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2014-03-13 at NOON

OPINION: Mayor says no to event centre ballot question

By Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay
ENERGY 103 104Play Minute to Win it at 7:20 weekdays mornings with Kaile Jaggard and WIN! on your station for 80’s 90’s and Now…Energy 103 104 Click Here!

Some significant milestones have been realized related to the Thunder Bay event and convention centre project over the last few months.

The city remains committed to the project, and will continue to do our homework to make sure it is right for Thunder Bay, and if so, to see it built.

The proposed event and convention centre has prompted a great deal of discussion in the community, and this being an election year, the idea of putting a question on the ballot (informally referred to as a plebiscite) has come up frequently.

It’s something I publically supported four years ago during my campaign for mayor of Thunder Bay.

Since being elected mayor, I have developed an in-depth understanding of the proposed event and convention centre. I have personally come to the conclusion that a ballot question is simply not the right tool for this project.

There are several limitations to a question on the 2014 election ballot. One important one is inherent and unavoidable – a question on the ballot must be answerable by a simple yes or a no. Multiple-choice questions are not permitted.

The proposed event and convention centre is a very complicated project.A ballot question doesn’t lend itself to clear answers to complex questions.

A question on the ballot also captures responses at a specific point in time. The proposed event and convention centre project is continually evolving.

Other city councillors, city administration and I have repeatedly said we will not go ahead with the project if funding from other levels of government is not in place. There is no guarantee that funding will be in place this year.

Related to federal and provincial funding, one thing is important to note: although we recently received $1.2 million in federal and provincial funding for the schematic design of the facility, unless the proposed event and convention centre is brought to a “project ready” state, it will definitely not be eligible for capital construction funding from the other levels of government.

The event and convention centre is still very much a proposal. We are moving ahead with Phase 3, which includes a more in-depth study of the project, including a schematic design, a revised capital cost update, a detailed business plan, and an updated economic impact study including the expected number of new jobs to be created.

We now have a solid private sector partner in Thunder Bay Live!, a consortium of companies with experience in designing, developing and operating large venues such as the proposed event centre. This partnership is still subject to council’s approval of a letter of intent by April 14, 2014.

Let me be clear: we have not agreed to build anything yet. We are still investigating. This is important, because we remain committed to garnering public input and opinions. We have done so already through our 2013 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which shows the majority of residents have a positive attitude towards the project.

The city will also undertake a random, scientific and statistically valid survey of taxpayers, which will focus specifically on the proposed event and convention centre. It will provide all the necessary and factual information, and allow for a variety of questions. A scientific survey will allow us to develop a better understanding of the opinions of the voters than would a yes/no question on the ballot.

We remain dedicated to performing our due diligence and making sure this project is right for Thunder Bay. The proposed event and convention centre may become a reality. If that happens, you can rest assured that it will not move forward until after your views have been heard and considered carefully.

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We've improved our comment system.
sinkoreswim says:
Well said! Unfortunately this is going make a lot of people angry.
3/13/2014 12:19:53 PM
progress now says:
I am not to sure. Consider this observation:

"The city will also undertake a random, scientific and statistically valid survey of taxpayers, which will focus specifically on the proposed event and convention centre. IT WILL PROVIDE ALL THE NECESSARY AND FACTUAL INFORMATION, AND ALLOW FOR A VARIETY OF QUESTIONS." (Caps are mine)

It sounds like they have decided to go the route of another self-serving advocacy poll. This is a poll where information prefacing a question directs the answer. We have seen this with the enhanced infrastructure tax poll.

It never stops.

3/13/2014 10:19:51 PM
chezhank says:
To hear BS or both sides of the story go to the link below.
Doug Powell candidate for McKellar Ward put up the video of the meeting from the Mary J L Black Library hosted by Ray Smith of the Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay asking the public what their view is on the proposed event centre.

3/15/2014 9:20:50 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Quote: "I have personally come to the conclusion that a ballot question is simply not the right tool for this project."

