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Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday May 30 2015
2:25 AM EDT
2014-05-29 at NOON

Calling for plebiscite

Ray Smith, of the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay lobby group, claims an informal survey shows that 95 per cent of residents want an event centre plebiscite.
Leith Dunick,
Ray Smith, of the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay lobby group, claims an informal survey shows that 95 per cent of residents want an event centre plebiscite.
By Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY -- The vast majority of residents want a plebiscite to decide the fate of a proposed $100-million event centre, claim some members of the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay.

The group, headed by Ray Smith, has been conducting informal polling around the city, handing out ballots at Thunder Bay Mall, Northwood Plaza and at their own recent open houses calling for the question to be put to voters on Oct. 27.

The ballot box was conspicuously absent at Tuesday’s open house, when the city unveiled the latest drawings of what the facility might look like.

According to Smith, 95 per cent of the 444 respondents said they wanted a question put to the public, while 75 per cent are opposed to the project at all costs.

The group hopes to survey more than 1,000 residents by summer’s end.

“The public has been telling us the main reason they are opposed to the city building an event centre is that they simply can’t afford it. Many taxpayers have informed us they are now at the breaking point trying to cope with exceptionally high municipal taxes and building an event centre will eat up even more of their income,” Smith said Thursday, reading a prepared statement.

Mayor Keith Hobbs dismissed the numbers outright. 

"I think those numbers are probably skewed and I think surveys like that are right out to lunch," Hobbs said. "We're doing our homework. If our survey comes in at 55 per cent or 60 per cent in favour, that's good enough for me." 

Originally forecasted to cost $106.1 million, the city earlier this week slashed about $10 million worth of amenities from the project, axing a planned bus terminal, pedestrian walkway over Water Street and a 200-stall parking structure.

They’re expected to have a guaranteed maximum price from Thunder Bay Live, their preferred partner in the project, by the end of July.

City officials have not stated if, or how much, taxpayers can expect to see their tax bills rise should the centre go forward.

Smith said there’s no doubt in his mind the project will force residents to dig deeper into their wallets to cover the costs, including an estimated $1.2 million operating deficit in the first year alone.

“Right now the public has basically been slapped in the face and had no say in any of this, regarding the cost, the convention centre, the location, and the timing,” Smith said, adding the 3,700-seat Fort William Gardens still has 20 to 30 years of life left.

The city has just wrapped up an extensive, 14-question scientific poll on the event centre, contacting people via landline and cell phones. The poll, conducted between May 8 and May 22, is accurate plus or minus three per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

The results are expected to be released on June 9. The poll questioned people about their level of support or opposition, and why, atitudes toward affordability and potential tax increases, project awareness and how likely people will be to attend events.

"It's highly accurate," said Karen Lewis, the city's director of corporate communications, adding she thinks the public is savvy enough to understand not all poll results are the same. 

Asked why he won't just accept the city’s poll results, Smith promised his poll would be more extensive.

“We’re not finished. We’ll have more than the city and ours is not costing anything. The bottom line is we will continue with this, right to the finish line, right to the end of the year,” he said.

Smith also denied people were grabbing handfuls of ballots and voting multiple times, an accusation some had made about his methodology.



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Eastender says:
Should the no side win, there could be some very embarassing revelations that may come to light as a consequence of the possible back room deals that may or may not have been made. But of course that is sheer spevulation.
I hope I have shed some light on this melodramatic reality show.
6/1/2014 9:07:17 PM
Eastender says:
My answer to you was in two parts, but apparently the first part did not get posted. You have only the second part which doesn't really give you the complete picture.
6/2/2014 7:17:11 PM
hotchoc says:
Can someone demonstrate to me, without insults, without harsh language, without calling others idiots, the reasons why we cannot have a vote for or against this project on the upcoming ballot.

Just the reasons why we cannot.

I am trying to understand the rational behind the decision.

Thanks in advance to whoever does this.
6/1/2014 2:11:49 PM
Wolfie says:
As was pointed out at the information session last week, there is still a great deal of information missing. Voters would not be fully informed and would be voting based on incomplete information. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, as they say.

Once this information has been provided, we have a proposed lease with a potential primary tenant, we have a firm cost-limited bid to construct the centre, and we know whether or not the federal and provincial governments will be contributing, I am all for a plebiscite.
6/1/2014 10:01:57 PM
tiredofit says:
I don't get why the city is so dam afraid of a plebiscite.

Question is pretty straight forward:
If all parties (Provincial, Federal & City) agree to fund the proposed Events Centre do you support it? YES or NO?

Is it that difficult? We need all three parties on board in order to make it work based on what I understand, if 2/3 agree to it, then you don't have all 3 do you? Cancel it, if all 3 agree to fund it, build the dam thing and be done with it.

