Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
11:24 AM EDT
2014-03-25 at 01:20

Not happening

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

The city won't be going ahead with a youth centre as it planned.

Council had committed in principle to an $8.1 million partnership with the Indian Friendship Centre to turn the former Port Arthur Prosvita into a new home for the IFC and a youth centre. While the city backed that with $2.5 million, the federal and provincial governments weren't willing to match. That's what it boiled down to city clerk John Hannam, who's also responsible for the Aboriginal Liason Office, said.

"We weren't able to secure sufficient funds to do that," he said after the city made the announcement early Tuesday.

The city had a $57,000 hold on the High Street building until the end of the month in order to keep up operating costs while the city tracked down funding. The money will be lost.

"That was a risk that we knew going out there," Hannam said.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city had discussions with federal and provincial ministers, put a proposal together and even had dollar figures to show but it wasn't enough.

"We did our homework on it," he said. "We made an honest effort and the funding's just not there."

The partnership with the IFC is still in place. As for the youth centre, a report will come to council Apr. 7 to start discussing options.

Hobbs said a youth centre is a priority for the city. Whether that means using community centres, breaking ground on a new building or even funding existing organizations like the Boys and Girls Club. He wants to see a plan before this term of council is up.

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Dan Dan says:
Save the money for the proposed events centre.
3/26/2014 11:51:24 AM
Jack Frost says:
The city has lost the $57,000 hold on the High Street building, "that was a risk that we knew going out there," Hannam said.

Come October '14, the people of Thunder Bay can and must demonstrate to this "current" highly controversial mayor and council just how disgusted they truly are and vote for change !!

3/25/2014 5:39:24 PM
fastball says:
I agree wholeheartedly Jack Frost. We need to change this council now. This city needs a group that can lead us, not just hunt and peck for opportunities as directed by administration. Such a dysfunctional lot we have in power now, so sad.
3/26/2014 10:37:57 AM
jonthunder says:
A sad day for sure. But the city has no choice other than to take a step back with other governments - especially Ontario missing in action on this one. Thunder Bay will have to do it without Ontario and Canada and find a new approach to meeting these urgent needs. There are huge needs for youth in our community, and yes, many are aboriginal youth and many of those new to the community in need of such supports. Hopefully, the engaged parties will find a way to overcome this funding set-back and make our community better.
3/25/2014 4:34:49 PM
thecity says:
As clarification, what is the reasoning that people were opposed to this in the first place? too bad this isn't happening, as nothing does more for a neighbourhood then a safe and inviting place for youth to go, as well as the IFC has empowering and important programming that benefit the whole city.
3/25/2014 3:30:28 PM
Eastender says:
The reasoning for not wanting the centre in this area goes something like this.
Putting a youth centre far removed from where the youth naturally congregate and are familiar with is not in anyones best interests. Lets face the facts, troubled youth bring trouble to any area where they congregate. Put the youth centre where it is needed, in the already troubled areas. Why export the problem to an established and stable community.

The youth centre is not there for well adjusted kids, its there to help troubled and in trouble youth become well adjusted.

3/25/2014 6:51:40 PM
conker2012 says:
It is so much better that these youth cannot have a safe place to do constructive activities. Why would the neighbours want a safe place for the youth in their area, they would rather have their cars broken into, homes broken into or vandalized and who wants to feel safe while walking their neigbourhood. You know the only thing youth do as these centers is act responsibly and avoid the problems from hanging out on the streets. Why would we want that. LOOK HOW THE YOUTH RUINED THE MARINA WITH THAT SKATE PARK! wait... no they didn't

The funny thing is that everyone in the area would be so mad that this project failed if this was a school being proposed....


3/25/2014 2:47:12 PM
fastball says:
A youth center was much more needed than another arena. If given the choice for this on a plebiscite we would've said yes to the youth center, and no to the arena, but of course they don't give us the choice, so we are stuck with the opposite of our preferences.
3/26/2014 3:32:49 PM
young&concerned says:
So happy this is not happening, first for the people who live, work and own property in this area...who would want this in their back yard. Secondly, because Hobbs want this so bad and was so adamant/confident it was going to happen!

