Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
10:29 PM EDT
2014-05-10 at 17:07

Show of support: Citizens for a Waterfront Event Centre hold public rally

Supporters of the proposed event centre gather for an aerial photo at a Citizens for Waterfront Event Centre rally on Saturday.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Supporters of the proposed event centre gather for an aerial photo at a Citizens for Waterfront Event Centre rally on Saturday.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The last time the city’s mayor spoke about the proposed event centre to an assembled crowd, he wasn’t exactly in friendly territory.

This time, mayor Keith Hobbs had a more receptive audience.

Hobbs insists that from his interactions with members of the general public, they agree with the Citizens for Waterfront Event Centre group, who held a rally at the north downtown site selected for the facility.

“The answer I get most of the time is build it if it’s affordable and sustainable, and that’s what we heard today,” Hobbs said in an interview with tbnewswatch.com following his remarks.

In his speech to the crowd, he estimated that close to 90 per cent of the people he talks to are in favour of supporting the project.

The rally attracted a steady group of a little more than 200 supporters on Saturday just behind the Water Street bus terminal, with many others coming and going throughout the course of the afternoon.

It provided an opportunity for residents, such as Tanner Harris, to show support and demonstrate their desire for the project. Harris came with his wife and young son.

A new facility would fill an entertainment void that has developed in the city, as Harris doesn’t believe the more than 60-year-old Fort William Gardens.

“I just want to see Thunder Bay move forward and I think this is the next stage in that development to increase everything going on in the waterfront,” Harris said.

The purpose was to show members of council such as Hobbs, who was joined by councillors Paul Pugh, Aldo Ruberto and Brian McKinnon, that they do have backing from the public.

Jason Susin, chair of the Citizens for a Waterfront Event Centre, says it’s important to put faces behind their voices of support. The group has more than 2,000 likes on their Facebook page.

“We felt it was important to get our support behind city council,” Susin said. “We want to let the city know and encourage others who support it that we’re here.”

The mayor has not been overly surprised with how vocal the backlash has been from groups such as the Concerned Citizens of Thunder Bay.

He pointed out that matters such as building the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, waterfront development and even the naming of the city more than 50 years ago were all controversial at the time.

Susin sees the convention centre component as the big piece of the puzzle that will eventually become the crown jewel of the city.
It will fit right in with other new development in the area.

“We want to see smart growth for Thunder Bay. The convention centre, at 50,000 square feet, we don’t have that capacity right now. We really need that,” Susin said.

“We’re going to be marketable. At this location, Thunder Bay will sell.”

The project is currently in Phase 3 of a feasibility study. Hobbs reaffirmed that the project is dependent upon the results of the study as well as procurement of provincial and federal funding assistance.

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Jon Powers says:

Nice to see your younger brother Jason taking credit for the city's $84.Million Waterfront.

$1.6Million mortgage to pay back money borrowed to pay for it($22.Million city portion) plus $650,000.00 a year in new city raised taxes to operate it too.

It is so very nice to see the City of Thunder Bay BIA's use the free tax money they get from tax payers to offer "Free" stuff.

The City of Thunder Bay did pay for this event after all.

Too cheap for a Plebiscite!

This group accessed to City of Thunder Bay orange traffic blockers. Who in the City OK'd this?

Great Story!

5/12/2014 2:53:44 PM
Common cents says:
Can you prove the city paid for this, and at what cost?
5/12/2014 6:58:21 PM
Robert Bob says:
Mayor Hobbs own comments "build it if it’s affordable and sustainable", waiting on the Phase 3 study. You can Spin the Phase 3 study once it comes out, the Fact is the "Event Center" while needed will never be afforable period. It will run a Deficit each and every year, just like every other one in the majority of medium/large cities in Canada. There is no way the economic spin off benefits will cover the yearly deficit caused by "operating cost". The Essar Center in Sault Ste. Marie, causes that city to lose money each and every year. I believe this is the best example to compare vs Thunder Bay. In the end the Taxpayers will end up footing the bill, with increased Taxes. The only unkown factor will be how much operating loss each and every year. The Cost of the proposed center
really don't matter in the bigger picture. Its the long term impact to taxpayer rate base.
5/12/2014 1:33:29 PM
my 2 cents says:
I'm just frustrated with the double standard on here.
Adamently opposed = they don't have enough info as the studies are not completed yet
Adamently supportive = it's coming and needed and we have access to all the information needed for this decision
100 opposers = obvious that the majority is in support of a centre
250 supporters (I'll even up the number for the people coming and going) = obvious that the majority is in favour of a centre
adament opposers obviously click on their own agree buttons on this site
adament supporters obviously 2000 likes on facebook shows 2000 individual taxpayers support the project.
I like the idea of a new event centre and hate the idea of ongoing taxpayer obligations to fund it.
For both sides, when less than 1% of the population shows up to an event it is not possible to determine the divide of for and against, no matter how adament you are in your beliefs.
5/12/2014 12:49:47 PM
S Duncan says:
2000 "likes" on facebook is far from any truthful indication of anything.

