Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
7:17 PM EDT
2014-04-07 at 22:12

Plebiscite denied

People rally both for and against a plebiscite on the proposed event centre Monday night.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
People rally both for and against a plebiscite on the proposed event centre Monday night.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

City council will not be adding an event centre question to the Oct. 27 municipal ballot.

Couns. Linda Rydholm and Larry Hebert were the lone dissenters of 11 around the council table Monday night, voting in favour of asking voters if they thought the city should halt the process of pursuing the controversial $106.1-million facility.

"Are you in favour of city council continuing with the process to build the proposed event and convention centre in Thunder Bay?" Rydholm's question asked.

Rydholm said she brought the ballot question to council after hearing from her constituents that they would like one, not because she's opposed to the project.

"For some folks that’s the way its been interpreted,” she said. “They just wanted to have a say.”

Rydholm, the Neebing councillor, said gauging public support was a matter of good governance.

But Mayor Keith Hobbs said the public elected council to oversee $2 billion worth of assets, $300 million budgets and corporations like tbaytel.

"Yet some don’t want to trust us in getting this project to a shovel-ready stage,” he said.

"I'm tired of it."

Council has been nearly unanimous in supporting all stages of the project's process over the years and he said he's learned to trust the experts and professionals put in place to guide it along.

It's the reason he reversed his 2010 call for a plebiscite on the issue.

"I wasn't as wise a man as I am now," he said.

Northwood Coun. Mark Bentz said he's generally in favour of ballot questions and even looked into whether or not to have one on the project a few months ago. But it's the next term of council who will decide whether or not the centre goes ahead and then, as stated many times, only if federal and provincial funding is in place. Maybe then the question could be asked.

"It's a good debate," Bentz said. "But ill-timed."

The idea of a ballot question wasn't even on the radar until the preferred location, which would replace the Water Street bus terminal, was chosen, Coun. Aldo Ruberto said. Even now he's only received about eight calls and a dozen emails on the issue. He said a few people are fear mongering with talk of high debt levels and other negatives about the project.

The public can say things because they're not accountable to the people, unlike city council.

"It makes me sick when I hear those things," Ruberto said.

The city will host a survey on the issue later this year, something Rydholm said she is happy about. But she would have liked to see the ballot question go ahead.

"I'm disappointed that council doesn't want to sort of check in with the people this fall in a meaningful way," she said after the meeting.

About 60 people, both for and against the event centre, rallied outside of city hall before the meeting Monday. Some made deputations, including Steve Robinson, a big supporter of the project, who said a ballot question would interfere with due process. He said the best way for people to show how they feel is to vote in October.

"We have the power to elect or not elect yourselves as members of our council,” he said.

The city is in the midst of a Phase 3 study that will create a business plan and finalize costs, allowing officials to take funding requests to senior levels of government.

Follow Jamie Smith on Twitter: @Jsmithreporting

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
DustInTheWind says:
I am sure glad the taxpayers are going to be paying for this since I will never be spending a dime on it. Who cam afford it in this day and age with part-time wages.
4/10/2014 12:50:26 AM
reese says:
Some how the city of Fort William managed to find FREE parking for 5500 fans at the racetrack at the CLE grounds for a weekly show
It should be much easier for less people and smaller cars now 50 years later
4/9/2014 12:28:17 AM
dank says:
Next election, lets see if all the fuss over this big expenditure will bring out more than 50% of the eligible voters- It would be awesome to see the people who built this city along with the next generation get together and cast their votes. That would be a true gauge of public opinion.
4/8/2014 6:59:25 PM
publicdomain says:
Again they didn't put up my post. I put a lot of thought and effort into my posts on this website; I spent the better part of an hour this morning confirming demographic and geographic facts about northwestern Ontario, comparing Thunder Bay to the city of Duluth,and the state of Minnesota, as examples of why a city of comparable size and location will be unable to support a new "event" centre. What I see happening is the city builds the event centre, but a few years after they come to the realization that yes we can secure higher quality entertainers and sporting events, but we don't have the population to support the cost of even running the place. Yes, taxes and costs will go up and there will be people who will lose their homes because they can't afford any increase to their taxes because their budget is that tight. TBNewswatch apparently doesn't want you to think about another point of view.
4/8/2014 6:55:43 PM
donnybrook says:
Won't you people think of the children? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???? *sob*

Oh right, the children will grow up with an awesome events center and possibly some entertainment that doesn't consist of 80's one-hit-wonders and yesteryears has-beens.
4/8/2014 6:23:49 PM
det john kimble says:
Ahl team on its way, BUT,
No sign of fed or provincial funding : 66% of the actual centre.
No mention of the 15 million in private funds needed.
This does not include a parkade....all this and more on the cities own website......
66%...of 105 million, is it a certainty, absolutely not!
When the ball starts rolling its hard to stop, this is what scares me, too many assumptions, not enough certainties!
4/8/2014 4:05:14 PM
dank says:
I recently attended the home and garden show. It was well organized with the exception of parking. Drove around in confusion for several minutes trying to park. We almost gave up and left. I'm in favor of an events center but all I could think about was what a nightmare it will be attending an event in the downtown north core with less parking than the CLE. I and many of the so-called noisy minority as some councillors call us, think it will be a monumental mistake building it there. No logic as usual- it would be better in the intercity area where most everything else is going anyways
4/8/2014 3:41:14 PM
fastball says:
Yes, it was the parking....but not so much the lack of it, as merely the sheer mayhem and disorganization of the parking. You had the 2 lots of the CLE, then the front and back of Silver City...all trying to converge on the same two entrance/exits. It was disorganized to say the least.
Trust me, the parking situation will work itself out.
4/8/2014 5:36:01 PM
Wolfie says:
Exactly. The parking at the CLE is more akin to what it would be like at Innova than downtown.

