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Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday May 29 2015
8:19 PM EDT
2014-03-24 at 17:47

Law firm's article names city among worst immigration destinations

By Jamie Smith,

The mayor's angry and the multicultural association is disgusted after an article naming Thunder Bay one of the worst cities in Canada for immigrants makes its rounds on social media.

Immigroup, an immigration consulting firm based out of Toronto, ranked Thunder Bay number eight on its "Top 8 Worst Cities to Move to in Canada.” The article, written last year but grabbed attention over the weekend, made reference to the city's "marginalized underclass of native Canadians" and having "3,000 people of colour" before being heavily edited Monday.

Thunder Bay Multicultural Association executive director Cathy Woodbeck said she was surprised by the comments.

"I was shocked by that and disgusted quite frankly by that. I think that's quite a racist comment," she said of the reference to Aboriginal people.

The edit states that the reference was to urban poverty for Aboriginal people, a problem across Canada.

"There was no intent on the part of the author or Immigroup to  assign blame for these conditions, rather only to make note of them," it states.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said he found the whole thing offensive and his temper is getting shorter as more and more Internet articles bash the city without any facts to back it up.

"People need to do their homework," he said. "That's all I ask for these people doing these studies."

Multicultural Association immigration coordinator Michelle Lander came to Thunder Bay from Trinidad and Tobago 24 years ago. Some people move to the city and leave. But with around 600 people coming through the Association every year, immigration to Thunder Bay is up as is retention.

"Thunder Bay is what you make out of it," she said.

Immigroup research manager Riley Haas said the article's author Pat Spracklin no longer works for the organization but they stand by what he wrote. The article was meant to be "both informative and entertaining" Haas said.

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Watchful says:
Why is it when this city is criticized for problems, all the local yokels can say is "if you don't like it get out" . How about "what can we as a town do to improve how we appear to others"
Is it so hard to believe we are not perfect. Those who believe we are the perfect place have blinders on. This is no longer a safe city, we have extreme poverty in certain cultures, now I will be called racist, but it does not take brains to visually see what it looks like around town.
I hope this improves so that my children and grandchildren can have a good life here. Your right, when I retire I will be leaving to a place that is closer to major cities and more progressive in its thinking, and gives me my money's worth. No I don't hate T Bay, but I am not proud of this place.
3/25/2014 11:26:18 PM
Rusty Nails says:

Keith Hobbs claimed that he is the hardest-working mayor in the history of Thunder Bay...
LOL !!

Sure, but at what... breaking campaign
promises, wasteful spending, denial to every critical comment, losing his temper, making poor choices,controversial comments and being dismissive and blind to the truth...

Come on October and new broom.