...because the VOTERS might say NO!!!!!!
3/13/2014 12:26:41 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
The city will also undertake a random, scientific and statistically valid survey of taxpayers, which will focus specifically on the proposed event and convention centre. It will provide all the necessary and factual information, and allow for a variety of questions. A scientific survey will allow us to develop a better understanding of the opinions of the voters than would a yes/no question on the ballot.
Wonder if it will be another survey that starts by asking you your age and then when you respond they tell you they already have enough responses from that demographic...look back at the issues that Mr. Hobbs has been involved in since he was elected and you won't be surprised to see the real value of his word.
3/13/2014 2:25:31 PM
yqtyqt says:
Well, he just lost my vote. And I suspect others as well. When a candidate for any public office makes the statement that he supports a plebiscite as our mayor did during his last campaign, and then changes direction, I would bring any future campaign promise into question. In other words, the Mayor's words are hollow and he can't be trusted.

"A ballot question doesn’t lend itself to clear answers to complex questions." Well Mr. Mayor, you've dodged all reasonable questions on this issue. I don't care how complex you think the questions and answers are, they need to be answered at some point in time. Honestly and accurately. No spins, no sugar coating, no half truths.

The plain, honest and blunt truth would suffice.

I would welcome a list of candidates for the mayors office to come forward. If they can pass the Clerks scrutiny.

Something isn't right in City Hall. I think some answers are forthcoming.

3/13/2014 12:29:52 PM
sky high says:
No, he lost your vote a long time ago so no loss here. Why don't you run for mayor? You'll be the first mayor in the history of all time to dedicate every nickel of our money to fixing potholes
3/13/2014 10:14:07 PM
Toot Sweet says:
he had my vote last time. He lost it next time.

I'm very very sure that many others feel the same way.
3/15/2014 6:19:58 PM
papercut says:
As I said three weeks ago on another post here.......

According to an employee of the MTS centre (Winnipeg's home of the Jet's NHL Team).....the Jet's farm team IS MOVING TO THUNDER is DONE.

This leads me to believe that teh event's centre is already set in stone.
3/13/2014 12:57:23 PM
Wolfie says:
Did this "employee of the MTS Centre" tell you this before or after he poured you your beer?

"Employee of the MTS Centre" means nothing. More details please.
3/13/2014 1:59:37 PM
ou812 says:
the employee you mention is probably the popcorn vendor
3/14/2014 8:11:43 AM
smartguy83 says:
This is actually 100% false. Speak to the right people, not the minions who get the information 6th hand.
3/14/2014 9:11:13 AM
nvjgu says:
That's ok, I'm going to have a chance to say no too, Mr Hobb's, do you have A resume ready. I'm calling on people to vote him out. The whole council needs to go. Especially Mr Ruberto.
3/13/2014 1:01:35 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Wow ! Didn't see that statement coming . I guess some people carrying violin cases got to the Mayor .
3/13/2014 1:02:21 PM
Gord says:
What do the people wanting a plebiscite want the question to be? We have no information regarding funding support, potential revenues, etc etc etc... What if the question was: do we want a fully funded event centre? I bet the answer would be yes... or, do we want an event centre that is fully supported by tax dollars - I bet the answer to that would be no!! The reality is that the question is likely to be something in the middle of those two extremes, but until we know what the actual question is, asking it is premature.
3/13/2014 1:07:28 PM
sky high says:
Even if the events centre were to be fully funded by both levels of government, the cane shakers would say NO. They've never had a day of fun in their whole lives and they don't want anyone else to have any. And even if it was fully funded, then they'd want it at Innova Park. And if we agreed, they'd whine and cry for an environmental assessment on the chance that there might be a few ducks that visit the underground marsh there occasionally. Cane shakers just can't be appeased.
3/13/2014 10:42:38 PM
Eastender says:
The babies just keep crying for their rubber ducky. Put that soother back inyour mouth , time to change that soggy diaper.
3/14/2014 10:48:17 AM
reese says:
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what they are going to have for supper
3/13/2014 1:10:34 PM
CLETE says:
Great to see the mayor take a leadership roll in this. This project has to be done if it isn't then I would say do not spend another dime on the gardens. When things have reached the end of it function then it's time we replace it. There's a lot of things I don't like that I pay for with my taxes but I do, for one is the 55 Plus center!!
3/13/2014 1:18:54 PM
Mrbusinessman says:
I couldn't agree more with Mr. Hobbs! I can't wait to see them break ground on this project. Mr. Hobbs you have my vote!
3/13/2014 1:19:20 PM
rollinghill24 says:
Et Tu, Hobbs! SHAME!!
3/13/2014 1:19:20 PM
bttnk says:
I applaud the Mayor for putting this information out there with all of the misinformation being communicated by a small minority.

