Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
10:37 PM EDT
2014-05-15 at 16:43

Event centre politics

City of Thunder Bay handout
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Four of five candidates on the city's North side say they'd consider supporting provincial funding for a new event centre if elected.

The city recently ratified a letter of intent with Thunder Bay LIVE!, a consortium of businesses that would operate and use the proposed centre, hoping that will help convince the province to help fund the project.

Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds, the NDP's Thunder Bay-Superior North candidate, said he would be a strong advocate for the event centre at Queen's Park. All three levels of government need to see the benefit of the project not only for the city's North side but for its job creation.

"They all need to have fair investment into this event centre," he said.

Progressive Conservative candidate Derek Parks said people in the city are more concerned with gridlock at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and other health care matters. But if an event centre is a priority for the city, he'd support it.

"I can't make any promises. I mean we're in debt. We’re going to have to evaluate what the important features are," he said.

Joseph LeBlanc, running for the Green Party, said the province needs to have a consistent funding model in place. When a community with a vision has decided on a project to support, like the city's current process for an event centre, it should know where the province stands.

"So it's clear what they can expect in funding structures from the province," he said. 

Liberal incumbent Michael Gravelle said the party has shown its support for the project, recently funding phase three of its feasibility study along with the federal government.

"I'm just one of those people who believe that the time has come for us to build an event centre in Thunder Bay so I'm supportive of it," he said.

It's hard to speak of specific funding now that an election is underway but the Liberal-minority government's infrastructure minister Glen Murray and economic development minister Eric Hoskins were supportive of the project Gravelle added.

Libertarian candidate Tamara Johnson said wouldn't commit provincial dollars to an event centre and wouldn't push for it in the legislature, 

"I think really, if the city doesn't have the money for an event centre, they really shouldn't be spending the money and they shouldn't be asking the province to pay for that because ultimately it's just going to ding taxpayers." 

The Ontario election is scheduled for June 12. 


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Kam River says:
The way the Liberal and NDP supports are attacking Libertarian candidate Tamara Johnson, she must be doing something right.
I wonder why they are working so hard to discredit her,but never comments on what she stands for.
Maybe it time to give her a 2nd look, there has to be a reason they are so scared of her.
Mind you if you vote for Foulds he will be gone off council and that is a big plus, one less tax and spend Liberal/NDP on council
5/18/2014 12:20:35 AM
Jack Frost says:
Bla, bla, bla, bla etc...
5/17/2014 11:46:41 PM
trips says:
@ baywoman ..what you say about johnsons chance of winning can also be applied to foulds
5/17/2014 3:44:07 PM
baywoman says:
First, stop beating up on Leith. Seriously, the majority of people could care less about this nothing candidate who only has one plank in her platform and that is mainly to denigrate First Nation people, constantly..thats all that she posts on her Facebook. She has no idea how much the deficit of Ontario is..just refer to her pathetic interview on Thunder Bay Live;unprofessional , uninformed and uninspiring. Her supporters think she will get 20 per cent of the vote..good luck with that; the last Libertarian candidate received 130 votes and even if she gets more, she has no chance of winning. Why waste a vote on someone who has zero chance of winning and zero idea of how to run a campaign ..she had to post on her Facebook page begging for people to sign her papers because she signed up non registered voters. She stated that she might sell her store but has zero clue of what she would do for a living after! Not a very well versed candidate on any issues of importance.
5/17/2014 2:25:20 AM
Garrett says:
Excellent post. You're right about that interview, it was terrible and showed just how out of her league and uninformed Ms Johnson is. I can't imagine her business is successful given its location and the way she talks about natve Canadians on her facebook page.
5/17/2014 2:44:54 PM
S Duncan says:
Thats just your opinion. Opinions have no place in news stories, they are best saved for editorials.

fair journalism has some strict basic rules. You obviously arent familiar with Tamara's platform if all you see is your racist/racism rhetoric.

Elections arent decided by how many votes the previous candidates got.