Anybody from anywhere can "like" something. You dont have to be a taxpayer in Thunder Bay to click on it. Which just shows you how weak the support for it is. If thats all the likes they can muster, thats already 3500 less than there will be seats in the place.

epic fail.

shut this down before any more money is wasted on it. In fact we should be holding our city officials financially liable for all the expenses to date for the welfare dome.
5/12/2014 4:17:02 PM
Pandora says:
Consultants hired are hired only if their finding support the clients agenda. This is all pre-determined, if you believe otherwise I have Florida swamp land to invest in!

The ONLY reason we have not yet seen the consultants report is because the City didn't want there to be adequate time for the plebiscite question to make it on the upcoming election ballot.
The City knows how the majority feels...this is not the time to be building an Event Centre. If we hadn't mismanaged /misspent on previous projects we possibly could afford this Mega project, at this time. The truth is, we probably do deserve a new centre (in the right location) considering the amount of TAXES we presently pay.
The City has made far too many bad decisions(behind closed doors) they have lost the support and confidence of the tax paying citizens.
They have shown no accountability, they show NO budget constraints and I personally do not want this present Council and Administration taking on another mega project
5/12/2014 10:54:27 AM
Tannoy says:
I cant wait for this to be built
5/12/2014 9:58:38 AM
bttnk says:
What a great turnout! I spent much of the day there and I can confirm that there was indeed in excess of 200 people down there. In fact, 200 people is probably a very conservative number.

Looking forward to reading the Phase 3 report in entirety.
5/12/2014 9:52:51 AM
chezhank says:
"Believe nothing that you hear(read)and only half of what you see!"
Do we believe the "corporate media" or "independent media"?
Here is a photo provided by the "independent media."
Where is the "aerial photograph of the site, the participants and a huge YES, at 3 p.m." that was promised by a Nikki Burns.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
5/12/2014 2:41:04 PM
tbaycat says:
Henry …. Here is the “huge YES” that they were begging people to come out for. Pretty sad considering the plea they put out on their webpage. No matter how much they try to spin it, they DO NOT have the support from the public that they believe they have!

“Ok friends of the waterfront event centre project. We have four days to go before we make our statement. If people don't show up at least for the picture at 3pm, it could be an embarrassing show of support. EVERY BODY COUNTS so please make a commitment to be at the PUC parking lot and let's show city council that we do support the project.”
5/12/2014 6:42:52 PM
chezhank says:
Thanks for posting the picture of the participants and the YES!
What is really sad,is that this mayor, council and administration are dividing the city on an issue that should be unifying it.
The Waterfront Event Centre Committee should be commended for hosting the rally and engaging the public.
5/12/2014 11:33:18 PM
signman says:
The decommissioning of the Camelot Street Substation will be a future negototiation between the City and Thunder Bay Hydro.The removal cost of the substation is outside of the construction cost estimate and as a result, does not have a design/construction contingency. ( Page 74 section 6.3 of the Phase 2 Feasibility Study.)





5/12/2014 9:50:26 AM
bttnk says:
@ signman - The substation was already scheduled for decommisioning, so while we will likely find out the specifics in due time, it is hardly relevant to the discussion.
5/12/2014 12:47:27 PM
Leith Dunick says:
Point of clarification:

The decommissioning of the substation is indeed already included in the cost of the event centre. I believe $2.3 million has been allocated. As stated by bttnk, it's something that's going to happen at some point, though city officials told me a downtown event centre would bump up the schedule a few years and likely involve a temporary home until a permanent site was found -- which is what the $2.3 million would cover, I believe.

5/12/2014 1:06:34 PM
The Beaver..... says:
yikes Fastball..
put in your time and learn the ropes. It should be very readily apparent if this man is a serious candidate or just another one-trick pony with a big mouth and a microphone. Are you talking about Hobbs again
5/12/2014 9:36:01 AM
fastball says:
Any mayoral candidate, in my opinion, should have SOME experience on council.
Otherwise, a guy gets in and hasn't a real clue about the procedural part of the job and the in-depth information on the issues that sometimes doesn't trickle down to the man on the street.
All of a sudden it's - "Jeez, I didn't know that!"
If you want to characterize Mr. Hobbs as such - well, go ahead. He's admitted he didn't know some things before he became mayor - and after educating himself on some facts and figures, he's changed his mind on a few things.
Having an unwavering opinion on things that you KNOW about is one thing - but the neophyte politician may shoot his mouth off about things that, frankly, he knows next to nothing about. Then, if he becomes aware of things and changes his mind - he's accused of being a flip-flopper.
Having strong opinions is admirable. But having strong opinions based on actual facts is infinitely preferable.

5/12/2014 11:02:09 AM
coffeshoppolitician says:
Looks like no one at this event remembered to bring a marker.
5/12/2014 4:38:56 AM
SomeGuy says:
Haters, gonna hate.
5/11/2014 7:40:48 PM
hubbabubba says:
Wow!! Maybe if the arm chair admirals got up off their butts to participate in the community. I guess with only 50 people showing up, it means we dont support anything in this town. No wonder why things pass us by......
5/11/2014 7:34:33 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
Even with the media giving this event free advertising here in a story a few days prior to this, the best weather we've had since last Summer, free food, boot hockey games, prizes (whatever those were?) guest speakers, clowns, and held on a Saturday in the "Entertainment District" and you only got 50 people to show up?