And who says the Mayor can't change his view on an issue? Is that not what we expect of our leaders? To keep an open mind? President Obama campaigned on a promise to uphold marriage as that strictly between man and woman. Several years later, he has changed his view. Why can't Mayor Hobbs do the same?

Keep up the great work Mayor. We are looking forward to your second term.
3/13/2014 1:29:14 PM
deerface says:
I think this is great that Keith Hobbs wrote this. With all this misinformation going around about this events center, he made it clear exactly what the next steps are and where the City is at in terms of it's development. He didn't have to write this.

It makes me like Keith Hobbs more as he is obviously learning certain things are not as simple as people think and are actually very complex, which can't be just shortened to a yes or no question on a ballot. I didn't vote for him before, but this makes me want to vote for him now.

3/13/2014 2:01:03 PM
Musicferret says:
Time to clean out city council, starting with our two faced mayor. Big spenders the lot of them.
3/13/2014 2:07:32 PM
TBDR says:
how is he two faced? He said he supported the events centre before the last election. He said he'd support a plebiscite if the city had to leverage funding from loans. It doesn't and won't.
3/14/2014 12:36:07 PM
trips says:
@papercut...who did you get that valuable information from?..the ticket taker...thought you were gone for good
3/13/2014 2:08:00 PM
Papercut says:

No I recieved this information from a staff member of the MTS centre, whom was told by their management group that the Team is moving to Thunder Bay.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
3/13/2014 3:25:14 PM
fastball says:
All you PollyAnnas out there - welcome to the REAL world. Candidates, especially those challenging for office - will say certain catchy things during a campaign. However, when they get into office and see how things REALLY work, they realize that some of those statements just aren't realistic.
"Cutting the fat" is a great campaign slogan..but once you get into office, you realize that someone's going to have to do double the work to replace the fat you swore to get rid of.
Mr. Hobbs is right on a few points.
You could ask a question NOW - specifically, are you in favor of building a facility at a cost of 100M dollars. Yes or No.
Six months from now, the city might get 50M from other sources..and the question is NOW - do we want to build a facility at a cost of 50M? Y/N
Since the actual numbers are unknown, you can't ask an accurate question at this point.
People might think that 100M is too much - but they might be able to live with 50M.
The wrong question is worse than no question.
3/13/2014 2:14:19 PM
yqtyqt says:
"welcome to the REAL world. Candidates, especially those challenging for office - will say certain catchy things during a campaign. However, when they get into office and see how things REALLY work, they realize that some of those statements just aren't realistic."

This speaks volumes of the poster. In other words, its okay to lie and claim ignorance afterwards.

You need to say no more fastball. When lies become the norm depending on what you want to support, you word will be called into question everytime. Count on it.

So really, are you a public servant or not. Or is this just a convenient story. You don't need to answer. I won't believe you either way.
3/13/2014 4:15:48 PM
fastball says:
No, it's not LYING - it's reality rearing its head as time goes by.
Four years later, in politics and in everyday life - things inevitably change. Timetables get shifted. Money comes and money dries up. Government initiatives and incentives come and go. What you thought was possible four years ago might not be workable now.
Everyone starts off wanting to jump in and change the system, gung-ho style. But like Mike Tyson famously said "Everyone's got a game plan - until the first time they get punched in the face."
Is a person who NEVER changes his mind more admirable than a person who makes the best decision possible under the current circumstances?
I've never condoned LYING - I said that realities and perspectives change with experience and in time. If you haven't figured that out yet in your life - man, oh've got a surprise or two waiting for you down the line.
PS - am I city employee or not? You're not gonna believe me anyways, so what's the point? Quit whining about it.
3/13/2014 6:00:21 PM
yqtyqt says:
"No it's not lying" & "I've never condoned LYING". What an absolute crock. You just did condone lying. Quoting as loser like Mike Tyson just sealed the deal.