And why would we waste a vote on liberals or the ndp when both have put Ontario on the fast track to bankruptcy while stealing our tax dollars to try and buy votes?

You should vote for what's best for Ontario, not what suits your selfish desires. Thats how we got into this mess and thats why we should support candidates that do not support the massive waste project known widely as the welfare dome.
5/17/2014 4:35:28 PM
OilSandsMan says:
Ok Leith, I see Tamara's comments now. Thanks for updating. In the future, you should try get all candidates comments for balanced reporting ! Perhaps maybe even an apology to Ms Johnson would be in order ?
5/16/2014 11:52:23 PM
reese says:
The per capita statistics for hockey players,violent crime now registered sex offenders are all at the top of the list i hope we dont try to support them all
5/16/2014 7:11:22 PM
OilSandsMan says:
I still don't see all the candidates opinions in this story ! Sorry Leith, I've read it at least 50 times.
5/16/2014 4:42:16 PM
OilsandsMan says:
I did read the story ! I still don't see comments from ALL the candidates. But if you did update it, that's great ! She should be included !
5/16/2014 2:21:48 PM
OilsandsMan says:
This is biased journalism ! You get comment from every candidate except the Libertarian party candidate Tamara Johnson ? You don't even mention her ? Are you unaware that she is running for the riding ? Hard to take TBnewswatch seriously with this time of reporting !
5/16/2014 2:01:34 PM
Leith Dunick says:
Did you actually read the story, or did you just read the comments? Ms. Johnson's comments have been added to the story.
5/16/2014 2:15:38 PM
fastball says:
I've read the story twice now, and still can't see a reference to Ms. Johnson.
5/16/2014 4:36:49 PM
Leith Dunick says:
My apology to you both. The comments were added to the story, and but for some reason they didn't take. They appeared to be there in our content management portal, but when I checked the story itself on the site, they weren't there. They are now.
5/16/2014 4:59:13 PM
S Duncan says:
Not to beat up on you anymore over this but the current opening sentence claims..

"Candidates on the city's North side say they'd support provincial funding for a new event centre if elected."

Not only did you not speak with Tamara (or at least tell us you tried?) who represents the Libertarian Party, but also the quotes from the PC representative in the story clearly don't support your opening sentence.

That opening sentence clearly is not true and it certainly appears you want the public to believe that they have no choice but to vote for someone that supports the welfare dome when its now obvious that 2 of our hopefuls don't feel that way.

From my standpoint (one that has been probably annoyingly to you over the potential for bias in this subject matter) it appears that there is a tremendous bias in this instance.

I don't want to bust you up over it, but I kinda do. We all take our lumps and I think you deserve one here. :)
5/16/2014 5:26:40 PM
Leith Dunick says:
We did speak to Tamara, her comments are in the story. They weren't initially. I've changed the lead to more accurately represent the five candidates and what they said. The PC candidate didn't say he wouldn't support it. He said he might if the community indicated it was a priority.
5/16/2014 5:45:55 PM
Steamy says:
its still not very clear to me. he said most people are concerned about gridlock at the hospital but if the city felt a event center was a priority he would support it.

at least he's willing to listen to the voters which is more than I can say for foulds and gravelle. they aren't listening, only talking.

the double edged sword in this is whenever grass roots movements fire up over political issues this large, its almost always spells political death for those deeply involved in it. pushing this through will cost massive political fallout and expend much capital. so much capital it will probably end a few careers.

and I think that's great.

5/16/2014 11:23:26 PM
Eastender says:
I think that if Derek Parks wants to be a serious contendet in this race, he has got to get off the fence, and make the commitment to not fund this event centre. The priority of this city has been made more than evidently clear for quite some time now, we dont want tax dollars paying for an event centre, there is no doubt or question about it! So, Derek, are you going to sit on the fence, or can we have a definite commitment from you.
5/17/2014 1:25:12 PM
S Duncan says:
also, I think this warrants a new story or a retraction that clarifies that the PC and Libertarian Party representatives in fact DO NOT support this idiotic project.