If I run a poll and the majority of the participants agree with the plan, then it's a good solid poll, if they don't agree with it, then it's flawed. What is the city so afraid of? I mean come on.
5/31/2014 11:02:59 PM
sinkoreswim says:
Might as well get used to it, Ray will be demanding a plebiscite the night the event center opens!!
5/30/2014 8:58:51 PM
Dunroamin says:
For goodness sake give it a rest I always thought you were a mover and shaker especially when it came to making Thunder Bay the best city in Canada .don,t make the same mistake a former mayor made about the auditorium and due to his pride never enjoyed that beautiful gift to our kids as we now need to add this project to complete the waterfront economic,job creating package future to keep us healthy and serve the region as their go to place
5/30/2014 4:26:24 PM
outsider9 says:
The people holding this city back are plebiscite crazy.....they would have a plebiscite to see if they should have a plebiscite.

Like it or not this thing is going through, and you watch as soon as ground is broken on the event centre the hotel will be going up soon after. The two are tied officials can deny all they want but this is painfully clear to most...
5/30/2014 1:07:46 PM
Wolfie says:
The construction of the hotel is already underway.
5/30/2014 1:28:34 PM
Eastender says:
Soon as the election is over, you can fill in that hole where the delta hotel was supposed to go, because the PCs and Hudak wont be giving this godforsaken city administration a dime for any of their hairbrained schemes.
5/30/2014 1:50:35 PM
signman says:

" I think that should go to a plebiscite" he siad, adding the electorate should vote on any big-ticket items. ( TBTNewswatch Sept.23, 2010)

"The public has to make this decision, not the council, not the mayor, Hobbs said.(TBTNewswatchn 2011-06-02)

5/30/2014 11:27:23 AM
smartguy83 says:
If you voted for him, shame on you for trusting him giving you something you think you have the right to I guess?
5/30/2014 1:04:19 PM
conker2012 says:
"It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Nuf said
5/30/2014 8:50:09 AM
Eastender says:
There are some truly sad and pathetic attitudes in this city as evidenced by some of the crude, and rude comments about Ray Smith on this site.
Mr. Smith, is exercising his democratic right to protest what he sees as an abuse of power. He should be admired for making this stand, and for his tireless efforts to fight the injustice that is being perpetrated on the majority of taxpayers. Yet when the pro side cant find logical arguments to contradict Mr.Smiths efforts, they can only resort to ridicule, and mockery.
It is obvious that if one has to resort to such tactics to defend your position, you dont have much of a position. Desperate people resort to desperate measures, of which ridicule and mockery are prime examples.
5/30/2014 12:07:01 PM
spazz says:
90% (more statistics!) of your posts contain some sort of insult towards other posters. You complaining about people not showing respect is almost as good as S. Duncan calling people out on multiple user accounts.

5/30/2014 1:56:40 PM
Eastender says:
There is a difference between insulting ones dignity and insulting ones intelligence. When you insult my intelligence I take great pleasure in pointing out the inadequacies of your faulty logic. If your dignity is insulted as a consequence, then you are harbouring a false sense of pride. Sorry, not my fault.
6/1/2014 12:57:57 PM
fastball says:
Well, I'll give him credit for perseverance.
But at the end of the day, he looks like a sad little Don Quixote-esque character - vainly tilting at windmills with all his well-meaning heart.
You fought the good fight, sir - time to call it a day. If you can't find it in your heart to support it, then have the good graces to at least get out of the way. Otherwise, your lasting legacy is to look like a crabby old man.
5/30/2014 5:20:20 PM
ou812 says:
Thunder Bay mall and Northwood mall... That's a real good indicator of what the city wants!!!

Hey Ray why didn't you set up a booth at Grandview Mall or County Fair?

Dougall media... Why do you give this guy a platform?
5/30/2014 8:27:51 AM
The Beaver..... says:
The statistical base is in fact notoriously difficult and hard to measure.
Look at BC look at Quebec and look at the mess Alberta got into with its entitlement Premier. Polling is a lost art
5/30/2014 7:40:18 AM
Ozone says:
We went from apparently not having enough information to even consider a plebiscite to full speed ahead by our council in 3 months. Vote this truth hiding, arrogant bunch of egomaniacs out of council next election and let's get people WHO listen to the taxpayers.

Remember the fiascos chippewa friends debt, marina, wind farm, sewage treatment, sister city trips, bike lane mess tax payer loans to regen and others and all the poorly keep infrastructure plus our sky high taxes when you vote.

Vote these clowns out
5/30/2014 7:20:20 AM
smartguy83 says:
You just listed off a bunch of common discussion points in the city and forgot that some this Council had no say in. You also claim the marina was a fail? The marina is actually a huge success. I often head there in all 4 seasons and see a lot of people enjoying it. Spending money to improve quality of life in the city. What a concept!
5/30/2014 9:27:37 AM
The Beaver..... says:
MD says:

61% of people said that they are about 47% sure that there is a 50% chance that the event centre might or might not get built. and
MD you should run for Mayor because you could bamboozle the people 100% of the time. The current holder barely runs at about 49% and he thinks he is doing great
5/30/2014 7:13:06 AM
trips says:
since smith cant get the word plebiscite out of his head would this satisfy him you want an event centre if the feds and provincial govts. put in the 66 2/3 monies and the city used the 25 million saved for an 8 million dollar debenture for 25 years?
5/30/2014 6:58:43 AM
TBDR says:
Well what little cred the concerned taxpayers had, pretty much just went out the
5/30/2014 1:42:33 AM
Shane Caker says:
Give it up Ray. Even S Duncan, aka Tim, aka Toot Sweet etc., etc., has given up on you.
5/29/2014 10:01:15 PM
Fastball says:
I'msitting in the Winnipeg airport, after being totally internet-free for the past two weeks.....and I'm amazed (but not really) to see the same old crud being posted!
Is Thunder Bay and its residents stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day endless loop?
Face it, it loks like this is a go...or at least there's a good chance that's it's a go...and there's just as good of a chance that any vote on it is NOT in the cards, So - or pity's sake, get over it already. This is starting to sound pretty pathetic.
5/29/2014 9:26:37 PM
ibrando says:
Well there you go. Fastball reappears after being away 2 weeks and all of a sudden posts from shane caker, sinkorswim and TBDR reappear. That's quite the circle of yourself you have as friends. Glad you are on the yes side.
5/31/2014 6:46:04 PM
fastball says:
Not exactly sure where your implication is going with that post. I've never been accused of being the smartest guy in the room, but it sounds like you think I'm suffering from multiple poster-name syndrome. Nothing, I assure you, can be further from the truth. I'm a one-name kinda guy. I just hope my opinions on this issue are contagious.
6/1/2014 8:15:59 PM
Commonsense says:
Whatever one might think of the efforts of the Concerned Citizens group, the reality is, Thunder Bay taxpayers should have had the opportunity, through a plebiscite, to make a decision on an expenditure of this magnitude.
To say we have our say by who we chose to vote for, in the last election, or the upcoming election, is not adequate.
In many of the wards, as well as at large, I recall that more people voted against the incumbent, than for them.
There were just too many challengers, so the vote was split.
The City's reasoning that "they didn't have all the information to allow us a vote" was unreasonable. All the info would have been available by election time.

A convention centre is NOT a core service a city should be getting involved in.It steals business from other places, like Da Vince, Ital Hall.
Perhaps consider a more modest event centre , something we can afford.And let the taxpayers, those who will pay to build and operate the centre, decide.
That seems reasonable.
5/29/2014 8:45:07 PM
SomeGuy says:
75% of stats are made up, (Source: My made up stats)
5/29/2014 6:56:03 PM
Sprintfan says:
Hobbs claims the numbers are skewed,yet without any ballots of his own spouts off that 90 percent are in favour of it,go figure! The man who portrayed himself as the man of the people, "changed his mind" ,the "naysayers" & "fear mongers" have changed their mind to & will be telling you NAY this fall! We Won't Get Fooled Again by you!
5/29/2014 6:50:24 PM
yqt says:
"....informal polling around the city, handing out ballots at Thunder Bay Mall, Northwood Plaza and at their own recent open houses...."

Bahahahaha..... Yup, informal alright !!
5/29/2014 6:45:33 PM
Blah blah says:
Even if a vote showed more for than against, that would not stop these people from trying to squash this project. I'm sure they would find some rare sea gull nesting ground in the area and get the area protected from development
5/29/2014 6:37:11 PM
musicferret says:
This poll is completely false; as is the one done by the city, based on what I have heard from some who have been contacted.

Typical phone poll question: "The events centre is great because blah blah blah blah blah...... given that its so great, how much do you love it: huge amounts, lots, just a little" or something to that effect.

They are so biased and one sided, that it would be difficult for someone who does not have in depth knowledge of the project to view it as anything but the second coming of Jesus, based on the questions that are being put to them in the phone poll.

A plebiscite is the only way to actually find out what people think, and it will be no surprise when the city survey comes out with 95% in favour of the project, much like this false Concerned Taxpayers poll did against.
5/29/2014 6:27:24 PM
bttnk says:
This post is so blatantly false. First and foremost, one poll is conducted by a world renowned polling company and selects people at random. The other is conducted by a gang with an agenda.

I'll state for the record, that I was contacted for the city survey on my mobile. Is there something wrong with asking "the consultants report states that an event centre will bring significant economic benefits to the city. Are you in favour?" Not everyone reads TBNewswatch every day, or is informed that consultants have been hired and analyzed the feasibility of an event centre. That information is critical to making sure the polled individual understands the process.

I thought the questions were unbiased and well put together. Including the questions asking whether I would be in favour of an event centre at a cost increase to their taxes.
5/30/2014 8:30:58 AM
Pandora says:
Where can I find the questioned asked in the City's survey Ms. Lewis?
Are the questions posed on the survey on the City's site?
If not, they should be available to the public.

I would like to see the questions for myself.

The fact the city is denying us a vote is very undemocratic in my opinion.
5/29/2014 6:19:46 PM
progress now says:
You can be supportive of the event centre AND supportive of a vote on it.

Have the vote I say.

5/29/2014 6:17:29 PM
signman says:
Here are the rest of the comments from today's news release.

The Chamber of Commerce has been warning that property taxes will reach alarming levels if municipal spending continues at the current rate.

At last Monday's council meeting it was stated that the city's debt was approx. $169 million dollars and by the end of the year it would rise to approx $184 million dollars.