If that doesn't clearly spell "Colossal Failure" I don't know what does.

Hopefully that's the end of these grumpy old people and their demands.
5/11/2014 5:03:37 PM
Jack Frost says:
chezhank says:

"This is why one reason,I am throwing my name into the political hat".

Oh ya Henry, when exactly... after the election is over ?!
5/11/2014 4:11:57 PM
yqt says:
As you can tell from the pictures, the "working man/women" showed up to this really. You know, the people who contribute most to this community. Unlike those who attended the other rally, leeches of the system.
5/11/2014 2:55:26 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
The whole concept of a welfare dome that's projected to lose $1.3 million dollars every year that will have to be subsidized by the citizens of Thunder Bay IS A LEECH OF THE SYSTEM.
5/11/2014 4:31:31 PM
DWB says:
200 people out of 110,000 residents in the area show up according to this article but only 50 people actually are there and some of them are kids. What a joke Mayor Hobbs and city council are. Be democratic for once and allow a vote.
5/11/2014 1:10:01 PM
Pandora says:
How come all the councillors weren't there?

This effects all the city taxpayers and residents.

Only the Waterfront Development Committee Councillors were there.

5/11/2014 1:01:09 PM
ring of fire dude says:
The City Councilors that support the Events Center would not be caught dead there because they fear the backlash of the voters come election time . Notice how quiet they are about this issue ? Then again have you noticed how quiet they are about any issue with an election coming ?
5/12/2014 8:28:41 AM
signman says:
The TOP FIVE REASONS the proposed Event Centre is such a DISASTER

1. The price has risen from $40 million dollars to over a $100 million dollars!

2. The annual operating subsidy required from city taxpayers is well over a $1,000,000.00 a year and is not sustanible!

3. The location is ridiculous as indicated by all media polls including 3 large on line polls conducted by yes, the Chronicle Journal totalling over 5,000 respondants!

4.The Convention Centre component of the proposed Event Centre is not needed and will require:
A. A large subsidy each year of over $540,000.00 from city taxpayers!
B. Will be in direct competion with private enterprise who pay the City of Thunder Bay tens of thousands each year in city taxes!

5. The Fort William Gardens ( according to city officials) is good for another 20-30 years and continues to serve this community well as witnessed by over 14,000 people last weekend at the Folklore Festival!
5/11/2014 11:25:25 AM
buzz says:
1. Price has risen because the scope of the project has changed, to get federal funding the convention centre component was added.
2. Annual operating subsidy equates to $25/year per residential rate payer, hardly unsustainable.
3. Perfect location close to restuarants and bars, hotels ect. Polls conducted to date have not been scientific.
4. Convention Centre is needed to get federal and provincial matching dollars. Small subsidy of 13.50 per residential household. It will not be in direct competion with private enterprise, no hotel in town has a convention centre or space of this magnitude, and all will welcome the business of people who will attend, it will actually help private enterprise.
5. Will the FWG as a structure last 20-30 more years yes. Does the FWG suit the needs of this community no. And since you like the location argument waterfront over FWG, waterfront is far superior location, and parking is less of an issue.
5/11/2014 2:51:10 PM
Common cents says:
3. Perfect location close to restuarants and bars, hotels ect.???????

Enough of these lies, tell us what hotels?????

Step up to the plate???????


I am waiting.
5/11/2014 4:40:45 PM
buzz says:
Lies, what hotels????
The Prince Arthur is next door, the Delta is being built across the street. I have also heard (not confirmed) that another hotel chain is looking to build in that area.
5/12/2014 8:12:57 AM
Common cents says:
FYI there is 1,

repeat "1" one hundred plus year old hotel there!


Can you name where the 4,

repeat "4" newest hotels are located?

Need I explain why?
5/12/2014 6:52:31 PM
buzz says:
Delta will be open before Event Centre, that makes 2.
As for your question it is not in Innova Park.
5/13/2014 6:43:57 AM
Eastender says:
Heres five even better reasons why you are wrong.
#1-your $25/year increase is base on innaccurate figures, The annual subsidy to operate this centre starts at 1.2 mil. And escalates to 1.5 mil. In five years. These are not the only costs that need to be taken into consideration. There are millions of dollars in other costs that I and others have brought to the fore and are being ignored.
#2-its not about how little the tax increase will be. We are already overtaxed as it is. What we want is this city to find ways to get rid of dead wood in its work force and try getting our taxes down a few percentage points each year, or at least remain level. You cant do that by building tax subsidized and funded projects of questionable financial merit. Taxes should never have been allowed to rise to this level in the first place. This habit of spending tax money is a carryover from boom times, and we are not by any means in boom times. In fact just the opposite.
#3,4,5-see 1&2 above.
5/11/2014 7:39:44 PM
buzz says:
Eastender you are correct my figures are inaccurate, as they are overstated. They are only based on the current number of residential rate payers, once you factor in apartment buldings, commercial, industrial and vacant land and growth as more houses are built the numbers will actually be lower than $38 per year.
I agree that the City has to look at ways to run more efficiently and right size it's work force, but that is a seperate issue.
"we are not by any means in boom times" while the economy has changed it certainly is doing well here and is no where near the doom and gloom some posters claim.
5/12/2014 8:25:53 AM
Pandora says:
There was No Parking issues!
5/11/2014 10:12:17 AM
common cents says:
Because there was nobody there...