By ignoring Tamara Johnson and as far as I can tell mis-representing the words of the PC candidate I believe you have made a very serious error with this story that can change or serious affect the outcome of an election.

am I wrong?
5/16/2014 5:36:27 PM
S Duncan says:
one more.. I commented over 24 hours ago about the obvious exclusion of Tamara Johnson and it took 24 hours to even get a mention of her, her opinion, or lack of it into the story?

I know you guys work hard but? If it was an oversight, I would have thought my comment would have started the ball rolling on that?

especially after comments attacking her were posted shortly thereafter as well?

Do you guys need some more staff there? I can do some editing for you if you'd like?

(why did I hear you say NO from way over here?)
5/16/2014 5:41:25 PM
Eastender says:
Alsohard to take Tamara Johnson seriously when she posts on facebook that her favourite people include Bill O'Rielly, Glen Beck, Dennis Miller, and Fox News.
5/17/2014 12:58:34 PM
Robert Bob says:
Event Centre is a must for Thunder Bay. That way the City will continue to have operating cost Losses each and every year afterwards. Just think what the future city council memmbers have in-store each and every year , more tax increases. Job Creation, maybe they can bring in more "foreign" workers for minimum wage, like the waterfront Condo's are using. Fed's and Province will kick in money its good business. Just think how many new Conventions and Conferences will be coming to Thunder Bay, and all the new showcase acts at the new Event centre. Gee maybe used 145 days out of a year. Hockey the crowds will be awesome somewhere around 4500-6500 for Games. Spin off economic benefits stellar. In the END there stil lbe be tax increasses to Pay the Lossess occured each and every year.
5/16/2014 11:51:26 AM
Kaministiquia Kid says:
Thunder Bay NOT Port Arthur or Fort William at least not since 1970 ,is a hockey town. If you don't think so don't go! I for one will support this endeavour . Some people have to leave the comfort of the couch (basement) and see what is happening here in the city. The marina is a great place not just for boats and seagulls anymore. In time Simpson Street will get it due and all the potholes in the city(not town )will get fixed. At least some forward thinking people are trying something. If you don't try don't complain . Status quo is no way to go!
5/16/2014 11:31:25 AM
Winger says:
Do you think that people that want nothing to do with this should have to pay for it so those that want it can have it?

People are not in favour of paying for its construction nor its constant financial burden.

If private enterprise did it there would be no opposition whatsoever but whats really happening is the theft of money from a tremendous number of citizens to support a rich hockey team and the owners friends.

If you support it do it with your own money not my famiy and friends that shake their heads with disgust whenever this topic comes up.

This project does more to create division and animosity to the minority few that think they want this mess. I personally will be moving out of the city so Im not paying for 3/3rds of this project should it happen.

The feds will kill it so fast it will be laughable anyway.
5/16/2014 12:26:16 PM
jb says:
Let me know where I can submit a list of government funded services which I don't use so I can I can claim exemption from contributing my tax dollars to them.
5/16/2014 2:20:39 PM
NewCoach says:
Where is the city going to get the money to pay the downtown business that will supply parking for the event centre ? Also hear that they will pay to have the snow removed in the winter.
5/16/2014 9:18:46 AM
rob20 says:
Translation - all candidates reached for comment stated "We'll tell you whatever you want to hear so long as you ignore our track records and vote for us."
5/16/2014 9:08:56 AM
sawmillsteve says:
Lets built something we cannot affort, then cut off rural water delivery to city residents who pay city taxes!!!! I sure hope everyone realizes where this administrations priorties are and votes these imcompetant bafoons out in this falls election.
5/16/2014 8:55:16 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Allan J.

Don't you think Gravelle is the best...after all he gave us Global sticks, and he is still working on the Ring of Fire hoping to over turn the access ruling.
5/16/2014 7:36:43 AM
bonzo says:
hockey sucks
5/16/2014 7:28:51 AM
SF2012 says:
I really hope that if this event centre does go ahead (highly likely) the owners/city sit down with owners in similar sized cities and not just Sault, such as the owner of the K'Rock centre in Kingston and find out what Kingston offers to bring in the number and quality of events it has managed to host in the last few years.
5/15/2014 10:58:50 PM
signman says:
Everyone should get a vote!
That's why the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay continue to push for a

5/15/2014 9:50:59 PM
bttnk says:
Keep on pushing.