"If you haven't figured that out yet in your life - man, oh've got a surprise or two waiting for you down the line." I've survived a professional career and retired from a successful life in government finance at the very senior levels. I did it with hard work, integrity, honesty and dealing with people without the BS. It's amazing how far that gets you and the respect that gets earned. I now enjoy a semi-retired life working as a contractor and supplying government services. I guess you can say I earned that trust.

But what I don't need is a lecture from idiot who wants to twist words.

You're right. I don't care who you are because I won't believe you anyway. Anything you have to say goes immediately in the trash bin. WHo really cares what you have to say.
3/14/2014 9:16:42 AM
fastball says:
"Idiot"?? Well, you're just getting nasty now. I guess your mind has expanded as far as it's going to, right? There's no grey left in the black-and-white world in which you live.
PS...when a quote is used, the MEANING of the quote is more important than the person who uttered it.
PPS..."who cares" what I say?? You, apparently - because you keep replying.
3/14/2014 4:41:31 PM
chezhank says:
@ fastball
Are you the reason the Corporate Communications budget went up to $659,000 this year ,from $574,000 in 2013.
How can one justify an event centre now,when in 2006 city council turned down LU for one.Their reasoning was that the FWG was structurally sound and the market did not justify it!
Well,the building is still structurally sound and how pray tell has the market in the area changed from 2006?

henry wojak
mayor in waiting
3/14/2014 12:00:10 PM
fastball says:
85K a year? I wish! (if that's your insinuation)
2006 was almost a decade ago. Eventually, despite the fervent wishes of some residents, things have to be replaced. As far as I'm concerned at this point, all Mr. Hobbs is doing is laying the groundwork for what will be an eventual replacement of the Gardens. Even in the best-case scenario, it's going to be YEARS before this thing gets off the ground and opened. By then, 15 or so years will have elapsed since the FWG was last deemed structurally sound in 2006. All we're doing here is painting a pigpen, as my dear old dad would say. Sure, it's got a fresh coat of paint - but it's still a pigpen.
I'm just saying, let the City do the groundwork. Let them start the process of getting the ducks in a row. Sooner or later, the FWG needs to go. Might as well start doing the homework now. Maybe the prov/feds will drop a bucket of money in our lap - you'll never know til you ask (election time!) It's called due diligence.
What's wrong with that?
3/14/2014 1:12:44 PM
chezhank says:
As one gentleman pointed out at the meeting for Concerned Taxpayers stated:
Why would someone locate an event centre adjacent to a rail line;considering what happened in Lac Megantic.
The last structural analysis of the FWG was Sept11,2013.
Let the farm team play at the FWG first and see if the average attendance goes up from the Thunderwolves which now averages 2200 per game.
Would you spend $30 million of your own money just because you can leverage $60 million.
What do you do when you need that $30 million for an essential?
Let those who want this event centre so bad buy partnerships into the project and reap the benefits,and leave residents out of it.
If not then the mayor and council should give the residents a question on the ballot for the location and need for an event centre at this time.
Phase 2 of golf links a Renew project may be debentured,why,let the proposed event centre be debentured.

3/14/2014 3:36:18 PM
fastball says:
Seriously...."it can't be next to a rail line" is the next line of argument for the Innova crowd? That's as pathetic as the dreaded "flicker effect" touted by the windfarm people. That's funny, I've never heard you take the city to task for the Intercity Mall being next to a potential bomb. Or all the residents who live with tracks in their back yards? Selective, no?
Get off the singular "hockey rink" obsession. There would be more events planned throughout the year. Concerts, sports, shows, exhibitions and other attractions. It's just not hockey.
And duh - yeah...if something costs 100 dollars, and someone offers to chip in 60 if I throw in 30...that's a deal I do every single day.
You sound like the people in Minneapolis with the new arena going up. "Let the millionaires pay!" The same cry went up in Vancouver for the Winnipeg for the MTS Centre, in London for the John Labatt Centre. Those towns are all doing OK still. They haven't collapsed under their crippling debt.
3/14/2014 5:35:41 PM
Eastender says:
You can sugar coat it with "due diligence" but its really just a fancy way of begging for money to buy something you cant afford in the first place.
Dreamers are always dreaming of ways to spend other peoples money.
3/15/2014 10:41:49 AM
fastball says:
So lucky for you to have paid cash for your car and house. But for 99 percent of the rest of the world - you borrow what you need and what you can afford, and make payments over time.
This is the Real World....come join us.
3/15/2014 3:52:28 PM
Rach M says:
I'm pretty hopeful that the event centre will be built! Go Keith Hobbs! woo
3/13/2014 2:24:30 PM
Eastender says:
No, Mr. Fastball, I did borrow for my car and house. But I did not borrow for an indoor swimming pool, nor did I borrow for a boat or any other toy which I could not afford. You see, thats why today my kids have a university education, and I am able to pay cash for my toys. If you want financial security, you dont spend like the grasshopper, you save like the ant. Something many people in this city understand, but you dont.
3/15/2014 6:35:07 PM
Harvey P. says:
I'm sure it will be built.
My only question is will I be able to afford to go there?
Is this place going to be like the Auditorium and have tickets almost $100 for a show (that's what I paid to see a rock band last year for 1 ticket).