Mayor Keith Hobbs stated recently the city has to tighten its purse strings as the city is strapped right now.

However when it comes to the Event Centre his logioc does not seem to apply.

The Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay believe that all residents should have a vote on this huge and controversial expenditure and ultimately it should be the pubic that decides this, as previously promised by the Mayor and others in City Hall.
5/29/2014 5:45:00 PM
we need more then a plebiscite on the hockey ahh errrr the events centre.
5/29/2014 5:27:43 PM
Enquirer says:
The methodological problems that are apparent with this "survey" already are so mind boggling, I am unsure how anyone would take it seriously.

Ray, as I know you will be reading this, if you are wishing to answer some key questions about your latest poll, I can help start the critical appraisal process.

I am in very close contact in my day-to-day job with people who are certified with the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) who appraise programs, surveys, and other projects. I would absolutely be more than happy to have them look over your data, Ray.

If you are willing to do this, please let me know, Ray. If you are confident in your data, I can surely have professionals look over it to confirm it?
5/29/2014 5:19:42 PM
peas08 says:
Thunder Bay where you put event centres where condos can be and condos in public parks.
5/29/2014 4:34:25 PM
Wolfie says:
So if I do a survey showing that 450 people in the city want Thunder Bay to become a part of Finland and replace the Expressway with a crocodile-filled moat to keep out the rest of Canada, will TBNewswatch show up to my "press conference" (held in a mall, with hand-written signs behind me) and write a front page article about it?
5/29/2014 3:37:52 PM
Leith Dunick says:
Heck yeah... Crocodile moats are awesome.
5/29/2014 3:54:34 PM
Wolfie says:
Glad to hear you're in favour, Leith. Please feel free to take some ballots home with you.

The Concerned Moat Builders of Thunder Bay say "Vote early, and vote often!"
5/29/2014 4:01:41 PM
grs says:
5/29/2014 4:24:55 PM
humnchuck says:
My made-up survey told me 83% of the people I spotted while I pretended to read the paper in the mall last week refuse to have welfare moats rammed down their throats...
5/29/2014 5:19:50 PM
S Duncan says:
the problem with that is you always want somebody else to pay for it.

Use the money you earn for things you want, but stop trying to take mine for your welfare dreams.

how many names are you going to post under skyhigh anyway? Its not helping your cause, it just makes you look even whinier than usual.
5/29/2014 4:35:21 PM
Wolfie says:
I can assure you that I've only ever posted on here with this username.

Can the same be said for you?
5/29/2014 5:20:50 PM
Crownstreetcarlos says:
Hah! Says the all-time record holder for using multiple names and even answers his own posts, that's rich buddy!!!

Some nerve, some people.

Good one. It'll be awesome when the new rules are in place and you can't agree with your own posts a hundred times, too.
5/29/2014 6:13:02 PM
cachinnate says:
"how many names are you going to post under '

pot, meet kettle
5/29/2014 8:50:14 PM
NowayJose says:
Pardon my ignorance but shouldn’t taxpayers have a say? If the majority say build it, then build it. If the majority says no......then no means no! Simple, to me.
5/29/2014 3:33:55 PM
cachinnate says:
No, ;you need to be very careful what you give the general public (taxpayers) a say in. The general public will vote in the ignorant interest of themselves, not the the benefit of the whole.
5/29/2014 9:26:29 PM
Eastender says:
Think about what you have just said.
"The general public is ignorant"
" the general public will not vote in the interest of the whole"
Who do you think the general public is if not the whole? Come on, wake up!
5/30/2014 5:36:28 PM
Eastender says:
Better yet cachinate, why do we even let the ignorant general public vote on anything, such as members of parliament, mayors councillors. We should just let the powerfull run the show I guess!
5/30/2014 5:41:51 PM
Jon Powers says:

"I say somewhat as ultimately the party conducting this "poll" have rooting interests."

The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day!

To suggest that Mr. Smiths poll is any more or less valid than the "City" one is very interesting statement isn't it?

Don't you feel cheated that you won't be allowed to vote "Yes" for the Multiplex?


"At one meeting, Ray was recorded as telling people to take ballots home and stuff the ballots. How can we take you seriously Ray? Give it up already!"

Is that what you told your membership to do with "Internet Polls" to show that the citizens wanted a New Waterfront?

Vote multiple times to stack the deck in your favor?

Don't you feel your membership have been cheated and you won't be allowed to vote "Yes" for the Multiplex?

By the way thanks for spending our Taxes for for "Pro-Build" rally.

100% BIA/City funded!

Great Story!
keep Posting Everyone!
5/29/2014 3:20:06 PM
John@OTB says:
Mr. Powers, I don't have to inflate the numbers. I am a proud supporter of this project. My comment says Mr. Smith is on record for asking people to grab extra ballots to take home. That is public record for stuffing the ballots.

