to watch an AHL game. Or a big name concert. Then walk to a downtown restaurant for a meal afterwards.
3/18/2014 9:57:10 AM
rob20 says:
Do you attend LU games regularly? My guess is if you don't, like many do not, you won't attend more than a handful of AHL games... TBay is a poor supporter of teams unless its a big game or the finals.... which is why I fully expect that AHL team to bolt within 5 years for the next suitor with a prettier newer arena and a bigger population base. But that's not an issue our council will discuss either.
3/18/2014 10:34:51 AM
dillon says:
I rarely attend LU games unless someone has extra tickets, and I rarely buy concert tickets, but if the price is reasonable to me as a taxpayer, I will gladly pay a bit extra for this. It's not about me, it's about the city and the region, and moving on from where we are. I have no desire for this city and region that I love to stay stagnant, and perpetuate the pessimistic view (held by many on this board) that we are a backwater region that no one will visit and enjoy.
3/18/2014 11:52:16 AM
rob20 says:
Wonderful. You have no intention of purchasing tickets for events expected to brought in by this proposed center yet you want everyones taxes to go up just to put in place. That makes a lot of sense. Implementation OF ANY entertainment venue in ANY city only makes sense if people are expected to be happy with it and the events are expected to be strongly attended. So you COMPLETELY missed my point & re-enforced it at the same time. People in this city complain TBay doesn't get this event or that concert but when something does come here attendance is mediocre on average & our sports teams flounder due to poor attendance and eventually move. So why bring in an AHL team as primary tenant to get a few years of mediocre attendance only to see them jump ship on us like they did St.Johns? Visit this city? You think our marina and a new hockey rink are going to drastically increase tourism? Hilarious & uninformed. Nothing offered by the new center can't be found elsewhere = no tourism impact
3/18/2014 12:16:35 PM
dillon says:
My choices have nothing to do with others peoples' situations. Have you attended a university hockey game anywhere other than Thunder Bay? At my old university, which is an occasional national contender, they are lucky to get 100 people for a playoff game. This is the norm in most places. LU has one of, it not the highest average attendance in the country. This city, if anything, loves hockey. I happen to not love hockey as much as most in this city, which is why I don't buy tickets. Plus, with an AHL team, you have entire teams buying hotel rooms and eating at restaurants, 40 nights a year.
Also, again if you read the report, having conferences here creates more events than just a typical arena/concert facility. Conference organizers love to set them at destinations, where attendees can go on a trip on their company's dime. Thunder Bay can easily be one of those destinations.
3/18/2014 12:58:53 PM
zeppelin says:
hmm lets see, what would the 30 & under (and lots over as well) citizens of thunder bay want: No event center, we'll just go do whatever same old thing it is we have done for the past 50 years OR have endless entertainment opportunities within 10-15 min's of their house & a chance to make this city known for something else other than it's shortcomings.... gee that's a tough one. What do you cane wavers really think the outcome would have been if there was a vote?
It's pointless and a waste of time, you just love the idea of being able to put a big ol' check mark next to the word NO even though it wouldn't make one bit of difference.
Here's what would happen, there would be a vote, yes's would outnumber no's, the event center would move on regardless. THE END.
I can't wait to finally see some good music acts and sports events come here! Woo hoo, good on you city council!
3/18/2014 9:54:21 AM
Where were the Concerned Taxpayers Of Thunder Bay for the last 20 years with everything that has gone on at The City of Thunder Bay and all the people on their payroll that are on the Sunshine List and other skyrocketing salaries and wages of most City of Thunder Bay employees? Their wages go up no matter what, we all pay and nobody complains about that.
3/18/2014 9:50:06 AM
Rob20 says:
The arrogance and stupidity exhibited by some of the counselors after people presented their arguments was astounding. Mr. Foulds question to the presenter about whether the city should go forward with building the event center if we had no provincial or federal funding was the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Based on that stupid question alone he should resign his seat. Mr. Pugh's obscure attempt to discredit the need for public consultation by likening bombardier building trains here in town for Toronto compared to whether or not citizens of this community have the right for a say on this event center was ridiculous as well. The fact that there was only a $3 million difference between building at innova park or the waterfront is a glaring example of why the waterfront is not the clear-cut correct decision in this matter. Bosh/Susin citing better audio at A new event center for concerts was ridiculous. It's still a hockey rink. The sound will still be poor. What a sad circus
3/18/2014 9:44:03 AM
dillon says:
Foulds' valid point went way over your head. He's concerned that if there was a plebiscite, the city would be legally bound by the result. If, in October, it turned out to be a "yes" result, then the city would be on the hook to build something even if no other funding sources presented themselves.
Plus, no one said there was a "clear cut" decision. The report even says it's very close between the two sites. Then council voted on which site with which to proceed. You missed your chance to oppose the site a long time ago.
3/18/2014 11:44:48 AM
fastball says:
No, it was NOT asinine.
Since there can only be a single yes or no question on any plebiscite - and in this case, the lady said her question was "should we build this place? Yes/No." Remember, this question is BINDING. If the yes side prevails, the city is BOUND to build this - and if there's no money coming from the feds...we pay the whole shot alone. We can't have a Yes vote, and then the city saying "oh, it's too expensive - we're cancelling it all." No, this is all-in. No halfway vacillating. You wanted it, you got it...warts and all.
That's the trouble with a simplistic "should we build this" question...without any idea of the cost.
Now if we wait for a while and determine that our cost will be XX million dollars...THEN we could ask a more intelligent question - namely "are we in favor of spending XX dollars to build this place" Yes or No.
It was NOT asinine. It was a perfectly reasonable inquiry about a very vague question to be put before the voters.