3/13/2014 3:08:17 PM
Jon Powers says:
To All:

In Dec 2010, Mayor Hobbs took a morning off to ride a number of City transit routes.

He had with him Coun. Hebert & Virderamo + Media.

During our short meeting we shaked hands and told me that if I wanted to meet with him and talk about transit or any other city topic that his office would be open to me.

This was posted by me on site re this story.

I did contact his office summers 2011/12 several times.

This was to get a face to face meeting with him or Mr. Commisso.

Re: Event Centre.

Mayor Hobbs did not call back or say sorry to me for his broken prommisses to me.

Mayor Hobbs you have lost a large number of votes this time arround due to your "Elitist" attitudes.

When our Mayor handshakes an agreement with someone then ignors his own statements.

It speaks of his bad character.

Mayor Hobbs I will see you at the Mayors Debate this fall at our Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

Will you say sorry then?!

Great Story!
3/13/2014 3:10:17 PM
Papercut says:

1) There was no beer involved.

2) The Management of MTS Centre had this discussion with their employees.

3/13/2014 3:18:10 PM
Wolfie says:
So by the time you are posting this here, it went from "True North Management" to whoever served you, to you, to here. That makes this third hand news. You don't think that something could have gotten lost in translation between "the Ice Caps are moving to Thunder Bay if they build a new arena" to "the Ice Caps are definitely moving to Thunder Bay" at some point in that chain?
3/13/2014 4:21:49 PM
lake superior guy says:
Congratulations to Mayor Hobbes for having the intelligence to make decisions based on the latest information instead of based on statements he made in the past. We finally have a forward thinking council instead of one that makes decisions based on what the vocal minority are whining about. I look forward to seeing what this city can be instead of being stuck in some idealistic past.
3/13/2014 3:29:22 PM
Kam River says:
Hobbs says No. "centre ballot question"
We that taxpayers then say No to wasting anymore money on this project.
And we the taxpayers say do not vote for any of the present council.
3/13/2014 3:50:00 PM
Dockboy says:
This is really starting to smell like the Horizon Wind Farm fiasco.
3/13/2014 3:51:26 PM
fastball says:
Seriously - how many times do you people have to read something before it sinks in?
The mayor said LAST YEAR that if no other revenue sources were forthcoming, then the project would be put on the back burner. But in the meantime, they have do some due diligence and other background work. It might take years before all the ducks line up in a row, and the project is green-lighted.
But that's been said over and over again - countless times...but it never seems to sink in far enough to drown out the roaring of your own voices. You'd rather talk about conspiracies, and hidden agendas and the elite one-percenters. Untwist those knickers and unclench those puckered sphincters, people. Maybe let the people at Head Office get the facts straight before you decide to burn them all at the stake.
Honestly, people - talking to you is like talking to wood....the really thick kind.
3/13/2014 4:07:14 PM
old vienna says:
This is a very arrogant mayor and city council which will be thoroughly humbled come election night in October 2014. The days of dictating and not listening to the electorate will come to a humiliating end . The end of your pathetic political careers is upon us. The city clerk and city manager get your resumes ready , your services will no longer be needed.
3/13/2014 4:17:01 PM
trips says:
@papercut..if your telling the truth about the jets moving an ahl team to tbay without an arena in place then im suspicious of this management group to be involved about putting the horse before the cart....please read hobbs words carefully ...there will be no event centre without funding...the federal govt. has already stated there is no money for arenas
3/13/2014 4:46:31 PM
reese says:
A plebisite would be rigged,just like the one to choose the name for the city
US propositions are the same I believe the name is pork barrel spending
The mayor can see that