No, I do not feel cheated in the process. There have been seven public open house sessions for people to come out and have their say. I voted at the last municipal election to have the people in place to make these important decisions. I have faith in administration and city council to make those decisions. I have also read all public documents and have made an informed opinion that this event centre will be a great thing for the future of our city.
5/29/2014 3:33:49 PM
ibrando says:
Wow @OTB. Do you even read your own posts? Your story changes by the minute. From "Ray was recorded as telling people to take ballots home and stuff the ballots" to "Mr. Smith is on record for asking people to grab extra ballots to take home. That is public record for stuffing ballots" You my friend have zero credibility. But keep posting, this is a great example of the supporter's mindset.
5/29/2014 6:02:39 PM
John@OTB says:
I stand by my comments. He was on record telling people to take ballots home, same as grab some ballots to take home with you. Either way it works out to stuffing ballots, and skewing the results. I will trust the scientific polls over home made polls anyday!
5/30/2014 4:40:43 AM
Eastender says:
How can you have faith in candidates who campaign on a platform of lowering taxes, and improving infrastructure, then completely flip flop, and ignore infrastructure so that they can spend on mega projects that will enrich their cohorts.
Im sorry, but a lot of us who voted for this gang, are disilussioned with the entire process. For these very ressons we dont have faith in city council, or administration.
We who voted these people in on the belief that they would be representing our interests, are now discovering that those who should be looking after the interests of the majority, are now catering to the interests of a small but very influential group of people, who will benefit the most from this project at the expense of the majority.
Its not about polls, or cane shakers, or rallies. Its about honesty and fair representation, and a large majority of citizens in this burg believe they have been sold down the river by the gang in city hall.
5/30/2014 11:33:41 AM
DougMyers says:
"a large majority of citizens in this burg believe they have been sold down the river by the gang in city hall."

Do you have a poll that shows you are correct in this statement and not just making up information and stating it as fact?

This is the issue with the no side. Too many falsehoods being touted as truth. Too many personal opinions being touted as fact.

All that the no side really has is a small group of people who think they somehow represent the majority because they keep inflating each others egos.
5/30/2014 1:17:51 PM
Eastender says:
Yes I do have a poll, its called a plebiscite, and its the only scientific, and reliable poll that will separate the truth from tne bull. Put it on the October ballot and we can all finally have the truth as to who the majority is. Otherwise your just swatting at flies, and throwing dung at each other for no practical purpose.
5/30/2014 1:41:20 PM
DougMyers says:
So since you avoided my question I will answer it for you.

No you have not information to support your claim as I quoted prior. You, like the rest of the no side are simply assuming you speak for the majority.

Also your are incorrect. A plebiscite is not the only poll that will separate the truth from the bull. The fall municipal election can speak volumns if people are so inclined or moved by a particular topic.

Use your vote wisely and then stop complaining if you are wrong in your opinion or are in the minority.
5/30/2014 2:04:32 PM
Eastender says:
If I am only assumming that the majority are against this project, then how is your assumption more valid than mine? And dont give me that biased poll the city is conducting as any indication of the truth. Thats like letting the hyena watch the baby.
Why waste money on polls that no one will believe. A referendum (plebiscite) will absolutely set the record straight.
As for the fall election, well we were lied to before. All politicians are liars all the time. That doesn't settle anything.
5/30/2014 5:30:32 PM
SomeGuy says:
The city had nothing to do with the Pro Rally and any insinuation that public funds when to the rally is an out right lie.
5/29/2014 3:42:15 PM
Wolfie says:
"To suggest that Mr. Smiths poll is any more or less valid than the "City" one is very interesting statement isn't it?"

Are you saying that polls of the "Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay" have the same credibility as those of Ipsos Reid? Do you know how 99.9% percent of the country would answer that question?

I can do a poll on it, if you like...
5/29/2014 3:45:11 PM
Eastender says:
I would be more inclined to accept Mr Smiths poll, as unscientific as it may seem , than a poll conducted by those with a vested interest in the outcome of the results of that poll. You gotta ask yourself, what does Mr. Smith stand to gain from his efforts, other than a sincere belief that the event centre is not in the best interests of the taxpayer. Then ask yourself, who is in favour of this project? The construction industry, developers, the Ambassadors Northwest org. All wealthy, and stand to reap sizable rewards if this project is allowed to progress. This all on the tax payers wallet.
5/30/2014 5:54:42 PM
John@OTB says:
I would also like to point out that you Mr. Powers are basing your statements on pure speculation or are willing to just make things up to suit your agenda. The city has no involvement in the pro event centre rally. There was also no involvement from any of the representatives from Thunder Bay Live! or any other organization in the city. All monies paid out to host the pro rally event were paid out of pocket by the volunteers who organized this rally. All receipts are available for scrutinization.
5/30/2014 6:53:03 PM
S Duncan says:
Who provided the property and those orange barricades to coral all 18 people that came looking for free food, clowns, bouncy tents, boot hockey and the aerial photo that shows 18 people holding up 2 pieces of red bristol board each?