3/18/2014 11:47:37 AM
analyst1 says:
Who exactly are the Citizens For A Waterfront Event Centre? No website or even a Facebook page from what I can tell. Does not exactly sound like a group representing the citizens of Thunder Bay. I don't believe Mr Bosh and Mr Susin are even home property owners in Thunder Bay so they certainly don't represent the taxpayers of this city and, therefore, really don't represent how our tax dollars are spent. How are they getting time at the mic and then getting quoted in the media with no credentials behind what they claim to represent? I welcome them to explain who they are and who they represent.
3/18/2014 9:42:07 AM
Toot Sweet says:
It appears they are just a couple of old fogey cane shakers who are upset that citizens of Thunder Bay aren't just going to roll over and take this steamrolling of the tax dollar.

They're just old tired men who have nothing better to do than complain about democracy.

Did TB Newswatch ask them their ages? Surely after their story about how every one was over 50 at the concerned tax payers meeting they used the same methods to determine the age of these old stick-in-the-muds?

Or is there a double standard here?
3/18/2014 10:09:03 AM
fastball says:
Ah, I see how it's played now.
If you don't like the message - try to smear and discredit the messenger, right?
I'm assuming that these two fellows didn't fly in from Southern Ontario or Manitoba or the United States to put their views forth. Seems to me they have just as much right to put forth their views as the other presenters.

3/18/2014 10:22:54 AM
basher says:
analyst1, it is better to be an uneducated troll and silent, than to type and prove it.

Both of these gentlemen are in fact property owners, lifelong residents of our city, and active participants in community events, planning and advocacy.

Further to this, @SomeGuy was able to find both links for you. Please, do yourself and the citizenry of our fine city a favour and do some reading...analysis...and thinking before you too are misinformed by others into making a decision. You might be enlightened by what the numbers, studies and comparable scenarios tell you.
3/18/2014 11:23:24 AM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Sometimes economic indicators are directly tied to the economy, some directly, some inversely.

We have seen time and time again, the the so called experts have missed important details in projections, presumptions, and conclusions.

The new hospital was to bring us state of the art health care; someone forgot about the funding of beds, the doctor shortage, the pressures to reduce full time nurses.

The charity casino taught us that words can be changed as Thunder Bay's Charity Casino became the provinces cash cow, and the 'up to 200 busloads of tourists' was a salesmens hook.

The slogans like 'centrally located' and 'build it and they will come', slogans that normally carry with them some element of truth, fell silent to the hundreds of millions in a new court house; did we really, really need this ?

Before we move in this direction, we should be using local talent, and expertise to understand this challenge.