In the mean time, we've all moved on. City council voted it down and you have an opportunity to object to city councils direction this fall.
5/16/2014 9:40:53 AM
DougMyers says:
I think people are growing tired of this old rant.

You certainly do get a vote and it is coming up this year. If the Event Center is a major concern one way or the other, then vote for a candidate that supports your view.

The majority (who care to vote in the municipal election) will speak and the issue will either die or move ahead.

This constant call that democracy was somehow subverted is a farse.
5/16/2014 10:30:27 AM
reese says:
NHL aka national handout league if the statistics are true we should be ashamed
5/15/2014 9:04:17 PM
trips says:
what is meant by the term 'not a hockey town' is the fact that tbay citizens don't support hockey teams until the playoffs ...nothing to do with the number of hockey players it produces
5/15/2014 8:36:38 PM
Tawil says:
Ever notice how the same posters only post at the same times under the same stories with the same language spelling and grammar errors and opinions? Punctuation too lol...but never on other stories or give a different opinion. Funny. Anyone here use old versions of windows?
5/15/2014 8:01:26 PM
S Duncan says:
Yes I do. Its always the same group.
5/15/2014 9:49:25 PM
Kam River says:
---Andrew Foulds, the NDP's Thunder Bay-Superior North candidate, said he would be a strong advocate for the event centre at Queen's Park.
---- Derek Parks Progressive Conservative candidatesaid people in the city are more
concerned with gridlock at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
--- Michael Gravelle Liberal incumbent said the party has shown its support for the project

I hate to say it by the guy who was parachuted in Derek Parks gets it.

Our hospital was in grid lock for most of last year.

If the prov wants to spend money in Thunder Bay spend it on the Hospital
5/15/2014 6:42:25 PM
bttnk says:
Actually Kam River - Parks comments show the exact opposite. That is that he has no clue about Thunder Bay, our politics or politics in general. If he did, he would know that the province has already allocated $14M to Thunder Bay Regional. He would also know that Phase 2 of the Centre of Excellence in Integrated Senior Services is complete and between these two key initiatives, the streess that ALC patients are putting on an acute care facility causing gridlock should be relieved.

Parks is out of his league.
5/16/2014 9:35:13 AM
blah blah says:
Im from the future, and the events centre is AWESOME!!!!!
5/15/2014 6:27:20 PM
Eastender says:
I 'm from the future also, your taxes are awsome too!
5/17/2014 12:50:15 PM
Eastender says:
The answer here is obvious
But the sheep will vote the money wasters in anyway.

5/15/2014 6:24:39 PM
sprintfan says:
Liberals being supportive of a White Elephant in the making while they've bankrupted Ontario. Makes perfect Liberal sense!
5/15/2014 6:23:58 PM
GoAwayCaneShakers says:
This isn't a huge hockey town ? Thunder Bay has the most nhl hockey players per capita in the world , crawl out from under your rock before you make dumb comments
5/15/2014 6:18:09 PM
S Duncan says:
Then why don't all these rich NHLers pay for this?