5/31/2014 1:32:55 PM
dillon says:
I really hate when people ask others if they pay taxes in the city in an attempt to invalidate someone's point. People who rent can vote, and contribute to our city in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is frequenting businesses owned by taxpayers. If you're going to invalidate someone's point because they "don't pay taxes", then you'd have to logically take the next step and make those who pay higher taxes have more of a say. Does that make sense? Nope. Stop it with asking people if they own houses or pay taxes while trying to invalidate their point. It's ridiculous.
5/29/2014 3:19:07 PM
Tannoy says:
If we build this thing 20-30 years from now its going to cost way more than if we just do it now. Things keep getting more expensive not cheaper, bite the bullet.
5/29/2014 3:14:50 PM
S Duncan says:
well if that's the case we better all rush out tomorrow and buy new cars, houses, furniture, etc..

before it goes up you know?

seriously? How juvenile is that mentality?
5/29/2014 6:11:20 PM
eventscentre says:
You're awfully confused. A facility that is going to be used by thousands is a lot different from a person buying a vehicle for himself, or a house for his or her family. You naysayers have awfully limited thinking
5/30/2014 7:37:57 AM
theonlyopinionthatmatters says:
"The group was conspicuously absent at Tuesday’s open house, when the city unveiled the latest drawings of what the facility might look like."

This statement speaks volumes.

I would give them a sliver of credibility had they attended the unveiling. This would have given a somewhat clearer picture of what the actual support in the community would have been. I say somewhat as ultimately the party conducting this "poll" have rooting interests. Clearly they are not interested in what the community wants just what the "concerned tax payers of thunder bay" want.
5/29/2014 2:42:04 PM
signman says:
When council was talking about using Ipsos Reid to do their polling regarding the recent Event Centre survey Councillor Larry Hebert was not impressed.

He stated they often couldn't even come up with the right questions to ask!

He had to correct them.

And we the TAXPAYERS are paying $20,000 for this.

5/29/2014 2:37:22 PM
sinkoreswim says:
I would never trust anything this guy says! And by the way, your chances of getting a plebiscite are long gone, so give it up will ya. The first shovel hits the dirt next year. I cannot wait!
5/29/2014 2:37:21 PM
John@OTB says:
At one meeting, Ray was recorded as telling people to take ballots home and stuff the ballots. How can we take you seriously Ray? Give it up already!
5/29/2014 2:25:52 PM
Wolfie says:
Do you have a link to this recording?
5/29/2014 3:41:35 PM
Joey_J says:
Doug Powell's video:

Start watching at 1hr 5 minutes in. Ray's says that they have the ballots in the small room. Take a couple and bring them to your friends and return them.
5/30/2014 5:24:43 PM
Wolfie says:
Thanks for posting. Sure torpedoes all credibility.
5/31/2014 1:06:03 PM
Thor Odinson says:
I remember him saying that too. Gee, telling a room full of people who agree with you and have an agenda to push to take ballots home with them? I wonder what will happen!
5/29/2014 5:02:31 PM
S Duncan says:
Well it certainly appears that you owe Ray, Concerned Taxpayers, and readers here a clear and humble apology.

You falsely put words in his mouth to deliberately mislead people. Ray said nothing of the sort about "stuffing ballots". Watch the video for proof.

He clearly says to pass out the ballots among your family and friends and have them returned at the next meeting. That is not "stufing ballots" that is merely trying to reach as many people as possible. He does not tell people how to vote.

Are you man enough to issue a formal apology or will you choose to hide behind lies, falsehoods, and deliberate misrepresentation?

Is Newswatch responsible enough to even post this, or are they willing participants in providing false representation on $100 million issues?

Man up john susin. Apologizing is the minimum you should do after your obvious lies.
5/31/2014 12:54:28 PM
Kaministiquia Kid says:
Do 95% not know that the deadline for a question has passed? Done deal? Back door agreements with the hotel? BIA collusion for parking? Biased polling? Come on already.. Why must everything be a conspiracy . The Gardens is done , it served its purpose. Let's move on already . The price is only going up the longer this drags on.
Great story yada,yada...
5/29/2014 1:49:41 PM
Papercut says:
Kam Kid......Just wondering if you are inside the city limit and do you pay taxes to The City of Thunder Bay?

I am , and I do....and if it means higher taxes......I AM NOT FOR IT...PERIOD.
5/29/2014 2:36:45 PM
fastball says:
You forgot to stamp your feet and pout angrily, Kam.
Yeah, chances are, if this thing goes through, your taxes might go up a couple of bucks (literally, probably only a couple of bucks I'm guessing) - but I'd rather have my tax dollars go up a few dollars and get a new facility, rather than continuing to subsidize an aging FW Gardens.
5/30/2014 2:26:57 AM
DougMyers says:
Everyone I talk to about this is just laughing!

You could have at least made the results seem realistic. This just seems like a total joke now.
5/29/2014 1:46:16 PM
Baor says:
What nonsense. 100% of the people polled in my house support the centre. 100% of my hockey team polled support it. 100% of those polled at merla-mae, on wednesday between 7 and 7:59 support it. My "polls" are just as valid and worthless as Smiths. Imagine that."
5/29/2014 1:39:55 PM
DougMyers says:
and no stuffing of the ballot box was done to make sure the results were as expected ;)

Margin of error was also scientifically factored out using special math ;)
5/29/2014 1:34:37 PM
MD says:
61% of people said that they are about 47% sure that there is a 50% chance that the event centre might or might not get built. 32% of people argued that they would support the event centre if the price was reduced by 8% and there was a 16% increase in parking spaces within 11-meters of the centre that will be available for them to park in 88% of the time. 74% of respondents were confused as to who Ray Smith is, but agreed that he is wasting 100% of his time.
5/29/2014 1:32:23 PM
signman says:
Why is the city afraid to let all the taxpayers have a vote?