Maybe we should be looking a events center thats seats 150
5/11/2014 10:44:48 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:

For the 40 vehicles that these 50 peeps came in, no it wasn't an issue....

Drive by the FW Gardens on a busy concert nite & try to get a parking spot within 3 blocks of the facility....Aint gonna happen!
5/11/2014 2:25:10 PM
chezhank says:
If Hobbs and company would just take the rose coloured glasses off for a minute,they would see that the residents want to vote on a proposed event centre. What is Hobbs and his cabal so afraid of? This is why one reason,I am throwing my name into the political hat.
5/11/2014 8:51:39 AM
fastball says:
You forgot to mention the Ukraine and Crimea once again, Henry - holding them up as examples of people-friendly governments that give people the choice.
As for your persistent bleating on a vote - where exactly have you been for the past few weeks? The Council voted holding the plebiscite at this time for a variety of reasons, primarily the timing - and for the simple fact that you're voting on a question that has no concrete choices yet. You're a one-trick pony, Henry. You've got one issue on your mind - and no room for any more of the dozens and dozens of things that a serious candidate for mayor needs to address.
Just as a point of interest - I've not seen your name on the list of mayoral candidates. Why is that? Are you even allowed into the building these days - or do you still need your wife to carry your paperwork in?

5/11/2014 1:03:33 PM
Eastender says:
I dont know Henry personally and I have never met him in person. I wouldn't recognize him on the street. I only know of him through his postings.
But gosh darn, if he is against this boondoggle of a welfare bubble for the jet set crowd then he has got my vote for mayor should his name be on the ticket.
The man may be a little rough around the edges but he has got the focus of this city in his crosshairs, and believe it or not that focus is "We do not want to pay for the playground of the rich with our tax dollars"! BANG! Bullseye Henry!
5/11/2014 3:14:57 PM
fastball says:
You understand that there is more than ONE issue going on right now in the city? Yes, Henry is focused on this issue - and god bless his steely-eyed gaze, obsessive as it may look on occasion. You can't fault the man for his passion. However, I've yet to hear him have a single articulate word about anything OTHER than this issue - let alone a realistic plan to move the city forward.
Yes, "rough around the edges/man of the people" charade has been put forth by many a candidate - and usually you end up exactly what you bought...namely a one-issue candidate that's hopelessly out of his depth and a potential embarrassment to the city.
Henry...run for council, put in your time and learn the ropes. It should be very readily apparent if this man is a serious candidate or just another one-trick pony with a big mouth and a microphone.
5/11/2014 4:25:59 PM
chezhank says:
I have a date stamped request to do a deputation for Monday,May.12 on water delivery,which a city clerk Mr.John Hannam has refused to grant me for whatever reason.He does not even have the nerve to post my deputation request on the council agenda,claiming procedure.When I asked him what procedure,he has not returned with an answer yet!
Maybe the media can follow up as to why not!
There is no Rule of Law in Thunder Bay especially with the cabal that is running Thunder Bay,and another reason I am running in the municipal election.
We need to bring some integrity back into politics!

henry wojak
5/11/2014 8:39:53 PM
The Beaver..... says:
what did I tell you last week.
100 will be considerate"a overwhelming
support for this disaster.50 to 75 will
be known as a huge support.
5/11/2014 7:43:20 AM
orca says:
Concerned Taxpayers Rally/Demonstration
Weather: Winter (Worst in 50 Years)
Location: City Hall (Boring)
Taxpayers: 100%
Demographics: Cane Shakers (can barely afford)
Occasion Feeling: Unhappy, angry
Mascots: No
Hotdogs: they can only wish
Attire: boots and gloves
Suppoerted by city: No
Music: honkers supporting them
Turnout: 100

Spporters Party
Weather: Best since forever
Location: funplace
Demographics: entrepreneurs w/ friends and kids (can afford)
Occassion Feeling: Happy
Mascots: lots of em
Hotdogs: free!
Attire: shorts & slippers
Supported by city: of course
Music: loud
Turnout: 200
5/11/2014 12:59:07 AM
fastball says:
So basically, DOUBLE the support than the cane-shakers' coffee meet-and-greet.
(and purely in the interest of accuracy - there were NO free hotdogs and NO city sponsorship.)
5/11/2014 9:53:09 AM
orca says:
So you mean to say the 200 participants to this spring fair was better than the 100 participants to the "humiliating" winter cane shaking rally? The 200 participants was a better reflection of the event centre support than the 100 anti-event centre?