Where is there contribution? (Mind you the Stahls are VERY generous already)
5/15/2014 8:16:18 PM
tbay2005 says:
I just have to wonder if some people even think before they post on here! Why should local NHLers pay for this new arena?! If the people/businesses in the downtown north core think it is the best place for the new arena because the surrounding businesses will benefit so greatly from this arena then maybe the tax rates for those said businesses should be increased to pay a bigger share of the cost of building the arena since they will benefit a lot more from it. I am on the side of yes we need a new arena just not on the side of shoe horning it downtown like that. You can make comparisons all you want to cities like Winnipeg that did the same but you also have to remember they already had the parking structures built to supply the amount of parking spaces needed. Downtown north core does not have the parking spaces needed right now let alone if a 5000+ seat facility is shoe horned down there.
5/15/2014 11:33:40 PM
fastball says:
There's enough parking down there for now...and I'm sure a few more lots will crop up here and there as well as the project starts rolling. Jeez, there's a 500+ car parkade at the corner of Court, and about a dozen different street to park on - and that doesn't include any future plans. Yes, the area might look busy down there at the daytime - but let's remember that this place will run after work hours.
Chance are we're not going to need 5000 spots. Most people would come with 2 or more in a vehicle these days.
5/16/2014 7:53:48 AM
tbay2005 says:
Yes, people will be car pooling, lets use a generous number here. Say you need 20% of the 5000 for parking so that would be 1000 parking spots. Where would you find those? Yes, there will be a lot if not most of the events will run after work hours but what about the businesses that are open for business already down there that already fight over the available spaces? Or are you including them to be shutting down since the event will be "after work hours"? You say there is enough parking as it sits for business right now, could you please tell me where if the current businesses run the same where will you find the extra 1000(20% of attendance, assuming the event is sold out)? You won't be able to park at the marina since our parkland was sold to the highest bidder and those spaces will be used by the condos, hotels and restaurants down there already. Yes, build the arena but at innova or somewhere else with the proper services for the people that will be attending these events.
5/16/2014 9:00:11 PM
Eastender says:
Fastball will rationalize away any logic that realises the lack of parking downtown by his insistence that going for a blue and some apps along with getting some exercise, is the most important criteria for locating this behemoth welfare bubble in this postage stamp size lot, by the marina. No use trying to convince him that there are myriad other reasons to locate in Innova. If he cant go for an app. and a blue at his favourite watering hole, then why bother.
There are people out there with orher priorities that will go to this centre too fastball, not just beer and app afficianados.
5/17/2014 12:46:55 PM
Eastender says:
I read it somewhere, an interesting quote from an ancient wise man. It goes kinda like this "Man does not live by hockey alone"!
I wonder what it means?
5/16/2014 8:13:36 AM
livewire says:
Here we go again splitting the city in TWO. Why live in the past. We are one city Thunder Bay with Three Downtown Cores.
5/15/2014 5:32:45 PM
Steamy says:
It would be nice if Foulds wins the seat because we know the NDP wont even come close to forming government, that way we can be safe from his cronyism city council tactics and not have to worry about the PCs giving him and us any money to waste on this idiotic electoral hot potato. This idiotic dream will cost Hobbs and many others their seats at the fat people's table on Donald St.
5/15/2014 5:23:02 PM
The Beaver..... says:
These people are running to be elected
and yet they still don't get it that Ontario is broke many times over. Its amazing what they will do for purely personal gain. This is no way to get elected and I sure hope that you don't
5/15/2014 5:23:00 PM
Toot Sweet says:
This project is already dead in the water, why are they so desperate to promise things none of them can deliver? When is Foulds resigning from city council by the way? Its past time he stepped down and returned his salary.
5/15/2014 5:20:16 PM
CRay says:
That's a lot of talk and empty promises for people that haven't been elected yet. They also haven't had the support of their partys for such a statement, have they?

This just stinks of more vote buying by Gravelle and his billion dollar thieving liberal friends.

Will they ever learn? Its time to kick Gravelle to the curb and hard!
5/15/2014 5:18:53 PM
fastball says:
Well, good luck on that. Gravelle has been around for 20 years - and a lot of people respect him around town for his tireless work. If you don't like his party, fine - but you can't fault the man for his work ethic.
I'm pretty sure Gravelle's not going anywhere.
5/16/2014 7:46:24 AM
S Duncan says:
Gravelle very well might get reelected, I don't doubt that possibility, especially with an opponent like Foulds representing the commun.. err the ndp.

Thunder Bay is so badly addicted to government welfare and handouts that it wont vote blue anyway.

but despite if Gravelle or Foulds get elected the blue team will be forming government, minority or majority is the only question right now.

and with a red and redder representative in T Bay North you can rest assured this project wont be getting more provincial welfare from the blue government.