Where to spend, what to build and why ?
3/18/2014 9:38:18 AM
tree1 says:
I was very disappointed to watch City Council's behavior last night. As City Council was on the defensive,(as should be expected since most residents do not want the event centre, and especially not downtown),City Council took an attack strategy towards concerned citizens belittling them with stupid questions. Very disappointing.
3/18/2014 9:27:46 AM
fastball says:
Asking them questions like if they've read any of the reports, or have any idea of what the final price tag would be are NOT "stupid questions". Inconvenient questions, yes. Detail-filled questions, yes. Stupid? No.
Expecting the city to go to the time and trouble of formulating, disseminating and tabulating some kind of binding mandate to put before the electorate - without any of the finalized numbers or facts being even KNOWN yet - is STUPID, however.
Frankly, I think Council did a far better job of treating this kind of half-baked, uninformed initiative with far more respect and tolerance than I could have mustered.
PS..."Most residents"?? Seriously? You've gotten this assessment from....what, exactly?
3/18/2014 9:55:30 AM
Toot Sweet says:
Whether you are for the event center or not, what you have just witnessed here is a terribly disturbing display of elected representatives telling you what is best for you.

This is very disturbing and speaks volumes about the disregard these people have for the very citizens of Thunder Bay. They have said "we know what is best for you, you do not".

When governments reach these stages of arrogance history shows that rebellion begins. When people moved to North America from the first world this is exactly why they did it. They were forced to pay taxes invented for whatever cause these tyrants wanted.

We have reached that stage here. If you support this type of governing and dictatorship you are the enemy.

Just remember that your greed and blind support of this project also supports tyrannical methods of government and that support will soon make you a victim of it to.

Why is council afraid of a plebiscite? A survey will cost more so cost is no longer an excuse.

Vote out dictators.
3/18/2014 8:50:20 AM
sky high says:
Hey Duncan quit making fun of seniors and people with mobility issues. You will face a defamation lawsuit I am sure if you continue with your harassment of the seniors of our city. By the way, quit crying and suck it up. You lose, just like I said you would.
3/18/2014 11:43:17 AM
bttnk says:
GREAT NEWS!! The project is moving forward after a UNANIMOUS decision to move the next phase and I was quite happy with council not backing down at yesterdays meeting.

And what about guys like Doug Powell. He wants to represent McKellar, yet he shows up to voice opposition without having taken the time to read any of the consultant reports that highlight the economic benefits. Is this the kind of representation we want? So close minded that it is not even worth hearing the other side of an argument?
3/18/2014 8:49:43 AM
awwolff says:
Interesting to note, there was no mention in this article of Candidate At-Large Kim Coreau who started this ball rolling and held her own when being questioned by council. Oh yeah... and yours truely, who pointed out voter turn out is greater on average when plbiscites are on the ballot. On all points in my deputation, I was not challenged once by council. Print that!

Andy Wolff
Candidate, Current River Ward
3/18/2014 8:17:04 AM
fairlane says:
Looks like you got your wish...They printed it.

Spelling and grammar errors included. Well done.

Hey, is there a skill testing question on the ballot?
3/18/2014 10:13:05 AM
dillon says:
Kim Coreau, who started her deposition dishonestly by saying she was "on the fence", which couldn't be farther from the truth based on her facebook and public comments. Then said she talked to businesses who were worried about the event centre. When pressed on twitter to clarify about these businesses, she claimed she said no such thing. Then when a media member mentioned he had it on tape, she admitted that she did.
3/18/2014 11:39:28 AM
Ozone says:
Time for this council and mayor to be accountable and listen to the tax payers of this city!

Also, time for the citizens with gold plated pensions committee to wake up and realize that the vast majority of thunder bay rate payers are getting by and can't afford increases to already the highest municipal taxes in Ontario. We all don't have gold plated hydro or public service pensions . We work for each dollar!
3/18/2014 7:55:13 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
From the Money Sense article that ranked cities in Canada, one of the factors they compared was the amount of municpal tax the average homeowner pays in different cities. Below is a sampling of that. The argument that Thunder Bay pays the highest taxes in the province just isn't correct.

The average for all the cities in the survey is $1,917.68. Thunder Bay's is listed at $1,637.00. Here's some interesting comparitors:

Whitby 2,966
Guelph 2,386
Toronto 1,909
London 1,942
Vaughan 3,166
Timmins 1,707
North Bay 1,634
SS Marie 1,546
Oshawa 2,132
Windsor 1,732
Cornwall 1,477

3/18/2014 10:43:43 AM
fastball says:
Since you're researching - see how many of those cities are providing services to more than 350 square kilometers.
3/18/2014 1:56:30 PM
WJohnston says:
Tax per square km doesn't really make a lot of sense since it doesn't take into account population density. However, here are the numbers. All areas are from Google (most came from Wikipedia).