LOL !!
3/25/2014 6:56:27 PM
deerface says:
I thought the cold weather was one of the reasons the Finnish population immigrated here long ago because it is similar landscape? Seemed to be a great place for them then. Funny how they didn't seem to mention any of the European immigrants who come here (Italian, Finnish, Polish, Ukrainian)
3/25/2014 1:58:03 PM
fastball says:
Finns did not immigrate here for the cold weather, they came to avoid the cold war. They came here for the jobs and so they wouldn't have to fight an endless war with the russians at the time, but to suggest they came here because they love the cold? Preposterous.
3/26/2014 10:52:27 AM
mrforreal says:
I have come across immigrants with several years of experience and are highly knowledgeable personable people but have had the toughest time connecting in Thunder Bay. It's a fact new immigrants are finding it extremely tough fitting in. Unlike the bigger, more multicultural cities... immigrants do feel left out! Immigrants don't feel welcome here, Thunder Bay is not open to new cultures... it's common sense. Many of them won't openly talk about it... they just leave!
3/25/2014 12:49:38 PM
dillon says:
It's funny how the same people who harp on the Chamber's report (which I agree with, by the way) are the same people who don't think we should get an event centre, which the chamber heartily endorses, and are the ones saying we're missing out on the convention business.
3/25/2014 10:26:03 AM
hounddog says:
This is yet another article written by someone that has never left their backyard and makes judgements and assumptions on an area they know nothing about. I welcome this individual with such slanted views of our city to come visit and stay awhile. Individual's that do not bother doing their research should not speak to any topic unless they have taken the effort and time to do their research in a fair unbiased method.
3/25/2014 9:51:52 AM
fluffy says:
8 isn't bad. I thought it would be worse than that based on what I see driving around this city.
3/25/2014 9:22:20 AM
thecity says:
This article also says the multi-cultural society is outraged over this. Just because we hate the mayor, should we disregard this fact? Blame Hobbs for lack of research if you must, but then comment on the entire story, not only the part that fits your negative views.
3/25/2014 9:11:56 AM
Tbnwo says:
I have lived in the highly praised Willowdale neighbourhood that is listed on this same website as one of the best places to live and I now live in Thunder Bay. Let me compare: home broken into and robbed, neighbour assaulted in front yard, murder in the apartment building next door, 1.5 hour commute one-way to work, astronomical rent.....all this in a highly desirable, 'good neighbourhood' in Willowdale aka Toronto. O and any new immigrant who can afford to buy a house in Toronto, often in need of major updates and a >500k list price is doing way better than me
3/25/2014 9:11:39 AM
Dockboy says:
Mayor Keith Hobbs, if the truth hurts, do something about it. This city is in decline.
3/25/2014 8:39:13 AM
Curious says:
The truth always hurts!! I at one time loved living in Thunder Bay. Can't say the same now!
3/25/2014 8:15:09 AM
think before you post says:
I just finished reading this piece and it has no value in my opinion. It looks more like a junior level homework paper. If Immigroup stands by this then it speaks volumes about them and not in a good way.
3/25/2014 7:54:47 AM
Samoa Joe says:
Welcome to Thunder Bay. The city of ill repute.
3/25/2014 7:53:19 AM
tsb says:
Truth hurts.
3/25/2014 7:04:39 AM
nvjgu says:
I'm glad it's the worst place.
3/25/2014 2:44:46 AM
razor_burn says:
No Keith, it is you who must do your homework. Thunder Bay is the laughing stock of the country. City council is a joke. The police services are a joke. Thunder Bay has become a cesspool in the past ten years. It's not going to get any better either. Just telling it how it is. Don't get all upset now because you can't handle the truth.
3/25/2014 1:01:06 AM
pc says:
I tend to disagree with your comment.
How can it be the laughing stock of the country when most people have never heard of it?
I have family moving back to Canada and I told them not to move here because I would not put them through the life up here.
Racism lack of jobs for city people so how would a new immigrant mixed family fare? Not too well I am thinking.
We used to walk the streets with no fear but now I would not go out alone in any area. Lock your cars up at all times now and don't leave them for very long.
Even motels are going downhill fast. Try finding one that doesn't have crowds standing outside asking for money.
Would much rather go to the Soo than shop in TB. Stores are also not what they used to be.
3/25/2014 6:37:30 PM
spooner19 says:
Well i think the mayor has every right to defend the city he lives in and as far as i am concerned i happen to like it also. If it is such a bad place to live nobody is stopping you people from moving. Why is it always the same people posting the same negative comments all the time you just sound like very miserable people.
3/25/2014 12:52:49 AM
big joe mufferaw says:
If y'all don't like it, y'all should leave. The rest of us are quite happy here.
3/25/2014 12:08:35 AM
reese says:
Kosovars refused to locate here for some reason
there is not much here for new canadians
CNN got rid of Pierce Morgan we should be able to get rid of Hobbs