Innova would be just like that... one big parking lot with a couple of entrances and exits. Bottleneck city. Downtown is a grid, with plenty of entrances and exits, and widely dispersed.

Anyone who has been to an Ottawa Senators game in Kanata knows what I'm talking about. What a mistake they made there.
4/8/2014 6:32:36 PM
Eastender says:
Fastball you and wolfie are a perfect example of the twisted logic that is being used to justify an insane idea. No parking lot is better than a large well organized and monitored parking lot? Do you ever think about the foolishnes of your comments? Or are you just a paid spin doctor for the keystone kouncillors.
4/9/2014 8:48:31 AM
fastball says:
Nope....I'm just not an advocate of putting an event centre in the middle of a bog, in the bush, with limited egress...just so we can put a 1500 car parking lot there. That parking lot will contribute NOTHING other than parking for the event centre.
Not when there's already on-street parking, AND a parkade, and probably other lots already there in a already-burgeoning downtown - right next door to one of the most glorious natural vistas on God's green earth. Those parking spots there already service workplaces and businesses for the 9-5 crowd - and restaurants, etc in the after-hours. And since you all are so fond of pointing out, the attendance at TWolves games is dwindling, so a finding parking for those thousand or two people shouldn't be a horribly hard task.
A giant parking lot at Innova would service ONLY attendance at that facility...and do nothing other than require maintenance the rest of the time.
4/9/2014 5:23:40 PM
Eastender says:
You are the king of rationalization.
Why couldn' I see it, parking a kilometer away from your destination and walking in ankle deep slush,
in 20 below weather, not to mention calendar parking all winter, is so much more fun than walking a hundred meters to your car in a plowed parking lot. How silly of me. What was I thinking?

Lets see, how far will my automatic starter work to start my car? Oh what the hell gas costs way too much eh? If I catch pneumonia, health care is free in Ontario. Not to worry!

And that darn Innova Park, so far in the bush, and on a bog too, heck we could all sink and disappear below the mud there. Even if we made it out alive, the mosquitos would infect us with West Nile virus. And that drive from Innova to the entertainment district, what is it some 3 miles at least, who in their right mind would want to drive that far after a concert.

Thank God sane people are making these decisions for us.
4/10/2014 1:20:54 AM
fastball says:
Yup, it's cold for 3 months a year. But you do realize that it's NOT cold for the other 9 months?
And I'm supposed to take your CAR STARTER woes seriously? And walking 5 whole minutes in the winter? Honest to god, what would you grandparents think of you if they had to read about your oh-so horrible and life-threatening problems?
BY the way - have you driven by your Innova Park area in the past few days? It's under a foot of water right about now...and the snow has BARELY started to melt. Every creek, stream and culvert around flows automatically to that area. It's in a low-lying bog! It's in the Northwood Sink. Ask the homeowners - every flippin' house in the area has had to fix their walkways, driveways, foundations and stairs for the past 50 years, because the whole place sinks a half-inch a year. How many thousand yards of fill do you think it would take to raise that area up?
Honest to god, do you actually believe what you're saying...or will you grasp at ANY thread now?
4/10/2014 9:35:16 PM
Dan Dan says:
Another good result for the City of Thunder Bay. The best argument against a plebiscite and for the proposed events centre are those posted by above - the people arguing FOR a plebiscite and AGAINST the events centre. Incoherent, illogical and non-sensical. Particulary some users that post repeatedly. Those people are making themselves look vindictive and foolish.
4/8/2014 2:21:29 PM
reese says:
There is no reason for the taxes to go up my taxes did not change after the Chicago Cubs spring training facility opened this year
A city managers job is to insure the city has no property taxes For that reason the position should be an elected one along with police chief Propositions and bonds will keep any corporation afloat with good management The same cannot be said about the city with the hockey team thats why the manager quit
4/8/2014 1:59:35 PM
Jon Powers says:
To All:

" My Son, I Leave A Kingdom Too Small For Thee" King Phillip II (Alexander The Great's Father) 334 B.C.

1, 1950 Fort William Pop 42,000
2, 1950 Port Arthur Pop 43,000

Fort William Gardens Max Capacity 6,000 (Standing Room Only).
Port Arthur Arena (Pre-1960's Fire) 3,500 Max.

P.A. + F.W. Pop =84,-85,000 people
P.A. Arena + F.W.G. = 9,500 Max Tickets

9,500 seats = 11%+ population.

2014 Thunder Bay Population 120,000 (Metro).
Event Centre 6,500 Concert Tickets; = -5% of current Pop.

Our Great Grand Perents built much bigger in the past. So we could grow into things.

I believe strongly that they (Council + Consultants P-1-2-3 reports) are realy selling our "Youth Short".

I have no problem with the Hockey seating; But I do with the Non-Sport Mode seating being so small in numbers. Build that component to 10,000 seats.

If given the opportunity to vote on this propposel I would vote "NO" because It's Too Small.

Great Posts Everyone!
4/8/2014 1:28:01 PM
sinkoreswim says:
I'm going to enjoy watching the gardens get demolished
4/8/2014 1:23:32 PM
theonlyopinionthatmatters says:
The way things are trending taxes will go up regardless if they build it or not. Might as well have something to show for it in an Events Centre. Gives the new generation a little incentive to stay in the area.
4/8/2014 11:24:53 AM
TBAY Duffer says:
After meeting with both groups at last nights protest, I came away with the notion that there are actually three camps.

1) The Realists, who see a city that will be more than $200 Million in debt in a few years, and can do the math.

2) The Innova Park fans who who would rather have no rink than one on the dreaded north side.

3) The North side bars restauranteurs, local business, and commercial real estate interests, who will all greatly benefit from the waterfront location.