by the way, sorry about the hotdogs, but nobody said anything about any city sponsorship. And everything else is accurate.
5/11/2014 12:11:07 PM
fastball says:
I inferred from "city supported" as meaning "sponsored".
I'm just playing the same numbers game as the anti-side - where 100 people at a Concerned Citizens' meeting is the Undeniable Strident Voice of the Taxpayer and must be listened to - yet double the number of people showing up is treated with considerably less regard. I'm just playing the statistical game here.
Honestly, I'm disappointed in the turnout. But in any survey or ratio, you discount the 5 percent of rabid supporters/opponents on either side - and let the middle fight it out. TBay citizens have long shown their true colours in issues like these - namely the colour of apathy. Most of them wouldn't move a millimeter from their day to day lives unless their hair were on fire. Yeah, they might talk a big game...but when push comes to shove, nobody actually walks the walk. Too cold, too warm, too busy, at camp, on vacation, at work, kids were busy, dog was sick....etc etc.
5/11/2014 3:17:50 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
except there wasn't double the number, it was only half.

which coincidentally matches the results of every survey taken to date on this issue. Its an easy 2-1 who are not in favour of this project.

Just because you keep lying about the number, it doesn't make it true.
5/11/2014 4:57:43 PM
Hopper says:
Cite your info, Duncan.
5/12/2014 6:17:46 AM
S Duncan says:
Look up at the photos with the story, and count. There's a good start for you.

Also, I love how so many of you are always accusing others of being me! You are like children that see the boogeyman in every shadow.

Its nice to know that I scare you that much though. That means my message is getting through and landing on target. It must suck to be so fearful of other people's opinions huh?
5/12/2014 9:49:25 AM
Hopper says:
I've seen real war. You sir are not scary. Sad is more like it.
It's pretty obvious who is who on here. Obvious of what isn't posted more than what is.

5/12/2014 5:09:39 PM
Eastender says:
And that is exactly why a plebiscite would have been a perfect vehicle to settle this conflict. You know and the mayor knows as does Commisso that the majority of people here are dead set against this, (sorry), welfare dome for the jet setters. That is the only reason there was no plebiscite, and the excuse was that we dont have exact figures? You dont need exact figures to know that there will be figures, great big figures that will hike your taxes like a skirt on a windy day. Only you wont be able to afford the undies to cover your butt. Commisso is not elected, but the mayor and councillors are, and they should be looking after what those that elected them want, not trying to pull the wool over our eyes with fancy footwork, smoke and mirrors.
5/11/2014 7:16:41 PM
fastball says:
What would be your one-line, yes/no question, then?
5/12/2014 9:34:14 AM
DustInTheWind says:
How many stayed home????????
5/11/2014 12:04:34 AM
reese says:
Free dump day today thats the reason for the low turn out
Could of found free food there also and played hockey with the seagulls

5/10/2014 11:49:34 PM
moi says:
LOL..best one yet. Thanks for my morning chuckle, reese.
We'll see who gets the last laugh come election time.I am neither in favor, or against, the events center.
5/11/2014 10:09:25 AM
Clete says:
Well i guess there isn't anyone with half a brain who wants to run for mayor. Here's your chance for all you people who can't stand Hobbs.
5/10/2014 10:22:11 PM
kdpsg says:
I will not say anything positive or negative about the proposed event centre – I am indifferent.

However, I will say, for a fact: if anyone, anyone at all, with half a brain and any credibility whatsoever ran against mayor Hobbs in this election, Hobbs would have zero (zero) chance of getting re-elected. And I voted for Hobbs the last time.
5/10/2014 9:47:09 PM
blah blah says:
yep cane shakin tax payers that want the arena. And you thought you had all the cane shakers on the no side.
5/10/2014 9:33:50 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Looks like not many members of the T.B.Y.E.F.T.W.H.D.A. (Thunder Bay Young Executives For The Welfare Hockey Dome Association) showed up. Too busy out entrepreneurializing, I guess...
5/10/2014 9:29:19 PM
Whodo says:
The only way to know the truth is to have a democratic vote.
But the City doesn't want that because THEY KNOW the truth.
5/10/2014 8:37:47 PM
REG says:
I believe there were more there than was at the nay sayers event. Funny thing is there was no one there with there pots and pans. Lets start the job and get this build as quick as we can.
5/10/2014 8:23:45 PM
Reignmaker says:
So your argument is that there were more people at an event held on the warmest day of the year so far (providing free food) as opposed to the event held during one of our worst storms? An event that didn't even do all that well?

Okay then.
5/11/2014 9:42:33 PM
Eastender says:
Maybe there were 50 people maybe 150 people. But you cant say they were all supporters. For a beautiful sunny day, it wasn't much of a turnout, especially when there were such great incentives to come,as games hot dogs, popcorn, clowns, hamburgers. The people who did come came more for the party, than to support the project.

Here's the thing! Of course it would be nice to have a brand new arena, event centre, but not at the prohibitive cost it will incur on our tax bills. Especially when we are already paying high house prices and some of the highest taxes in the province, maybe even Canada.