Whitby $2,966 146.5 km^2 $20 per km^2
Guelph $2,386 86.7 km^2 $28 per km^2
Toronto $1,909 630 km^2 $3 per km^2
London $1,942 421 km^2 $5 per km^2
Vaughan $3,166 273 km^2 $12 per km^2
Timmins $1,707 2979 km^2 $1 per km^2
North Bay $1,634 314 km^2 $5 per km^2
SS Marie $1,546 715 km^2 $2 per km^2
Oshawa $2,132 145 km^2 $15 per km^2
Windsor $1,732 147 km^2 $12 per km^2
Cornwall $1,477 62 km^2 $24 per km^2
Thunder Bay $1,637 447 km^2 $4 per km^2
3/18/2014 11:18:06 PM
fastball says:
I'm saying that TBay is providing services to a greater area than other cities.
We're running X miles of water/sewer lines. We're laying down X miles of road, paving X miles, and plowing X miles. We're providing garbage pickup for X miles...and all the other services.
Part of the reason that our taxes are high is the sheer distance and size of the service area provided. Add to that a long-overdue recent focus on replacing and renewing some infrastructure that's been neglected for decades.
All that costs money.
3/19/2014 7:42:57 AM
Eastender says:
Deer, moose, bears, coyotes, rabbits lynx, dont count. They dont attend concerts or go to conventions. 350 square km. of bush does not make for crowds of hockey fans.
3/22/2014 11:23:40 AM
fastball says:
Mr. Armiento summed it pretty much up - most of the people that would vote no wouldn't take the time to read any of the city's studies or consultants' report. They really don't care about pertinent facts - all they know is what their "gut" says. Frankly, the last thing I want is a bunch of uninformed, single-minded people out there, voting on a weighty issue that they know nothing about....nor do they WANT to know anything about it. I also noted the following - of the people who gave depositions, seems to me that several of them were either failed former candidates or have some kind of aspiration to join the club that they so vehemently hate.
3/18/2014 7:39:32 AM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
'Pertinent facts' include facts that some don't want to hear. As I have said before I have no problem replacing the Gardens with a multiplex (possibly even downtown location) I just think the event center is not needed and will be a white elephant. I want council to do their homework. It appears everything hinges on the consultant report. What about all of the mistakes that have been made at other venues. Municipalities continue to repeat the mistakes * Examples - one community co signed for the mgmt. company resulting in multi mil. loss to community. mgmt. companies make profit while community takes loss. Local users denied access to arena. Number of events held each year grossly exaggerated and cost of concerts very high. Communities subsidizing hockey clubs. Of course there is no sense worrying about these things because we have a consultants report telling council how great things will be, we just have to wait a few years for all the surprises to surface.
3/18/2014 3:40:03 PM
TBAY Duffer says:
Game Set and Match.

3/18/2014 7:31:36 AM
festus says:
Lets hope this project finally gets moving. Looking forward to finally being able to host big ticket events and show case this city.
With the proposed "Thunder Bay Live" people running everything it will be a great place.
3/18/2014 7:16:28 AM
ring of fire dude says:
And there lies another problem that Council doesn't want out there . ThunderBay Live is a management company that will drain most of the profits (if any) from the Event Center . I'd like to see the contract upfront with ThunderBay live before the shovels hit the ground .
3/18/2014 3:12:08 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his paycheque depends on him not understanding it." Upton Sinclair.
Madame in Pink's basic premise was practically unassailable. Some of the aldermans' questions were irrelevant, Fould's questions were designed to "lead the witness" and "paint the witness". All he tried to do was befuddle the issue. There is no compromise with these kleptocrats. Truly, the fix is in. Pugh, all he could talk about were the construction jobs. Who know what's in the studies. The economic benefits stated therein are in no way guaranteed, and the disclaimer at the bottom of them says so, Right, Hobbsey? I see you had your rationale all prepared on paper, so you wouldn't have a Freudian Slip, or something. City Council was the hostile bunch, they oozed it. See? It's all about the cronies, and they want your money NOW. Final solution? Never step foot in the place. I guess we have our very own ADSCAM or ORNGE happening here folks.
3/18/2014 7:13:39 AM
cazam says:
Wouldn't it be great if democracy prevailed here?