The arena will be built. The total cost IMO will exceed $150 Million, when the cost over-runs, bridge to nowhere, parking facilities, expropriations, and "Thunder Bay Mystery Money" are paid for. The Feds and Province will pay about $70 Million. Leaving $80 million for us.

The city will borrow the money. The next generation can pay the bill. So if you are a "Cane Shaker" like me, relax, by the time the SHTF we will be out of here, one way or the other. Just don't wait too long for your exit.
4/8/2014 9:46:25 AM
bttnk says:
@ Tbay Duffer - That is quite the analogy. Except you are omitting a very important and significant group among your "camps". It is a group that is well represented based on a number of events I've attended and speaking with people in the community. They may not have attended last nights "rally".

4) Also the Realists. We understand that the event centre development will require a capital investment and require the city to take on debt. However, we believe that this is "good debt" as this type of infrastructure development is a critical component of city building that connects commerce and people. An investment for the future of Thunder Bay and revitalizing our waterfront.

Your estimate of 50% cost over-runs appears to be rather aggressive, I will wait for the Phase 3 study to make assumptions on total finacial outlay.
4/8/2014 11:37:37 AM
TBAY Duffer says:
@ bttnk: I guess time will tell.
4/8/2014 12:49:42 PM
terwilliger says:
Mr. Hobbs is tired of the people who elected him not trusting him and council with our 2 billion in assets and 300 million budget. This would be the best time to get the publics input. It would cost very little to find out where the majority stands, and it may be a good way to increse voter turn out.
Your in PUBLIC office Mr. Hobbs if you cant handle criticism and people questioning what you are doing with their money maybe this isnt the job for you.
4/8/2014 9:34:15 AM
Sandwiches1123 says:
I am taking issue with something Aldo said.

"The public can say things because they're not accountable to the people, unlike city council".

According to this site's election results story from 2010, Councilor Pugh received 2,651 votes; Bentz received 2,270 votes; Giertuga received 2,027 votes; and Rydholm received 1,840 votes.

If you combine these votes into a single at-large Councilor, that person would 4,608 votes shy of the 5th place at-large councilor and behind two other at-large candidates as well.

Heck if you put all the ward councilors together they still end up with 18330 votes. Good enough for 3rd on the at-large list. How can Aldo say council is accountable to the people?

I believe a non-binding plebiscite is a good idea because it will also provide the new council with direction at the same time as an election may or may not change the political landscape.

So, if you are happy with the direction this City is going, keep the same people, if not vote them out.
4/8/2014 9:09:27 AM
SomeGuy says:
Sandwiches1123, the only time a non-binding plebiscite is valid if under 50% of the electorate comes out. 51% you have to what it says.

Even if 100% paid for and the plebiscite said no we could not build it, vice versa, if 0% was funded and a yes vote would happen we would have to build it.

So you can not choose if it is binding or not.

Also our our MP's and MPP's not capable of speaking on our behalf because not everyone in Canada or Ontario got to vote for them?
4/8/2014 12:20:08 PM
richy says:
kidknapp said remember this at election time? These people can't remember to show up to protest. It's over time to start the ground digging. Was the mayor in waiting there or did he not show up?
4/8/2014 9:05:56 AM
chezhank says:
Yes the mayor in waiting showed up and while speaking with the public he did learn how misinformed they were on the on having a plebiscite.
So council has turned down the idea to put a question on the ballot in the Oct27 municipal election.
So I emailed the mayor and council this morning to see if they would be interested in a REFERENDUM which would cost $300,000 and give them enough time to decide the question.
I would still like to let the people decide,even when I get voted into office.
I would agree to the city spending $300,000 for a REFERENDUM, to do what this mayor and council could have done with a question on the ballot at negligible cost Oct 27.

When residents were asked where would they want their money spent ...the 2013 Ipsos Reid Citizens Survey showed about 94% favored it going to roads while 62 % favored a event centre.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
4/8/2014 2:40:26 PM
musicferret says:
I would be ok with aldo and the mayor simply saying no; what I am NOT ok with is the way that appear exasperated and upset that citizens would dare to request a plebiscite, even though it has been done for much smaller issues in the past.

THAT is a breakdown in democracy.

The worst part? Hobbs will likely win again, though it will have nothing to do with his competence, but rather the lack of anyone else credible running against him.
4/8/2014 9:03:54 AM
fastball says:
I'd be somewhat exasperated, too - if I had to constantly repeat the same facts over and over again to the same bunch of people. It's insulting to assume the mayor and council have anything less than the best interests of TBay in their hearts...not just today's TBay, but tomorrow's TBay as well. To have to listen to the same gang of people who claim that democracy has been subverted - merely because they're not getting their way.
How many times does he have to say if the money's not there..this goes on the back burner? How many times does he have to say to wait til the facts come in before rushing to any kind of vote? How many times does he have to be accused of some kind of personal failure - just because he changed his mind after doing some research on something? How many times does Council have to listen about how "the fix is in" and how they're all going to get rich?
He's a bigger man than I. Frankly, to quote Al Pacino - I'd be taking a flamethrower to the place.
4/8/2014 1:51:57 PM
bttnk says:
A big thumbs up to city council for their resolve and sticking to the process. I look forward to reading the Phase 3 report upon its completion and hope that each of you will do the same so you can understand th scope and expected benefits of the project.

Another step forward in building a better future for Thunder Bay.
4/8/2014 8:54:16 AM
Renegade120860 says:
Guess it's more important for people to vote for a cheerleader trying out for the CFL.

Welcome to "Toondar Bay"!!!
4/8/2014 8:53:24 AM
stonecutter says:
Good call by council.

4/8/2014 8:41:56 AM
Kam River says:
So Hobbs and council say vote for me and you will get the multiplex. That is the only thing they care about.
(1) high rate of crime
(2) high taxes that people can no longer afford
(3) the conditions of our streets.