Just ask yourself, am I happy with the amount of p. Tax I am paying now?
Do I want to pay substantially more once this thing is built?
Do I like driving on these potholes every day which are ruining my brand new/ used car?
No, pothole repair and infrastructure are about as glamorous as going to the bathroom, but darn it, you gotta do it.
Can I live without an event centre? Absolutely!
5/10/2014 8:14:27 PM
fastball says:
35M dollars were spent on roads last year, and over 40M committed for road work this year - and probably the same amount in the next few years as well. How much would you like, really?
We could spend triple that - and still have to redo it all in 5 years time.
5/11/2014 12:17:23 AM
Eastender says:
As much as it takes to make these roads driveable. There is proper maintenance, which costs a little more, and then there is just patching, which is like fixing your car with chicken wire and duct tape. If proper maintenance were incorporated into the budget like it should have been over the years, you would probably not need these major reconstructions.
Also you need to do due diligence (if you know what I mean) when handing out contracts to road construction contractors or you will always run into huge cost overruns.
You and I both know you need to maintain your car regularly or you may have to replace it much sooner than anticipated. City infrastructure is kinda like that.
5/11/2014 1:32:27 AM
fastball says:
You are correct on several points. We're still paying for the decade or so that Council insisted on "no new taxes". The price of everything went up - but they stubbornly kept the money coming in the same. We're still playing catch-up to do the projects that were deferred or ignored in that regard. As you rightly stated, you can only ignore work for so long. Unfortunately, roadwork falls under "yearly maintenance"...but like I said, 70M over two years is not exactly "ignoring" the problem. It'll take 30M a year EVERY SINGLE YEAR from now on just to keep up with the worst of the seasonal problem. But by the time you "fixed" every single road we own, you'd have to start from the beginning all over again.
90 percent of the problem is the winter, and the use of salt and the frost heaves. It happens every year - and we're not the only city with that problem. I think there should be a federal iniative to improve national infrastructure - to put people to work and help cities with the cost.
5/11/2014 1:16:26 PM
john@otb says:
"Maybe there were 50 people maybe 150 people. But you cant say they were all supporters. For a beautiful sunny day, it wasn't much of a turnout, especially when there were such great incentives to come,as games hot dogs, popcorn, clowns, hamburgers. The people who did come came more for the party, than to support the project." it's obvious you were never there, for there wrere no hamburgers or hotdogs! If you want to win an argument, try starting with truths! Sad that this is what we have to deal with, because you don't share our opinion.
5/11/2014 2:20:04 AM
Eastender says:
Did I say I was there? You will note my opening sentence says "Maybe".
People were coming and people were going. From the reports and comments on this site, I dont think I was too far afield in my estimation. An earlier news article on this site did state that there would be boot hockey, music, "FOOD", and prizes. Generally this implies simple fare such as popcorn, hot dogs and burgers, a reasonable assumption to make. My contention is and still remains that you cant call everyone who happened to stop by for the festivities a supporter. They may have come for the supposed "FOOD" that you say wasn't there.
I'm not trying to win any arguements, just trying to separate the truth from emotionally driven fictional assumptions.
5/12/2014 9:33:48 AM
orig junkyarddog says:
I'm not surprized with such a large turnout, Now I hope this nighmare would end. Our sitting council loves this "Battle For The Dome". It over shadows all the issues facing our community, In an election year.
Doug Powell.
Candidate for ; Mckellar Ward
5/10/2014 7:45:57 PM
TBDR says:
Clearly none of you were there. Easily 200 or more and many came and went in the 2 hours I was there
5/10/2014 7:14:41 PM
eventscentre says:
People in support of the Events Centre, don't argue with these people! The time has come to be quiet and then when the announcement comes that the shovel is going in we can scream and shout and act like classless Muppets just our opponents. Please!
5/10/2014 7:09:16 PM
Tbayhabs33 says:
Even with all this support from the city and OBVIOUSILY our mayor and city council that it seems the deal is all but ready to go...I cannot wait I'll it's built and all the cane shakers are hanging their heads crying because yet again they are wrong. Build it Thunder Bay...don't listen to the 3% of naysayers that don't want it
5/10/2014 6:55:35 PM
yo_tbay says:
Wow....all the Negative Neils and Nellies are forming their usual biased opinion based on a few photos. These are not photos of everyone that attended and the story says there were people coming and going all afternoon, and I witnessed it too. Draw your own conclusions and spin it anyway you like, but I am getting so tired of all the venomous attacks on this site against anyone who speaks positively about the benefits of this project. I support the event centre but will refrain from adding my reasons why to this forum, lest the children continually inhabiting this site will simply pick them apart. And if you choose to respond negatively to my comments here, then you have proven my point.
5/10/2014 6:52:44 PM
signman says:
Mayor Hobbs states 90% of the people he talks to state they are in favour of building this Event Centre.

Of the hundreds of taxpayers I have talked to its very difficult to find anyone who is in favour of spending a $100 million dollars now to build an Event Centre that will require a subsidy in the first year of at least 1.2 million dollars from Thunder Bay Taxpayers and according to the phase 2 feasibility report the subsidy will increase by year five to $1.5 million dollars.

5/10/2014 6:40:55 PM
Common cents says:
Signman you are 100% correct....