Why are more tax dollars being wasted on a city poll that only included 1,000 citizens at a cost of $20,000 dollars?

What about the other 79,000 voters?
5/29/2014 1:28:52 PM
Wolfie says:
Have you ever heard of statistical sampling?

Have you noticed how election winners get declared well before every vote is counted?
5/29/2014 3:40:22 PM
Eastender says:
How is thiis statistical sampling, when the people with an agenda are directing the company that does the polling to come up with favourable results. Just look at tne loaded questions that are being asked! You condemn Rays polling methods, but think that the conniving poll that the city is taking is reliable? Ha!!
5/30/2014 5:18:05 PM
cachinnate says:
signman / Ray

I support having a plebiscite, and I also support the concept of a new multi-use convention center / arena. However for a "plebiscite" I would want to see the results of the next phase study. Let me know the costs, taxpayer commitments, business plan, overall design... and many other things. Once I know the overall impacts vs benefits, then and only then can I consider myself (and anyone else) equipped to actually cast a 'vote' on the plan. So, this coming election is premature for a 'plebiscite,' but at least you can express your opinion towards the various Electorate candidates. Until then, the path is as it should be... proceed with the next phase of study.
5/29/2014 9:01:42 PM
CLETE says:
Wow 444 people responded to this. Now if it was the people in favor who responded these guys would be laughing at the them. It's time to have a plebiscite on these nay sayers to stop. If your dead set against it then don't go to support it, I don't support the 55 plus centers but i still pay taxes to keep them going. Time to move on people, let's get this place built.
5/29/2014 1:20:29 PM
Robert Bob says:
No need for any Plebiscite, Event centre is a "Done Deal". Build it they shall come. Taxes will only increase around 7-12 %, you will hardly even notice over the next 25 years. Think of all the wonderful good times to be had at the new Event centre come 2018 and onwards. Cost overruns not really a big deal, Operating Losses = No Problem. 85 % of respondents polled this morning were excited and can't wait for the Tax increases to come and stated the Need for the Event Centre for Job creation an to bring more "events" to Thunder Bay. Huge economic spin off benefits are also a plus.
5/29/2014 1:10:08 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Most people don't realize that The City will have NOTHING to do with the day to day operations , bringing in entertainment and anything else connected to the arena . "TB Live" is just middle-man management who will be taking a cut of the gate revenues and if they run at a loss the City(us taxpayers)will have to make-up the difference plus pay the bills , taxes and utilities . Some deal eh ?
5/29/2014 3:39:24 PM
cachinnate says:
I want to, and at the same time I don't want to respond to your comment. Center is NOT a done deal. I hate when I see/hear people write/say that. People with those comments are usually the worst conspiracy theorists out there. Just like a 'consultant' will skew the data to represent what the client wishes. Guess what... I work in the 'consultant' field...and you cannot imagine how often the result of the report does not support the original wishes of the client That's why an outside consultant is hired.... to provide an unbiased, and objective professional recommendation. Anyone who believes that the consultant reports are written only to please the payer, is wearing too much tinfoil on their head.
5/29/2014 9:13:24 PM
smartguy83 says:
Seems like their ballot process is flawed. They are planting themselves in smaller malls with certain demographics.

The city's poll should be more extensive and conclusive.

I have argued many times that the argument for or against the event centre is somewhat wrong. People do need to understand that those who wish to enjoy the type of events a new facility will offer is of increasing demand in the city and that our current facilities are nowhere near up to standard.

You can argue till you are blue in the face that the garden's still has life. Whether this is right or not is honestly not that relevant.

This project will have to happen eventually. The city is being proactive instead of reactive and I appreciate the hard work people have put into this.

At the end of the day I honestly believe the majority of people will support the project.

Time will tell.
5/29/2014 1:04:06 PM
ibrando says:
Please explain what you mean by smaller malls with certain demographics. This should be interesting. And please, don't leave out any of the details.
5/29/2014 2:42:38 PM
smartguy83 says:
18-60 yr olds very rarely head over to Northwood mall for a Monday shopping experience.

Unfortunately for you, you wanted a much more vulgar answer which is not applicable to my point.
5/29/2014 2:45:42 PM
Wolfie says:
And furthermore...

