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Friday May 29 2015
6:08 AM EDT
2014-05-02 at 14:09


Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs
By Matt Vis,

THUNDER BAY -- Keith Hobbs admits he is a “little disappointed” that Ontario is heading to the polls for a spring election.

The Thunder Bay mayor is concerned progress that had been made on Northern issues, specifically the Ring of Fire, might be lost depending on the outcomes of a provincial election.

The proposed budget from the minority Liberal government included a $1 billion commitment to develop the project.

“I’m a little disappointed,” Hobbs said Friday , shortly after the announcement that Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath intends to trigger a vote.

“Things seemed to be going well with the Ring of Fire, especially with the framework with Matawa tribal council chiefs and the billion dollar commitment from the provincial government.”

He also admitted he had been concerned about what would happen to the development after the pullout of Cliffs Natural Resources, but says the project appears to be back on track.

The mayor wants reassurance that Horwath and Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak will continue to make the mineral-rich area a priority.

“I’m totally worried about that. I’d like to see Ms. Horwath and Mr. Hudak commit to the Ring of Fire if there is an election and they win that the money will still remain and maybe more,” Hobbs said.

He is also keeping an eye on the transportation debate in Southern Ontario and how it might impact the local Bombardier plant.

On the flip side, Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce president Charla Robinson believes an election campaign puts the region in a position of strength.

Even though the budget is set to be defeated, Robinson expects many of the components of it to become key pieces of the Liberal campaign platform.

With current premier Kathleen Wynne making clear how the Liberals plan to proceed on major issues such as Ring of Fire, the other parties will have their chance to provide alternative ideas.

“We know that a certain party has said they’ll give a billion dollars, so what are the other parties going to commit to do?” Robinson said in an interview with CKPR Radio.

“Each party will be perhaps presenting different solutions so let’s talk about those different solutions and what they think is the right way to go and then the electorate will decide. I think this is a positive position to be in, especially around the Ring of Fire. It’s a good time for the leaders to put their money where their mouth is.”

She also identified increasing energy costs as one other issue where she is looking to hear from Hudak and Horwath.

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mystified says:
The Liberal's announcing a Billion dollars for the ROF is just a ploy to get people to vote for them.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the ROF to get off the ground as it won't be happening for another 10 years. Move on to greener pastures.
5/4/2014 9:10:45 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
Are you saying you can be bought Mr. Hobbs. 1 Billion for the area but 12 billion in debt. And no royalties to the province for an independent company taking minerals out. Our taxes pay for it and I personally get nothing out of it. There will be some tax money yes but my income was less if that budget was passed. If you think that was good for T. Bay and Ontario then I don't think YOU should be running the show. All you see is money and that is it. Not what is good for Ontario and the people of this city. You really have to go.
5/3/2014 2:22:48 PM
whatelseisnew says:
I agree with you! As far as I'm concerned I personally think Hobbs has not followed through in anything he was promoting during his election.

Hobbs is going to clean up this one horse town by walking the streets and riding the bus...what a joke. That lasted what? A couple weeks? Crime has gone up, the roads are falling apart, you can't find a garbage can anywhere where there is foot traffic.

People wonder why this city looks the way it does, littered with garbage and curbs missing in areas. I was so embarrassed when I had friends in from Europe last year showing them around MY city. They didn't say anything because they are polite but I seen the look on their faces.

How can the people of Thunder Bay have pride in a city that doesn't even try. Building a $109 million events centre is not going to fix our cities curb appeal when you're going to lose a tire trying to get there.

I really miss the days when I was proud of this town and like showing it off to visitors. I feel shame now.
5/3/2014 3:57:23 PM
whatelseisnew says:
Aww poor poor Hobbs, no free money for him. Perhaps rather then banking on hand-outs for all of his "projects" he could learn how to budget the fortunes he collects in property taxes from US citizens.

Seriously, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, but I'd love to know where all of the money goes that is collected from the over taxed people. Council need to stop throwing money away on project planners on things we can never afford (hockey rink, friendship centers) and start sinking money into our roads that are destroying
cars and other things we desperately need NOT things we "want".

Get this city cleaned up Hobbs and stop running it into the ground. You have to fix the foundation before you can paint the walls!
5/3/2014 11:43:04 AM
unionbay880 says:
Keith, eat a snickers. Your not yourself when your disappointed.
5/2/2014 10:41:32 PM
jonthunder says:
We had conditional approval of funds for the Ring of Fire from the Liberals; the Ontario election changes nothing. We need certainty and wiser fiscal management and hopefully that will come from this election; if not, we are even worse toast than we are now.
5/2/2014 5:41:48 PM
curmudgeon says:
I like the point made by Charla; we have a known position re: ROF $$ presently and two unknowns. Ball is in the NDP & Con's court. Let's see if they come up with a credible option.
5/2/2014 11:43:04 PM
Arch Stanton says:
ā€œIā€™m a little disappointed,ā€ Hobbs said Friday.

But NOT HALF AS DISAPPOINTED as we are in you, Keith!!!
5/2/2014 5:16:21 PM
S Duncan says:
Bye bye welfare dome.

Hands-out-Hobbs is disappointed? Too bad.

5/2/2014 4:42:55 PM
Eastender says:
He's disapointed because his event centre (welfare bubble ) might just burst.
5/5/2014 3:40:34 AM
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