3/25/2014 12:35:32 PM
spazz says:
What an incredibly ignorant statement. The whole point of a youth center is to give at risk kids a place to go and avoid trouble.
3/26/2014 8:50:39 AM
anvil of crom says:
SO when the feddies and provs say POSSIBLY ( but highly likely) NO to the City in regards to their "66% " funding of the events centre I hope council does the same.
3/25/2014 11:01:26 AM
dillon says:
To those asking, other community groups didn't get funding to build a youth centre because they didn't ask. If one group comes forward with a funding proposal, the city cannot then turn around and offer that funding to another group, no matter how much you dislike the name. A youth centre has a been a priority in this city for many years, and finally a group stepped up and is willing to run it. IFC has a great infrastructure for this type of project and is very well managed. The other groups that you're thinking of simply are not built to handle a project like this. Perhaps BGC, but then they're having problems with their taxes so I'm sure the city isn't in a rush to do business with them quite yet, even if they'd asked for funding.
I'm curious about why someone would say we have more youth centres per capital than anywhere else. Where are all these youth centres in the city?
3/25/2014 10:19:47 AM
fastball says:
Trollers can't lose - they yell at the city if they cut their losses at 57K...and yell at 'em if they spent a few million or so to open it.
Must be great to be never out of ammunition.
3/25/2014 10:12:58 AM
Formula One says:
Who gets the $57K hold money that the city says is now lost??? The Prosvita?? If so, don't they owe back taxes. Just curious as to who just made a quick 57K.
3/25/2014 9:17:24 AM
Ricknb says:
The Bank!
3/25/2014 10:40:56 AM
Formula One says:
Wrong!! See "Old Vienna's" comment below. The 57K was given to the Friendship Centre as a one time grant.
3/25/2014 11:40:04 AM
RicknB says:
It was given to the bank to "HOLD" the building for the Friendship Centre. The deal isn't going through so the bank keeps it. The hold was so the Prosvita didn't have to claim bankruptcy.
Now they do. :( Hence the tax sale.
3/25/2014 1:39:14 PM
old vienna says:
The indian friendship centre. It's in the last part of this article by tbnewswatch:

3/25/2014 11:24:32 AM
buzz says:
Did anyone one of you who are complaining about the 57,000 spent not read the article, it clearly states that the money was used to keep up operating cost. I would surmise that means to keep heat, hydro and water in the building over the winter to prevent pipes from freezing causing damage that would have cost tax payers to repair if the deal had gone through, which would have probably been more than 57k. This also means that the City will have an easier time to sell the property and actually make back the back taxes owed than if the property was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair like the theatre in the north core.
3/26/2014 8:26:00 AM
Glyder says:
How about the Underground Gym that has to come begging for a pittance every year? They do great work and are severely underfunded.

I also agree with helping out existing groups, rather than put all the eggs in one basket. Millions for one group, scraps for the rest? How is that right?
3/25/2014 9:06:21 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
Maybe you should take the money NOT spent on this and put it towards clearing the snow since that budget is shot!
3/25/2014 9:04:34 AM
bttnk says:
I would hope the City can re-submit for funding at a later date as they no doubt put resources into planning and submitting a request.

I think this was a good initiative.
3/25/2014 8:57:25 AM
Dockboy says:
So unfortunate, I mean, really, that's too bad.
3/25/2014 8:26:14 AM
Kam River says:
$57,000 hold on the High Street building will be lost. What the heck it is only our money.
I hope the people will remember who want this in their neighbourhood.
So much for ward councilors representing their ward members.
3/25/2014 8:24:18 AM
sky high says:
I can just imagine what the Feds and Provies said. "Keith, you do realize that we're going to give you over 75 million between us for your darn hockey arena, right? You've already got enough youth clubs in your city, probably more per capita than any other place in the world. Sorry, old bean."
3/25/2014 7:59:12 AM
Tannoy says:
The government jams us up again.
3/25/2014 7:52:43 AM
Ranma says:
That is great news! We need the money for other, more important projects, like fixing our infrastructure. The fact that the IFC wanted the city to buy the building outright for them, shows just how disconnected they are with reality.
3/25/2014 7:35:20 AM
Waldo Lydecker says:
That $57000 is just lost? What is wrong with these idiots?

Take that money right out of the salary of the councillors that voted to chase this idiotic idea.

How much are we throwing away by going down the same path with the event center?

Wow, the next election cant come soon enough! Hobbs says they did their homework?

No you didn't. You failed yet again and threw our money away on idiocy that so many people stood in council chambers and told you exactly that.

There seriously needs to be an in depth investigation into this mayor and council's behaviour.
3/25/2014 7:26:45 AM
Samoa Joe says:
$57,000 flushed down the toilet. But hey, according to aldo ruberto , councillors and city administration are informed and know what they are doing. Be wary of keith hobbs. He's on record as saying if it's the last thing he does as mayor a new youth centre will be built.
3/25/2014 7:24:54 AM
j_northey says:
Guess the feds would rather fund more 'border security' in Tony Clements riding (far away from the border) and the province has more winnable ridings for the Liberals to announce/cancel stuff in.

It would be nice if the feds and province would just make clear rules on when they will do a 1/3-1/3-1/3 plan with cities. Save a lot of time and money for cities and taxpayers.
3/25/2014 7:20:41 AM
chezhank says:
In Dec.2013 a media source reported.

""It's going to go ahead … plain and simple. We're going to do this."
That's what Mayor Keith Hobbs told about 100 people who showed up to support the proposed centre, headed by the Indian Friendship Centre."

Don't under estimate Mayor Hobbs.
3/25/2014 7:17:26 AM
tsb says:
This is probably the first time a tiny group of NIMBYs actually got what they wanted. How ironic that if they had just waited a few weeks, we wouldn't have found out how racist some members of the local business community really are!
3/25/2014 6:59:23 AM
space says:
I am pleased with this result.
3/25/2014 3:36:48 AM
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