3/24/2014 11:55:26 PM
Eastender says:
Hobbs is no Piers Morgan. Lets get rid of him anyway.
There is only one way Hobbs could get reelected, and that would be to shelve the Event centre for his entire term. Bring on the plebiscite 'Obbs.
3/25/2014 11:50:04 AM
CanadaLynx says:
The article states "8-10 hour drive to the nearest major Canadian city". It conveniently leaves out that we are only a few hours from some even nicer American cities, like Duluth, MN (3.5 hrs) and Minneapolis, MN (5.5 hours). Thunder Bay is actually a much better place to live than many people realize.
3/24/2014 11:52:21 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
Ive lived in thunder bay all of my life. When i was in my teens i use to hang out a Keskus mall and the downtown PA area almost everyday. I was never approached by anyone dangerously, ever. Im now in my 30's and i wouldnt walk downtown unless i was with another person. Ive had people approach me this past year asking me for money "or else". Its very hurting in those area. There are many suicides every month in this town that the public are not made aware of. Did you know about "the alcohol program" that they run at the shelter house? The city of thunder bay funds it. They take people off the street into the program and are administered 6 ounzes of wine daily for 16 hours, people can be on the program for a year. It supposedly saves the city money from drunks being picked up on the street by police. Also thunder bay has the highest % of people with Hep C and HIV per capita. Over 5% of thunder bay. Thats about 7000 people. Those are only the confirmed numbers. Its probably double.
3/24/2014 11:38:47 PM
Watchful says:
Homework, well Mr Hobbs, try opening your eyes. For once a very truthful article was written before being wrongly edited.
You cannot hide the truth about this town no matter how much you try to whitewash it
3/24/2014 10:16:37 PM
fastball says:
The mayor cried foul when the chamber put out their unflattering ranking of Thunder Bay.
The mayor cried foul when Money Sense put out their unflattering ranking of Thunder Bay.
Now the mayor has cried foul when Immigroup put out this rather unflattering ranking of Thunder Bay.
Seems the mayor only supports 'expert' opinions when they have been paid for by the city to create reports that support administration's agenda. Anyone independent organization who dares speak honestly about Thunder Bay, well they just don't understand the data so will have to incur the mayor's divisive wrath. Lovely.
3/24/2014 9:54:28 PM
Eastender says:
I really think people agreeing with you are totally misunderstanding your meaning. The word "lovely" at the end seems to imply that you are with the mayor on this issue. N'est pas?
3/25/2014 6:32:57 PM
Jack Rabbit says:
Law firm's article should have better named city of Thunder Bay among "Top 8 Worst Cities to Move to in Canadaā€¯ because it is one of the worst managed and dirty with no golden future and or jobs on the horizon !!

3/24/2014 9:16:21 PM
fan says:
The standard for research is that it is accurate, reliable and informative. Entertaining is not a research norm.
3/24/2014 8:57:06 PM
debt collector says:
Thunder Bay in my home and I have visited 3 other cities on the list in the past couple of years. I'm betting the author Pat Spracklin has not been to any of these locations.

I can without reservation state the article is complete and total BS.
3/24/2014 7:40:27 PM
Ranma says:
I love how they are harping on the "racism" in the article, when in fact the biggest problem they stated was the "10 hour drive" to the next largest city. According to the article we are EXTREMELY isolated.
3/24/2014 7:27:39 PM
Wolfie says:
"Thunder Bay is what you make out of it," she said.

Amen. Just like anywhere.
3/24/2014 7:19:15 PM
Eastender says:
Thats why we need to build the multiplex/hockey arena.
That will transform Thunder Bay from a "Do not immigrate here." Status. To "Best place to live in Canada " status. Yeah, right!

Gotta feed the construction moguls, eh, hobbs.

3/24/2014 6:51:46 PM
sky high says:
Yes, we definitely do need this events centre and we are definitely going to have it, Eastender. You can cry and whine all you want, and use the events centre as a tool in every negative article that newswatch prints, but that won't stop forward progress from happening. The world has had enough of people like you
3/25/2014 8:11:43 AM
Eastender says:
Sky pilot, bankruptcy is not forward progress.
Come down to earth once in a while.
3/25/2014 11:39:32 AM
trevor99 says:
Chamber issues report--- Mayor disagrees
City ranking falls in a report last week---Mayor disagrees
This report lists T.Bay negatively, Mayor disagrees
Crime Stats show city is lousy--Does the Mayor disagree???
Mayor campaigns on a plebiscite for new event centre. Changes mind

I didn't have an opinion on this guy one way or the other until recently. I certainly have one now.

If it is good, he will agree.

If the City fails at something, it is the provinces fault.

If people rank T.Bay poorly, they are wrong.

He is not a cheerleader, he is simply blinded by the need to get re-elected.

A true champion for the city fixes it not just takes the position that everyone else is wrong.
3/24/2014 6:50:25 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
No matter what you say to this, it will be edited out and never be shown to the public.
3/24/2014 6:31:29 PM
young&concerned says:
Tbnewswatch can you provide the link to this gem...I would love to read this article!
3/24/2014 6:27:40 PM
Jamie Smith says:
Sorry, thought it was in here already. Just added the link.
3/24/2014 11:22:58 PM
itmatters says:
I would think if it was an important part of this City, someone would have seen this last year. The article is missing stuff.
3/24/2014 11:47:45 PM
young&concerned says:
Hobbs you are totally your eyes!

Like all these articles are out for you and your city.

Don't lose your temper...this will no longer concern you in a couple of months from now!
3/24/2014 6:10:02 PM
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