Aldo says people are fear mongering about the higher taxes. No they fear Aldo's out of control spending.
Aldo and the mayor are working very hard to dived this community Why??
4/8/2014 8:41:20 AM
Dockboy says:
This council is so hell bent on constructing this event centre that even if the fed's and provincial governments deny funding they'll build anyway. Oh wait a minute, Mr. Hobbs said they won't go ahead with it if the government funding isn't there. Yeh right, like he's never lied to us before.
4/8/2014 8:34:31 AM
Kidknapp says:
Remember this when it's election time! Vote out the Dictators and elect a council that will represent the community and listen to them! The site near the marina is going to wreak havoc with the traffic not to mention parking issues! Local businesses in this area are going to lose their parking and as a result of this, lose customers! Thank you city council for the pending chaos!
4/8/2014 8:26:20 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Unfortunately with the lack of creditable candidates that can run against our present council , the incumbents who win council seats will take their election victory and call it a affirmative vote for the Events Center and will whitewash the plebiscite question away from the citizens .
4/8/2014 8:21:55 AM
Wolfie says:
So you are saying that there are no credible candidates in the ranks of the so-called Concerned Taxpayers?

What about the "Mayor in Waiting"?
4/8/2014 9:10:22 AM
AlexA says:
Good Job City Council, now let's move forward. Aldo Ruberto is correct there were no problems until the site was announced. A very very large number of people in this city feel this is a good thing and will benefit the city.
4/8/2014 8:05:57 AM
meta says:
Your post in incorrect. There has been much debate even prior to the selection of the north downtown site well before this.

The issue is this council and administration is pushing ahead despite the growing number of tax paying citizens who want a say in how, where, when and even if this multi boondoggle gets built. Look at the mess with the Marina! still noit done and Council is looking at another multi million dollar white elephant to build!

I would like Council to be open with the construction cost, operating costs and impact to the already over taxed property owners in this town! Sadly, they can seem to do even that! Vote the lot out!
4/8/2014 9:07:47 AM
redgreen19 says:
The event centre will be another reason for people to come to Thunder Bay and visit, and that's a good thing.
4/8/2014 8:04:44 AM
Eastender says:
Do you really think people from Winnipeg will make an eight hour trip just to see a concert or a hockey game in Tundra Bay? Do you really think people are going to take chances by driving our treacherous highways in the winter time to see a concert that they can see in their own cities? The hockey rink will have the same 2200 or so people there for games. That leaves,
what, 3000 seats empty? Why fly from the Peg to TBay. When the concert will be in the Peg anyway. US tourists? Forgetabout it, they have their own centre, why drive to Tundra Bay in winter, on dangerous winding hwy. 61, when you can get all the entertainment you want with a short drive to Minneapolis, on a safe divided highway. Tundra Bay event Centre? Big empty welfare bubble 90% of the time.
4/8/2014 10:06:44 AM
mystified says:
Maybe nobody from Winnipeg or Duluth but there are a few thousand that live within 2-4 hour drive. It's going to happen wether you like it or not. The city has invested to much in it to let it not happen.
4/8/2014 1:18:17 PM
Meta says:
How sad and arrogant is this council? The taxpayers want a say and you all so arrogantly ignore them. This council and this lack luster Mayor need to be voted out for good.
This is another ill thought project on top of other boondoggles!

Vote them out in October!
4/8/2014 7:37:31 AM
REG says:
Where were all the people opposed to this event center,did you forget your pots and pans? The fix wasn't in at all I guess the opponents forgot to show up. The talk is over and now it's time to move forward. Lets start the job.
4/8/2014 7:33:21 AM
Rob20 says:
I'm for a new events of some sort. I'm strongly against the marina site. I don't think right now is the right time for the plebiscite after reading the history of what happened with the auditorium in the newspaper yesterday. But I came to a conclusion yesterday made me not really have to worry about it anymore, which for those against it should probably calm their nerves. The reality is we probably are not going to get the provincial and federal funding for this. Given the way the provincial and federal government are cutting back on just about everything even essential services I highly doubt they're going to fork over 70 million to us for a glorified hockey rink. So the real question is, when we get denied provincial and federal funding, and the city comes back to us and says, we already have 35 million how much more can be absorbed to build a new hockey rink? What are you going to say at that point?
4/8/2014 7:32:06 AM
bttnk says:
Rob - I'm glad you support the event centre. I have to tell you that your conclusion that the federal and provincial government will not provide funding assistance has a high probability of being incorrect. I've heard from several politicians locally and in Southern Ontario that funding is a near certainty. The question isn't if we will get funding, but how much we will get.
4/8/2014 8:44:34 AM
rob20 says:
Well that notion scares me and most others as a tax payers equally. Anyone who think this project will come in on budget is naive. It will run over budget by a good amount just like the hospital did. Which means you can guarantee the taxpayer in TBay will absorb that difference. And if you factor that with there still being a "question" of how much we will get you can see why people are up in arms about the potential. Council is going to pitch TBay to absorb any funding difference unless they get zero I'm pretty sure.

But The certainty you speak of I'll believe when I see it. The hospital had to fall into fire code violation before the city got funding with that... which was $14m. And now we expect to get close to $70m for a hockey rink? Good reason to be doubtful.
4/8/2014 9:14:14 AM
S Duncan says:
the provincial government will fall or at the very least be a weak minority government very soon.