90% of the people that support a new events center say that location is WRONG!
5/11/2014 4:33:59 PM
Kam River says:
In one of the photos are your top council spenders, Aldo, Paul Pugh, and Hobbs.
What a joke.
Hopefully soon someone will announce to run against Hobbs, he does not understand it is our money he is wasting
(1) His bridge to the Reserve
(2) His hockey cave that will loose millions yearly
(3) His art gallery that is in the best location already.
He is doing this to buy the native vote, the die hard hockey vote and the arts vote. Hoping that will get enough votes to defeat a "Peoples Candidate". Someone with common sense.
5/10/2014 6:38:19 PM
Malamuffin says:
Wow...where were you sitting? I guess the hundreds of people coming and going must have blocked my view! I was there all day...and I didn't see any of you around...so give it a rest. You have no clue how many people went through there today
5/10/2014 6:28:43 PM
James Gang says:
How do you know who was there and who wasn't?

How can you say that you "didn't see any of you around" when you have no idea who anybody is?

Your comment only makes these people look more ridiculous than they already do, and on such a beautiful day too. tsk tsk.
5/10/2014 10:50:54 PM
Allan J. says:
Looks to me like the 14 people that want this called all there friends and the best showing they could muster was 50-55 people including the clowns/guest speakers? If that's the best they can do Id say they failed to impress anyone and probably not even themselves. We cannot afford this nor do we need it. and obviously only a few people want it after seeing how few actually came out to support this future deadbeat arena.
5/10/2014 6:14:50 PM
mrforreal says:
50 people in this photo only.
5/10/2014 6:11:31 PM
Toot Sweet says:
Wow, so nobody showed huh? Even on the nicest day we could possibly have at this date?

So much for so many people being in favour of it huh? I think its time to put this project out of its misery so our elected people stop embarrassing themselves and these poor people that are desperate for something to cling on to.

looks like opportunity thunder bay didn't hear a knock at the door after all , did they?
5/10/2014 6:08:20 PM
mystified says:
Boohoo to you and the miserable life you live. All those people are enjoying the gathering on a beautiful sunny day while you sit in your dark dank dungeon chomping at the bit to make the first comment on the latest news article.
Seeing that you are the first to comment on a lot of articles I suspect you have an in at tbnewswatch.
Suck it up sunshine, it's going to be built. You don't want to pay, move out of city limits or just stop the whining.
5/10/2014 6:07:18 PM
enos012 says:
Just because someone is against something and not pro everything doesn't mean they live a miserable life. I'd rather see the money going to more important projects, project that impact people's lives and make a difference
5/10/2014 7:04:58 PM
Allan J. says:
It looks to me like you have some anger issues surrounding this poor turnout. If you're disappointed in the poor showing and the obvious lack of support for this, it may be in your best interest not to lash out at individuals which hold a differing opinion than yourself and seek to improve your actual support for this project if you wish so dearly for it.

In fact it may be reasonable to conclude that with an attitude like you display here may very well be a contributing factor in the lack of support from your fellow citizens.

It appears you are acting like children stomping your feet demanding the people of Thunder Bay buy you your new hockey arena, and if they don't you will call them all names.

You will never gain support with such anger mystified. Maybe if you step back from the issue you may see it much clearer and can form a new approach because this one is obviously not working for you or the pro event center people.
5/10/2014 9:29:00 PM
Steamy says:
I drove by, if there was more than 40-50 people there I would be surprised?

I support this but certainly not in this location, nor at this time. These people did nothing but embarrass those in favour of it. What a shame.
5/10/2014 5:55:04 PM
Curmudgeon says:
@ Steamy

I am in agreement with you that while I don't oppose the concept of a waterfront arena, this is not the time to take this project on. It's not the $$ it will take to build, that is likely available as one time funding.
My issue with it is the ongoing annual operating costs whose deficits will be on the taxpayers backs year over year. Demonstrate that these operating costs can be covered by revenue FOR A CERTAINTY, then let's take another look at the idea.
Until and unless that occurs, IMHO,this project is and should be a non-starter.
5/10/2014 8:23:40 PM
fastball says:
Well, the FWG has annual operating costs that are currently borne by the taxpayer - as does every civic building in town. Do you think those operating costs are going to go DOWN as the building edges into its EIGHTH decade? Are the Gardens' costs covered by its incoming revenues?
I'm not saying you're wrong - but at some point you gotta make the hard choice and take Old Yeller out behind the barn.
If you're waiting for "certainties" and "when the time is right" - well, good luck. God helps those that help themselves.
5/12/2014 5:54:32 PM
S Duncan says:
but we're not taking old yeller out back. We're keeping him around and will be paying his food bills.

Those food bills will increase too because events that took place in the FW Gardens will no longer be there, further hurting the bottom line and driving up costs for the future.

There has been NO discussion about selling it, only what else we can do with it.

So, this will be another great expense we will have to deal with as well with the welfare dome.

Would you like to discuss the reality of the Auditorium next?
5/12/2014 10:42:04 PM
Waldo Lydecker says:
Whether youre for it or against it, you have to admit that is an extremely poor showing of supposed support for Commissos dream shack. Its become clear that only a minority are in favour of this. Close down the project and lets face the issues we already are ill prepared for instead of taking on more.
5/10/2014 5:50:52 PM
signman says:
Two day ago Mayor Hobbs stated " it is a bad time right now for anyone to ask for money" he said referring to a request from the Victoriaville Youth Centre.