People want the question on the ballot so I say let's put it on. If we get enough votes to make it binding, that's great and the people have spoken. If not, then legally it won't matter and we get a free survey out of it with perhaps a sample of 30K people rather than a survey of 1000 people. Either way the people get a voice and that this the most important thing.

With regards to informed decisions, well that also applies to voting in general. People don't need to be informed to vote even though it is highly desirable. Not everyone researches candidates platforms or follows debates.

3/18/2014 7:09:05 AM
chezhank says:
It is ironic that after councillor Foulds asked if a presenter read the reports on a proposed event centre, councillor Virdiramo had to ask 'What the price difference was between building on the two locations. City manager Tim Commisso refered the question to Michael Smith.' But they will not put a question on the ballot because they are informed?
Maybe they can tell us what they plan to do about the remaining 34 year lease with the FWG curling club, so we would be better informed.
I'll ask that at upcoming ward meetings, so I'll be informed.
Unlike a group calling itself Citizens for the Waterfront Event Centre( all two of them), the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay support nothing except the taxpayers of Thunder Bay.
That is why they are extending an invitation to all residents, the existing mayor, councillors and the city manager to attend the meeting at the DaVinci on April 01 from 7:00 pm to voice their opinion.
They also invite all to attend a rally in front of city hall on April 07 @5:30pm,bring your pots and pans to let this mayor, council and administration hear that we the people want a ‘direct vote’ with a question on the ballot Oct.27.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting

3/18/2014 6:25:12 AM
sinkoreswim says:
Don't forget your pitchforks and torches for your little witch hunt! Tick, tick, tick, time is running out! After the end of April it won't matter for you anymore
3/18/2014 10:18:56 AM
dillon says:
Huge difference between being willfully ignorant (by not reading the report) and checking a statistic that's not at the top of your head.
3/18/2014 11:29:28 AM
ou812 says:
I also encourage all the supporters of the multiplex to show up and drown out these uninformed, penny pinchers on April 7th.
3/18/2014 11:13:22 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
I'm wondering if the same person who projected the 380 full time jobs for the events centre is the one who projected 100 tour buses per day at the casino? Hopefully the Feds/ prov will not help fund this.
3/18/2014 6:13:36 AM
sky high says:
At one point Armiento said that his group "don't have to be informed". Maybe this is why this group of 100 spreads so much misinformation on here? I'll bet you that if the naysayers actually educated themselves a little bit they would change sides and join the movement towards forward progress. It's a shame to think that they will keep themselves in the dark on such important issues. On we go, get the shovel ready! By the way, great job by Mr. Bosh and Mr. Susin last night. What stood out was their intelligence and honesty
3/18/2014 4:32:26 AM
sinkoreswim says:
It's beginning! I am happy to hear the 3rd phase was passed without a second thought. These guys all have my vote for the fall election.
3/18/2014 1:18:20 AM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
" I am happy to hear the 3rd phase was passed without a second thought. These guys all have my vote for the fall election."
Glad to see that you and Hobbs have all the facts now (without a second thought)...I have yet to hear one councillor or one member of the administration ever state that they had researched other facilities in comparable situations. They simply rely entirely on the report from consultants who have a lot to gain and who no doubt were led to believe that the preferred location by this admin. was the downtown location. Wonder if the Mayor can find one similar situation where the estimates supplied by the consultants even come close to reality. If you want people to be informed then supply them with ALL of the information...Mr. Hobbs lost my respect with his unethical behaviour around the time of his brief Police Board tenure.
3/18/2014 10:19:39 AM
dillon says:
Wrong. The phase 2 report specifically references 4 other facilities in Canada and the U.S.
3/18/2014 11:24:21 AM
fastball says:
Exactly what does a consultant, hired from out of town so there's no local involvement - have "to gain"?
Again, it's the standard line for you people - if you don't like the message, start smearing the messenger. What POSSIBLE gain would a consultant group from out of town achieve by presenting their studies on a location?
3/18/2014 11:36:32 AM
dillon says:
And in fact, one of the consultants, who has designed and built these centres all over North America, is from Thunder Bay!
3/18/2014 11:54:31 AM
Toot Sweet says:
how many names are you going to post under skyhigh?
3/18/2014 11:08:27 PM
sky high says:
Aw your feelings are hurt because I recognized your soporific comments and pointed out that you're using different handles, all in an effort to strengthen your weak points. And now you're trying to hurt me by turning this around lol. You are so creative Duncan! So you think I am Dillon? Let me ask you, when have I ever quoted statistics on this site? Not my job to do that, there are plenty of others. My job is to try to get you to understand that without forward progress, this town will die...which is probably what you, Duncan, are hoping for. Have a nice day...hope the site doesn't go down or you'll be lamenting that fact that you didn't have anything to do all day again.
3/19/2014 11:02:22 AM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Guess the consultants don't stand to make considerable amount of money from this project, they must be working for free...there is a huge difference from referencing other communities and actually demonstrating that the projects were successful and weren't just a drain on the community...You continually try to convey the message that you want ALL of the information; however it is clear that is a long way from the truth, your mind is made up. And as for smearing the messenger, are you referring to Hobbs?...the guy that has magically been converted so that everything he has said we can disregard...Having a ballot question as he assured people (when looking for their support) and letting the people have their say, has nothing to do with his personal supporting the project....just another hypocrite...
3/18/2014 1:25:25 PM
fastball says:
By smearing the messenger, I mean that if you don't like the message, you find someway to slag the guy who delivered it. And if people can't look past the guy because of the smear - the message becomes lost.
If you support the downtown revitalization - it's because you're some kind of businessman and stand to make money, OBVIOUSLY.
Administration does the responsible thing and gets outside, impartial, professional consultants to study and recommend...but forget them...they're all on the take, because they'll make money. OBVIOUSLY.
If you got up at Council and supported them - oh, they probably don't own property in town and what right do they have to speak?
Somebody points out that nobody has a clue about what things will end up costing - let alone has even READ the reports - and they're told not to confuse the good, responsible citizens who have their minds made up already.
I'd rather have a mayor that admits he's changed his mind, than a guy who'd rather die than open his.
3/18/2014 9:37:01 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Once again, YOU don't want ALL of the information since you are basing your entire opinion on the consultants report. Negative experiences from other communities should definitely be considered by this admin. Don't confuse my statements with those of others. I for one welcome anyone's input in this matter regardless of whether they are a city taxpayer or not. The business in this city would be in big trouble without the support of our neighbors. the Mayor changing his personal views on building the event center is one thing, emphatically stating that there would not be a ballot question is another. He was elected in large part because of his positions. I am a Senior (cane shaker) and proud of it, those who try to denigrate seniors can't be planning on being one themselves or it speaks to their intelligence. I expect honesty and a level of integrity from elected officials and I am not seeing much from some on this council.
3/19/2014 8:31:43 AM
tiredofbull$ says:
I have a few questions regarding the consultants reports since I did not read them
1. Did they take in consideration that we had a semi pro hockey team in town before that were affiliated with the Ottawa Senators and they could not make a go of it, even when there were at least 3 paper mills and 3 sawmills running at the time that employed and paid decent wages to workers.
2. If our dollar continues to drop in value, how much harder it is to sustain a AHL hockey team that has to pay it players in U.S. dollars and travel expenses to the U.S while on road games. (That is a good reason why the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques left for the U.S before and the other Canadian NHL teams struggled also).
3. How we cannot fill the gardens seats already with the Thunder Bay North Stars and the LU Thunderwolves and yet we want to build a bigger one.

I could see building a new bigger one if they where constantly selling out the gardens now, but they are not.
3/19/2014 4:14:05 AM
sinkoreswim says:
And yet people like you know everything about everything right? Gimme a break! Powell himself admitted that he hasn’t even read some of the very significant reports…and yet this clown wants a plebiscite about something he is uneducated on! Kinda makes me think the rest of you are just like him.

I applaud the mayor and city counsel for having the backbone to withstand the pressure coming from the temperamental opposition who only want what they want, when they want it, and exactly how they want it.

We’re not building the arena yet, we are simply moving onto the 3rd phase of a feasibility report. If in the end it is determined to be a bad idea and the money is not in place we can let it go. But I’d like to at least be open minded and consider the possibilities to the max instead of just crushing everything instantly like a lot of the narrow mined, anti-progress people in this city always try to do.

Go live in a cabin in the woods already!
3/18/2014 11:41:50 AM
Eastender says:
Reports can be worded to favor selling water to a drowning man. If you pay the consultant, he will write any report you wish. In the final analysis, common sense and rational thinking must always be the final arbiter of any decisions that will adversely affect a large group of people.

Do not trust politicians and their consultants.
3/18/2014 12:48:34 PM
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