The federal government will be up for grabs next year, and will either remain the same or become a minority Conservative government.

so, whatever your little birdies tell you, it's certainly subject to change.

that's the problem when you go begging people for money. This is the equivalent of telling your kid to ask the other parent for what the kid wants. They run back and forth between the two, promising to do the dishes for a week, but never end up doing them.

that right there is Thunder Bay behaviour under this current management. Its embarrassing to say the least.
4/8/2014 9:35:20 AM
Bgal says:
Very appreciative of SD's response to S Duncan's comment.
4/8/2014 7:21:48 AM
CLETE says:
Wow only 60 people outside and that is going to stop this project. Glad to see council will not buckle to these nay sayers. Lets get this done.
4/8/2014 7:20:28 AM
reese says:
Like it or not it will happen The board of supervisors had a vote on a MLB ball park by my winter home One got shot she lived the ball park is there today
4 million people less than 10 p;eople on the
Democracy is not perfect but better than most
4/8/2014 7:18:22 AM
eyesopen says:
I can see both the pro and cons of having a plebiscite and I can sympathsize with both also. However my personal feelings are that we should have the plebiscite to make it truely a democratic decision.

All that aside, the city should AT THE VERY LEAST have a season ticket drive with a minimum number required for predetermined amount of years to show support for the AHL hockey team that is set to move here. This is what Winnipeg did to get the Jets back and it proved the support.
4/8/2014 7:06:49 AM
Baor says:
Wow , a whole 60 people showed up and not all were against....time to move on.
4/8/2014 6:46:31 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
I am not surprised that a plebiscite question would be on the next election ballot just like I am confident that both provincial and federal governments will not assist with funding. The renew Thunder Bay fund should be used to leverage money from both levels of government to help off set the 150 million dollar infrastructure upgrades that this city needs. Council has and continues to show a lack of priority setting skills. Going after wants before needs is something that appears to be supported by the uninformed be they young or old.
4/8/2014 6:19:16 AM
unknowncronik says:

more useless time wasted on the "marina arena"

yall know its gonna be built there regardless if 99% of the taxpayers say no.

come the election, just remember who did this!

4/8/2014 3:12:45 AM
Wolfie says:
"come the election, just remember who did this!"

I sure will. And I will be thanking them with my vote.
4/8/2014 9:05:32 AM
unknowncronik says:

thank them with yer vote all ya want, its yer kids kids kids that will still be paying for such a small facility, when we should be building it n the outskirts of the town as WE HAVE SO MUCH ROOM that would make a way better location than the "marina arena" location!

get suckered in like the auditorium & the hospital size & complain later then....sad
4/8/2014 5:08:27 PM
signman says:

Why won't they let the taxpayers vote?

4/8/2014 12:06:21 AM
hardrawkin says:
The taxpayers did vote. It was called an election
4/8/2014 5:58:21 AM
Wolfie says:
Exactly. The only vote that matters. And there is another one coming up in a few short months. If the naysayers don't like where this is going, they know what to do.
4/8/2014 9:03:34 AM
S Duncan says:
So if we elect a council and mayor, then next year they vote in favour of suspending any future elections..

...is that democracy?

they can just declare themselves dictators for life?
4/8/2014 9:29:18 AM
Wolfie says:
Nice straw man.
4/8/2014 10:43:29 AM
humnchuck says:
If it were possible for elected officials to vote to suspend the terms of the Elections Act, then maybe.

4/8/2014 10:34:57 PM
S Duncan says:
well, you elected them to do whatever they want, didn't you?

the people don't have a say, they elected them!
4/9/2014 5:16:29 PM
DWB says:
Well it is finally official democracy is dead in Thunder Bay
4/8/2014 12:04:40 AM
Blah blah says:
Why worry when you can vote for the next council as it will be up to them to decide. so all you that don't want this I'm sure will be running for council or mayor, or are you scared you won't win.
4/7/2014 11:38:57 PM
Nivlacw says:
Great news. Now hopefully we can move this city forward.
4/7/2014 11:29:16 PM
S Duncan says:
why is there children there?

they aren't of voting age, and they certainly don't pay taxes either.

how low will the pro side go?

not much lower than using children as props I hope.
4/7/2014 11:21:35 PM
sd says:
Perhaps they should go as low as the side against it and shout profanities and interupt anyone who is trying to peacefully and democratically have an opinion contrary to that.
Perhaps there are children there because while they may not currently pay taxes this is a legacy project and it is being built for our future, and our future is those children.
And there is nothing wrong with introducing them to the political environment at a young age.
Your comment is akin to someone wrongly asking why there are old people there because by the time this project happens they will sadly not be around to pay for it and so their opinion should not matter.
4/8/2014 12:06:09 AM
mikethunderbay says:
Wow Duncan, we all know the next elected council will have all the answers on costs and funding for the event center. Maybe you should get out from behind the anonymity of the internet and but your name on the ballot in the October election. Then you'll get an understanding for how much support you have.
4/8/2014 8:12:53 AM
S Duncan says:
Sorry I don't want the job.

Why aren't you running?
4/8/2014 9:06:41 AM
Wolfie says:
Maybe because he seems satisfied with the job the current council is doing?

Unlike yourself, apparently.

To quote the illustrious Trooper: "If you don't like, what you've got, why don't you change it?"
4/8/2014 10:58:07 AM
Today1 says:
Multiplex=Delta Hotel
Administration basic math
4/7/2014 11:15:03 PM
Reignmaker says:
The kids in 20 years will thank us for saddling them with the purchase price on top of the costs to run this centre I'm sure.
You act like the new venue will run for free after being built.
4/7/2014 11:13:13 PM
fastball says:
In 20 years, it's paid for.
As for operating costs - at least they're going towards operating a facility that has some relevance going forward. Not some 70 year-old concrete mausoleum with limited use in today's day and age. Face it, the operating costs of the FWG are only going to go up as it ages.
At some point, you retire the 1985 Le Baron - even though it may be still running...but you reach a point of diminishing returns. It costs more to keep it running than you'll ever get out of it.
4/7/2014 11:39:46 PM
S Duncan says:
The hospital was paid for a few years ago.

Did you get the tax relief?