If Thunder Bay North actually wants to be smart they should vote blue because at least that way the governing blue party will address the failing hospital situation. Lord knows the liberals havent fixed it over the last ten years of governing.

Also it seems the PC candidate doesnt support this welfare dome if elected like the story claims. He said we have bigger issues and hes right.

and seriously, no mention of Tamara Leith/Jamie?
5/16/2014 10:54:57 AM
Winger says:
Did you forget about the libertarian party?

Since she's the only one talking sense these days I guess that's why the lefty media didn't bother to consult her?
5/15/2014 5:16:22 PM
Garrett says:
She's talking so much sense that there's a huge wave of her signs all across the region...so many I can hardly count. Wait, I haven't even seen one, actually.
5/17/2014 2:38:46 PM
James Gang says:
but they seem to neglect the fact that the province is near bankruptcy. These are just the death throes of desperate politicians who know their governing days of Ontario are over.
5/15/2014 5:14:55 PM
Allan J. says:
Yes its the daily welfare dome story time again kiddies. Gravelle is promising something he cant provide and so is Foulds. With the election coming and the most likely change of government to the blue team its safe to kiss this stupid dream goodbye!

and that's the way it should be. Poof! Gone!
5/15/2014 5:13:29 PM
fastball says:
"Michael Gravelle said the party has shown its support for the project..." Wow, that's a heck of a "promise" there, Allan. What exactly is he promising?
As the story clearly states - Gravelle's merely saying the current government has shown support for the application - he hasn't gone out on a limb and promised anything to anyone.
Check your facts - or do they just go in one ear and out the other...poof, gone?
5/16/2014 9:11:31 AM
Waldo Lydecker says:
Hasn't this media heard of Tamara Ward Johnson?
5/15/2014 5:10:24 PM
tbaycat says:
As of right now, Tamara still has not officially registered herself as a candidate. Maybe that's why they didn't ask for her opinion?
5/16/2014 12:29:56 PM
S Duncan says:
Tamara Johnson was unable to be reached?
5/15/2014 5:04:12 PM
SomeGuy says:
If they included her comments, they would have to include the comments from the Communist Party, the Marijuana Party, The People who like to Party Party.
5/15/2014 7:41:48 PM
S Duncan says:
Is the Communist Party running a candidate or are they happy with Foulds? How about the marijuana party? Do they have a candidate or is it just skyhigh and his multiple personalities?

Just a very short time ago this website did a story on Tamara and how she was running as a Libertarian.

Don't you find it odd that they don't mention her or even if they tried to contact her and she refused comment?

Or is she not in support of this and the media doesn't like that fact so they did the fair journalistic thing to do and pretended she doesn't exist?

What's so terrible about being fair these days?
5/15/2014 10:19:38 PM
SomeGuy says:
I don't find it odd that she didn't comment on it because she's a fringe candidate who won't get more than 500 votes from the extreme right like yourself.

5/16/2014 8:33:35 AM
tbaycat says:
Lol S Duncan and Waldo Lydecker …. Tamara has no interest in the meat and potatoes issues that her riding’s constituents face. Her focus is all on just one issue. Go check out her face book page to see what I mean (but do please be aware that she has cleaned it up a lot!)
5/15/2014 9:43:26 PM
codvx87 says:
Ridiculous. This isn't even a huge hockey town and everyone knows this will be used as a rink 90% of the time
5/15/2014 4:47:18 PM
zeppelin says:
I seriously hope you are being sarcastic
5/15/2014 5:13:11 PM
eventscentre says:
Highest percapita suppliers of players to the NHL in Canada...and we aren't a hockey town? We also have the second highest attendance for university hockey in Canada. Are you even from Thunder Bay?
5/15/2014 5:39:43 PM
TBDR says:
^ in case anyone wanted evidence as to why nobody takes the no side seriously...
5/15/2014 7:08:03 PM
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