"The group, headed by Ray Smith, has been conducting informal polling around the city, handing out ballots at Thunder Bay Mall, Northwood Plaza and at their own recent open houses"

I'm not sure how this can be considered to be "around the city" when the malls mentioned are both in the south side of the city, as were his meetings.
5/29/2014 3:48:32 PM
Eastender says:
Your comment as usual is totally pointless and without merit. Please try to make valid points or back up your opinions with rational logic, otherwise you are just wasting these spaces.
5/30/2014 11:05:11 AM
Wolfie says:
You honestly don't understand why this is a problem? Shall I draw you a map?
5/30/2014 3:18:52 PM
Eastender says:
I see the problem as those who would deny the democratic process, through the use of flim flammery and smoke and mirrors. Polls can be manipulated to serve whoever, or whatever. There is no problem when things are done in the open, and no one is trying to hide the truth from the public. That is not what is happenning in this situation. No map needed here, clear sailing ahead. Put the multiplex question along with a future location on the ballot if you want the truth.
5/30/2014 5:07:06 PM
Wolfie says:
This thread is about the flaws in Mr. Smith's polling methods. You're avoiding the issues raised about his survey.

Therefore, "your comment as usual is totally pointless and without merit. Please try to make valid points or back up your opinions with rational logic, otherwise you are just wasting these spaces."
5/31/2014 1:09:50 PM
Eastender says:
Yes, lets address the flaws in the polling of both Mr. Smith, and the cities polling methods.
Ray Smith is David fighting Goliath. Here is one man with limited resources, trying to demonstrate that the taxpayers of this town have had enough of the foolish spending that has been foisted upon them. He sets up polling stations wherever he can and is given permission to set up. He does not have the resources , both financial, as well as manpower to do a professional and scientific poll. But, he is totally sincere in his purpose, which is to demonstrate that taxes are becoming a serious burden to a large majority of the citizens of this city. He is asking for honest answers to honest questions
Whereas the city poll, as mentioned in another post asks completely biased and dishonest questions. "The new event centre is expected to bring iin millions of dollars to the community each year" that statement is an outright lie, yet someone is expected to respond honestly to it.
6/1/2014 12:27:34 PM
Eastender says:
From past experience such as the closed door deals re the wind farm, and the questionable overruns at the marina, not to mention the obvious deal that most certainly must have been made with Delta Hotels, this city has earned a reputation of mistrust when it comes to large mega projects.
As flawed as mr. Smiths poll methods may be, I and a large majority of people in this ciry would be inclined to believe his outcome versus that of the one conducted by the city.
I see the problem as one of credibility, versus methodology, and to be quite honest I would gravitate to the more credible method before the methodically correct but highly suspect in its intention.
But if neither method is acceptable, then a plebiscite is the only way to come to a democratic solution. N'est pas?
6/1/2014 12:42:49 PM
Wolfie says:
Fair enough, if you don't trust the city's motives for the survey, let's ignore that for a moment.

Any thoughts on the LU survey that apparently showed that 79% of people favour building the centre?

I'd be inclined to believe that a poll overseen by a university economics professor would have a better methodology than Mr. Smith's, or at least no worse.

6/1/2014 9:55:24 PM
ddemetra says:
My wife was called for the city poll.
The questions were incredibly loaded, like
"The new event center is expected to bring in millions of dollars to the community each year, does this make you feel very supportive, somewhat supportive, or not supportive."
Someone should be fired for wasting our tax dollars on this.
5/29/2014 1:02:09 PM
basher says:
Nicest looking lemonade stand on the block. I am certain that the unbiased poll is at the 95% confidence level plus or minus 3 percentage points.
5/29/2014 1:01:41 PM
Gotta ask says:
Here we go again...
5/29/2014 12:57:13 PM
enos012 says:
"It's highly accurate," said Karen Lewis, the city's director of corporate communications, adding she thinks the public is savvy enough to understand not all poll results are the how can anyone trust the numbers that you threw out there saying the majority were in favor of it or and polls at all??? Put it to the vote!!!
5/29/2014 4:48:20 PM
SadButTrue says:
100% of the respondents I polled on my way to work today are in favour of the Multiplex. 150% of those same people do not see a referendum as a necessity. The margin of error for my poll is the same as his poll. My poll will continue again on my way home from work and will repeat ad nauseam or until Mr Smith admits that he's only against the Arena because it wasn't what he wanted and that all this posturing is purely for his egos gain.
5/29/2014 12:54:27 PM
Gord says:
LOL - so, 95% of the supporters of a plebiscite favour a plebiscite - I wonder what happened to the other 5%.
5/29/2014 12:51:37 PM
enos012 says:
If the Mr.Hobbs believes the number is skewed than put it to the vote! What are you scared of? The only reason why he doesn't want to is because he knows it wouldn't be passed. You want people to go out and vote, you want numbers put it to the vote!!!
5/29/2014 4:45:39 PM
Eastender says:
I guess the only way to settle the controversy over wether the polls are valid or not is to just have the plebiscite and be done with it. That would be about the most accurate poll that can be had.
Why bother with all these accusations of stuffing ballots or manipulative questioning. That is just skirting the issue.
Lets face it, not everyone gets exactly what they want in a democracy. But if a majority approve or reject this proposal then we all get to sleep at night knowing that the decision was made democratically, and that we are not being taken advantage by one faction or another.
Come on Hobbs, get this right, or you will go down in this cities history as the worse mayor we ever had.
5/30/2014 11:00:44 AM
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