Oh, that's right, you didn't. Nobody did. The city kept our money because they know whats best for us.
4/8/2014 9:25:39 AM
fastball says:
Rydholm was embarrassing - with her long-winded, rambling monologue about....nothing. Her "feelings". Aldo went on - but at least the guy made some sense. He hit the nail on the head - not a flippin' thing was said about this until the Downtown site was announced.
The councilors have it right - let's do the homework and find out the facts. And THEN we'll see what's what..and what needs to be voted on.
Joe V. and Pugh had it right - we're making a city. And it's not all about the grey-haired old people who are "on fixed pensions" and can't POSSIBLY afford any nickel on taxes...it's also about the young people who are looking for a reason to keep TBay relevant. It's about the little kids who are going to be here for the next 20 years or more. Those people count, too.
The Gardens have to be replaced...sooner or later. The operating cost of the FWG - that's money that's NEVER coming back. Let's start the process of replacing it now.
4/7/2014 11:02:21 PM
S Duncan says:
No, we're not making a city.

We have a city. This city is for the people that live and work here. It is not the job of city council to make it something else. It is for the citizens that live here.

When people like you finally learn that, life here will improve. If we stopped this whole "build it and they will come" bs, we'd all be much happier.

First off, that's a Hollywood movie mantra, nothing else.

Where is the money of those in support? why haven't they paid one cent? Where is the private investors cash? Where are the north core businesses that are holding their hands out for more welfare?


all we have is facebook kiddies who never paid a cent in taxes in the whole lives. One clever deputant tried telling us his kid was leaving until we built him a welfare dome..

well, if that's how shallow he his, then let him move. He doesn't want to live he, he wants handouts. That's the worst citizen we can have.
4/7/2014 11:12:55 PM
sd says:
Your comments have become increasingly more and more blind, off topic, and offensive. As a younger person living in this town who works incredibly hard and pays SIGNIFICANT amounts of taxes I take GREAT offence to what you have said. Comments like this do no add anything to the ongoing debate. I want this event center, and I want it in an established core area of this city. I am willing to pay higher taxes to get it, and I will be a proud supporter of events that take place. And before I even give you the chance, when and if the time is right for me as a supporter of the proposal I will gladly put forth some of my hard earned money to see it to fruition. This is the planning phase of the project and therefore your suggestion of private investors and such is ill timed. WHEN the project advances that will be the time you WILL see private funding.
4/8/2014 12:00:48 AM
fastball says:
"One clever deputant tried telling us his kid was leaving until we built him a welfare dome.."

That's BS - and you know it. He said that his kid was thinking about leaving town...but now, after seeing some of the changes and new plans for TBay - for the first time, he's optimistic about the direction the city's going, and he's considering staying here after going to LU.
Repeating BS doesn't eventually make not BS.
4/8/2014 10:28:43 AM
S Duncan says:
so you're all for a plebiscite, just not at this time??
4/7/2014 11:23:29 PM
fastball says:
If there absolutely has to be a plebiscite - let's have one when the time is right. Not now, with none of the answers to the hard questions in place.
What's the cost? Who's paying what? Do we need to borrow - if so, how much and for how long? What does that mean on our tax bill? THAT'S what I want to know.

4/7/2014 11:32:40 PM
S Duncan says:
shouldn't there be one? don't you believe the citizens should have their say on this particular matter?

when will the time be right??

you will never know all the figures. What figures/projections do you need to hear that we haven't heard yet? Be specific.

the cost is being paid by the taxpayer. The province and feds get their money from us too.

We are begging for money (which is has become a staple of Thunder Bay politicians) what else do you need to know?

we know the cost. we know the location. we know the minimum the city will have to pay, not the maximum.

The minimum is already too much for our tax bills if we're borrowing more money to pay for roadways just to play the financial commisso shell game.

you cant keep hiding behind what you don't know because your ignorance will know no bounds when it comes to this tremendous project.

so, are you for a plebiscite? or not? there is no "has to be one", just answer the question honestly.
4/7/2014 11:43:21 PM
tbayvoter says:
I am also for a plebiscite once ALL the facts are in.... However Mr. Hobbs has stated outright that he doesn't believe there should be one. That we should trust huim and council... Well it's rather DIFFICULT to trust someone who FLIP FLOPs on a MAJOR Campaign Promise!!! I voted for Mr' Hobbs on that premise that madse him stand out.... WELL fool me once... Shame on you.... You won't be FOOLING this voter again.
4/8/2014 6:39:51 AM
tbaycat says:
Fastball … It’s become painfully obvious that this is your "first time at the dance". We the “grey-haired old people” that you speak of have already been there done that. The hospital, charity casino, Canada games complex, auditorium, revitalization of the downtown cores, Victoriaville, Keskus… I could go on and on. We all got rooked on each and every one. At least the hospital, casino and the auditorium we got to vote on. And surprise! The majority of us “grey-haired old people" naysayers voted “Yes” to all that we were allowed to vote on. We wanted to move our city into the future. Alas, in the end, we found out we were lied to. Fed a bunch of made up numbers. Hindsight is why we “ grey hairs” raise the alarm whenever we see the same bunch of crap being fed to the next crop of star struck, unrealistic voters. Mark my words. In twenty years from now, YOU will become the old guy that people mock for being behind the times. It’s inevitable. That’s how the world works.
4/8/2014 4:55:07 AM
fastball says:
Oh, brother - you are about as wrong as you can get.
I've been in this city since 1978...I am now in my mid-50's. I've been a taxpayer for 3 decades now. So YEAH - it's not my first rodeo.
Question - how exactly did we get "rooked" on the hospital? Or in the Auditorium or the Games Complex? They've been part of the community for decades now - and look, nobody lost an eye!
Yeah - the downtown cores have suffered because Council never had a REAL plan for this town. It was always the north/southside debate that was the prime motivator in these issues.
The casino - well, I'm not entirely a fan of it - but it doesn't bother me. Sooner or later, something will happen to V/Ville or the old Keskus - and the areas will be reincarnated into something new.
Sorry that you feel you got rooked and now your life sucks. I'm more concerned about giving our upcoming generations the keys to a car that runs - not leaving them a clunker and saying "It's not my problem anymore...good luck".
4/8/2014 8:56:02 AM
S Duncan says:
We got rooked on the hospital.