He said " the city is strapped right now and that he really wants to tighten the purse strings". (Tbnewswatch May 8 2014)

The Fort William Gardens is seving our needs well now as evidenced by the Folklore Festival last weekend where over 14,000 people attended the 3 day event in the Gardens and Curling Club.

Fort William Gardens is good for another 20-30 years according to City managemnet.

Lets STOP this nonsense about building a new Event Centre!


Let's concentrate on the real needs of this city like the roads, snowplowing, keeping the pools and rinks in their respective neighbourhoods and reducing


(One of the highest in the province!)
5/10/2014 5:48:22 PM
tannharr says:
Did you even attend the Folklore Festival? The venue very clearly does NOT meet the needs of an event such as this. The "corridor" between the FWG and the Curling Club was jammed with two-way traffic. Trying to feed the thousands of attendees was beyond difficult.

The facility is NOT handicap or senior friendly! I'm sure that many people refuse to attend because it's so jammed tight with people. I know I even had difficulty moving my 5 month old son. Definitely not family friendly either.

A new event centre IS needed. Yes the FWG can still stand for another 20 years. But that's not why we're replacing it. It doesn't meet the needs of major concerts, major events such as curling and hockey championships, and the Folklore Festival. There's a reason why the Home and Garden Show no longer uses the FWG! I'm proud to be one of the many attendees at the support rally on the weekend!!!
5/11/2014 8:56:17 PM
Winger says:
I only see 40 some odd people?

I guess its true, only a miniscule number of people support this joke.
5/10/2014 5:48:13 PM
fastball says:
You DO understand the concept of cameras and photography - that the camera only takes an image of what it's pointed at? If the photographer had zoomed in, only ONE person would be in the shot...and if he had pulled out, many more people would have been in the frame.
Next week - I'll show you how to change the time on your microwave. You must be tired of it being 12:00, 12:00, 12:00 all the time.
5/11/2014 12:13:08 AM
common cents says:
This was a Fail plane and simple, where the video videos dont lie.

wrong location people that simple!
5/11/2014 8:36:58 AM
adubs says:

While you're at it can you PLEASE do a lesson on spelling and grammar :)
5/12/2014 10:34:50 AM
Sprague Street Superman says:
such a small pathetic turnout for the nicest day of the year, even with the clowns and free stuff? What about the prizes?

That should put the final nail in the coffin of this welfare project. With pathetic turnouts like that after all the advertising its pretty obvious that the majority of people in thunder bay don't want to be saddled with this white elephant.

goodbye welfare bubble!
5/10/2014 5:46:37 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
Twice as much turnout as either of the Concerned Taxpayer events, and with a much wider demographic range of attendees.
5/10/2014 7:28:52 PM
Puppylover says:
the pictures show a maximum of 50 people there. That's not twice, that's half.

those must be the same math skills you use to determine if this is economically feasible or not.
5/10/2014 11:33:36 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
The caption of the photo says "a portion of the group". No attempt was made to photograph the entire group. The article itself states that there were around 200 people there, which is consistent with the photo showing only a portion of the group.
5/11/2014 2:43:35 PM
Common cents says:
Show us the Videos.

And I know every employer that stands to gain encouraged their employees to attend.
5/11/2014 5:07:22 PM
Steamy says:
there were around 200 people there? Were you counting the people that were waiting for the buses and those that drove down the street as well?

its pretty clear there was not 200 people there. If we use the same criteria to say there was in fact 200 people there, then we must assume that the Davinci and the MJ Library had 300 at each session as well. We'll just count those that visited the library the library all day long and those that were at the Davinci all throughout the day as well.

Nobody even came to hear Hobbs or to get their free hot dogs. It was a disgraceful turnout that shows only a select few want to push this on the rest of us.
5/11/2014 9:17:41 PM
S Duncan says:
that photo must have been taken with one fancy camera!!

it must take 150 people to operate it because there's only 50 people there at best!

Only 50 people showing up for handouts? That's not bad for Thunder Bay.
5/10/2014 5:44:04 PM
CRay says:
My boyfriend wanted to go play hockey but when I told him what was going on, he wanted to leave. neither of us support this colossal disaster. hobbs is off his rocker
5/10/2014 5:42:16 PM
S Duncan says:
Look at all those old people!!

cane shakers were out in force huh?
5/10/2014 5:35:49 PM
fastball says:
Sorry, the cane-shakers had their meeting a few months ago.
5/10/2014 6:06:55 PM
eventscentre says:
fastball, don't argue with them. Don't stoop to that level. The time has come to clamp our mouths and let phase 3 take its course. The elections will tell us whether or not the community supports this project. Time to stop bickering with jaded people who would rather be miserable than have a nice city.
5/10/2014 7:06:01 PM
Common cents says:
Sorry to bust your bubble.

but your hopes of support was dismal to nonexistent.

People want an events center just not at that location.

I say we hold a rally in the intercity area.

whoop whoop.
5/11/2014 4:48:44 PM
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