The citizens agreed to a increase in taxes, being paid via debenture for a specified period of time.

Once that time was up, did the debenture payments stop? NO. They stopped making payments on the hospital, but the city kept taking the money from us.

Then they had the nerve to tell us our taxes only increased X amount, instead of the reality of X+debenture amount.

That's getting rooked.

The auditorium and games complex repeatedly cost this city millions of dollars every year. They take money from everyone and effectively lower your personal standard of living. They take food(money) from your family and give it to others under the disguise as "moving forward".

When will the pro side admit that their whole argument is based on purely on emotion?

4/8/2014 9:16:55 AM
mystified says:
Run for council if you want change. You one lonely voice is not going to be heard.
I would have to say your argument is based on purely emotion also.
4/8/2014 1:06:25 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Larry Hebert's contribution I found downright confusing. I'd really like to listen to a re-play of his speechlet...it seemed like pure jibberish at one point...
4/8/2014 8:04:52 AM
Sandstorm says:
4/7/2014 10:45:04 PM
Waldo Lydecker says:
When it comes time for a plebiscite will it be too expensive? Even when the auditorium was built, those in favour of it had collected a hefty sum from supporters.

where are the supporters for this? where is their money? where is their collection?

I could be in favour of this, but what I have seen thus far is a bunch of children demanding every body else to pay for it. Then they hide behind council like they did them a favour?

this was not a good way to unite this city.

I think the best way to unite a city is to live and let live. By trying to be everything to everyone the city will end up pissing off each and everyone of us eventually.

that's not how you make a happy place that people want to come to. it makes it into a dump.

less is more, especially with governments.
4/7/2014 10:44:50 PM
blacksheep says:
its a sad day when people get get the truth and don't get a choice on a major decision of there elected officials
4/7/2014 10:42:41 PM
James Gang says:
Its embarrassing to be a witness to these aldermen acting like this. the mayor should quit as well as the rest of them. who is their boss?????????
4/7/2014 10:38:10 PM
sinkoreswim says:
good! now I can sleep at night
4/7/2014 10:32:14 PM
S Duncan says:
you sleep well when democracy is denied?

or are you just more snug when dictators are in control?
4/7/2014 10:59:00 PM
fastball says:
How is City Council presenting a motion, discussing the motion and voting on a motion NOT democracy? That is the democratic process, right...when your elected leaders get together and discuss and vote?
Oh, sorry - democracy happens when you get what you want. Anything else is tyranny, right?
Funny, I had a child who thought along those line...but that was about bedtimes and curfews.
4/8/2014 7:36:26 AM
S Duncan says:
How blind are you willing to let your greed go?

How is this not democracy?

well, this was a motion for a VOTE! 11 people told 110,000 that we don't deserve to have a vote on a capital, unnecessary project.

that's how this is NOT DEMOCRACY.

Surely even you can understand that? Am I wrong in guessing you are so willing to stand behind these dictators because of your own personal greed and desire for a welfare dome?

Even if I was in favour of the welfare dome, I would still want a vote on the particular issue!

We're not talking about a new stop sign, or digging a new drainage ditch here. We are talking about $160 million dollars with a yearly optimistic projected drain of $1.2 million.

How much more do you need to know? We have more than enough info to say no!
4/8/2014 8:56:54 AM
fastball says:
Yeah...the 13 people ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE!!! The 13 people elected by the populace to run the city. That's their job. Not to do what you want all the time.
So when the city discusses and votes to pass motions and bylaws about garbage and water supply and sidewalks, etc - that's democracy in action. But when they discuss and vote NOT to do something - they've somehow bypassed the democratic processes and installed tyranny?
Yes, 11 of the people we elected made a decision not to put a question to the public that has limited information available. Doesn't mean we'll NEVER have one once more facts come in - it just voting on a question AT THIS TIME is not appropriate.
And you saying that you don't need any facts to cast a vote speaks far more about you than me.
4/8/2014 9:37:12 AM
DougMyers says:
As always your logic is completely flawed in your arguement.

Let me help you out here, if you can comprehend it.

Your logic is based on the assumption that the majority of people wanted a plebiscite, that is your flaw.

If this were true you would be right, however you cannot prove that and in fact it is incorrect. This makes your arguement baseless.

Democracy has not be denied. A vote was held on the idea and turned down by those elected to make those decisions. If they are in fact incorrect, as you assert, them they will pay for that decision at the upcoming election.

I tried to simplify this for you so I hope you were able to understand it. Agree or disagree on the event center or plebiscite idea, your logic is flawed. Spouting inaccurate or incorrect statements does not make your logic stronger or support the point you are trying to make.
4/8/2014 12:13:15 PM
S Duncan says:
Heeeyyyy its Doug Meyers

actually its your logic and process that's totally flawed because you assume that a majority of people want a new welfare dome.

This in despite of all polls thus far showing that the majority is NOT in favour of it.

your whole point of view is pie in the sky as usual, based wholly on conjecture and wishful thinking.

the facts are clear as could be. In the phase 2 feasibility study it clearly shows optimistic goals that we CANNOT AFFORD if we go by all professional reports regarding the state of our infrastructure deficiencies.

but, you wont let the facts trump your emotional want for welfare hockey, will you?
4/8/2014 5:28:23 PM
DougMyers says:
Well first you spelled my name wrong, even though it is right in front of you. How sad that you cannot omprehend such a simple thing. I guess that explains your weak response to my post.

All you did was dance around the fact that your logic is flawed. What I believe has nothing to do with your flawed logic. You are stating a opinion that is based on your beliefs, not fact.

Democracy is alive and well in that a vote was held by elected officials. If they are wrong in their opinion and thus vote, they will be held accontable at the next election. If they are correct in their assumptions, they will be re-elected.

You keep stating that democracy was denied, it was not. It is you that is incorrect and cannot, or better yet, will not admit your mistake.

A persons opinion has no place in a logical debate, regardless of your attempt to turn this around on me.

4/9/2014 8:40:20 AM
DougMyers says:
I would also like to add the following.

I am in favour of a plebiscite, once we have the final numbers in place. I certainly think this is a worthwhile cause to call for such a thing.

However, what you are alluding to is a direct democracy, whereby each person has a direct say. We do not live in a direct democracy. Canada is in fact an indirect democracy. We elect people to make decisions on our behalf. In this case a decision was made that you and others did not like. This does not mean that democracy is dead or denied. This means the system works.

Finally, please quote in my original post where I asserted that the majority is in favour of the events center. I did not but you state that I did.

What I did say is that you assume the majority are not in favour, which you cannot prove.

Please show me where I posted anything that was conjecture or wishful thinking.

Your turn

As you often state, please debate the facts and avoid the name calling.
4/9/2014 10:16:11 AM
S Duncan says:
Sorry Dug Meyers..

You're too late to the discussion this time. I pretty much typed myself bored on this issue.

If people like you are so easily baffled by the obvious BS that this is, (and at your age you should know better by now) then let them live in the bed they made.

Its a colossal flop in the making, even the most ignorant can see that, but they are blinded by their selfishness and desire for welfare hockey. The restaurants in the north core have been reduced to beggars and will cry non stop about the parking and their empty seats at their over taxed dumps.

so go ahead. Im done arguing this idiocy. If it makes you feel like you won one, then go ahead and tell yourself that. I'll help you hold your arm up and claim victory.

I do believe its time to get out of the city limits and watch this place implode from the sidelines.

Congratulations welfare hockey fans, you've made me embarrassed of Thunder Bay yet again.
4/9/2014 5:12:49 PM
Rock49 says:
Good job city council. Keep our city moving forward.
4/7/2014 10:30:05 PM
CRay says:
more debt and increased taxes in a stupid location is not moving forward!!!!
4/7/2014 10:35:35 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
Very disappointing for now. Seeing so many of them getting voted out will be rewarding later. Seeing the government send these beggars away will be rewarding too.

Why would council be scared of a vote? If its too soon for a plebiscite, then its also too soon for any group to be in favour of it. If you are going to chastise one group saying its too early, you better do the same to the other group. Very disappointing reading the tweets from the hopeful candidates sitting there. Its obvious more than one is too immature to cross the street without his mommy.
4/7/2014 10:28:49 PM
anon says:
Common sense prevails!
Thank you, council, for not putting the decision in the hands of the uninformed citizens before we even have any costs or funding finalized.
4/7/2014 10:23:36 PM
S Duncan says:
If we are uninformed, then so are you.

What makes your position the right one?

show your work.
4/7/2014 10:30:08 PM
sd says:
Please show me your work which indicates that your uninformed position is the right one and that this project should be stopped!
4/8/2014 12:02:15 AM
S Duncan says:
Its in the phase 2 feasibility study.

You know where it talks about the operating costs? You did read it, didn't you?

The city cannot afford the additional financial liability due to its aging population. That means their income will be fixed and in case you've not been paying attention, the basic costs of existing have risen extremely in the last decade. Those people will not be able to afford this additional tax burden.

and what will those people get from this future, unnecessary tax burden?

now, where's your work?
4/8/2014 8:47:11 AM
mystified says:
Take a look at how many people agree with 'anon' and you get an idea on how many people think the same.
I don't think 'anon' sat up all night refreshing and clicking agree like someone else, you know who.

I don't care if the door hits me as I leave this town. The for sale sign is up
4/8/2014 9:01:24 AM
S Duncan says:
If you believe that "clicks" are a good indication of how the public feels..

...then you must realize that all the polls here clearly showed the majority against the welfare dome.

Or are we going to discount clicks now because you only agree with the ones you want to agree with?
4/8/2014 9:19:14 AM
Eastender says:
Talk to me in five or so years when you get your tax bill, and it has doubled, if at that time you still feel you were informed.
4/8/2014 8:53:53 AM
Eastender says:
You wouldn't know common sense if it slapped you in the face. This arrogant mayor and council just told its citizens that they are too stupid to make decisions on their own.

In a way he is right, since we were stupid enough to elect an ex cop to run a multimillion dollar corporation, along with the usual hack councilors.
4/9/2014 9:04:01 AM
Winger says:
Another failure by this city. Can't wait to leave now. Hello nice township, goodbye Blunder Bay!
4/7/2014 10:23:07 PM
S Duncan says:
Of course they denied it, we surely cant have the people of the city making the decisions now, can we?

They claim its too early, but mark my words when its not too early, it will magically be too late to stop.

This has been the MO of Commisso and his puppet in the mayors seat now for more than a few years.

We knew the fix was in with Delta right from the get go. That's why they cant stop now.

Which leads to the question, why isn't Delta building their own "convention center"?

This year's election will be telling. You can bet they will be hush hush about it hoping our attention has been diverted to something else.

..just like with the marina cost over runs.

by the way hobbs, you stated that we elected you/council in trust of 2 billion of assets so we should trust you?

...you have given the citizens of Thunder Bay every reason not to trust you and council.
4/7/2014 10:21:06 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In