Never keep all your apples in one basket
3/13/2014 5:05:25 PM
fastball says:
Oh, sweet Jesus. That was 50 years ago. Seriously, get over it.
3/13/2014 6:03:47 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Do you think a hockey arena should be built using 100 million dollars worth of taxpayers' money? What's so confusing Hobbes? I'm starting to think you are one incredible liar, who represents a few rich construction companies, rather than the citizen voters. You are so shallow, I am totally disgusted. Hand in your resignation.
3/13/2014 5:18:22 PM
Taxpayer 76 says:
I'm all for an event centre but not by increasing taxes. The City needs to stop getting in business ventures (daycares, golf courses). Why should I have to pay for something that I will not be able to go to with my family (unless admission is free) Running a business should be kept in the private industry. Not the City. Not with taxpayers money. Taxes went up for the hospital, then the waterfront. These places are all free for everyone, no matter if you helped pay for it or not. Keep increasing taxes, water, hydro and you will see a lot families move. Living payday to payday to support the City of Thunder Bay is getting ridiculous.
3/13/2014 5:22:49 PM
Sprague Street Superman says:
Its sad to say but Kieth Hobbes has proven to be a colossal failure as a mayor for Thunder Bay.

What an embarrassment he is to all of us.
3/13/2014 5:25:59 PM
Westfortforever says:
"Since being elected mayor, I have developed an in-depth understanding of the proposed event and convention centre. I have personally come to the conclusion that a ballot question is simply not the right tool for this project."
OR was he sat down and told this is how it goes by city administration.Was this centre part of the deal with developers of condos and hotel, I think so.
3/13/2014 5:27:57 PM
Eastender says:
Hobbs obviously does not have a mind of his own, but parrots all the bull.... Commisso feeds him. You can see it in his expression, when he speaks. Its as if he has rehearsed evrything he says. Like a broken record.
3/15/2014 10:50:38 AM
sky high says:
Congratulations to our mayor Keith Hobbs for not caving in to a bunch of Cane Shaking (and by that I mean people who want to keep us in the dark ages...people of all ages) pothole lovers. Unlike these Cane Shakers, he actually cares about our city.
3/13/2014 5:46:14 PM
signman says:
All the taxpayers of Thunder Bay are asking for is a vote on Oct. 27 as promised. This is their city and their tax dollars. Mayor Hobbs promised a plebiscite on all big ticket items over $100 million dollars before he was elected mayor. Plan to attend the next big meeting the Taxpayers of Thunder Bay are holding on April 1 at the Da'Vinci Centre 7 pm! Have your say and voice your opinions!
3/13/2014 7:39:40 PM
sky high says:
There WILL be a plebiscite during the next municipal election. If you don't want an events centre, then vote for whomever runs against Hobbs and all the other councillors that support the events centre. There's your plebiscite, or potholeiscite if I may. It's so easy but all you pothole loves will do is sit on your backsides and hurl diatribes at public figures. Why am I starting to think that the whiners are the same ones who used to call the Rick Smith radio show and complain about dog poo on city streets until he hung up on you in disgust
3/14/2014 11:13:09 AM
Wolfie says:
Wow, thank you for uncovering this breaking news from two months ago for us.

3/13/2014 9:21:40 PM
or$en says:
it would be nice if it was self sustaining.
it wont be
my taxes go to things i use and things i dont ...thats how it goes.

we have big name entertainment busing thru here all the time, or flying on by.
thats the way it will stay.
as stated by others we cant fill the seats at a reasonable cost for those acts to stop here.

Winnipeg Minneapolis Toronto do, even Duluth can handle the cost of big names better than we can.
location location location .. says it all... but for entertainment unfortunately this is not the spot.

@Harvey P. $100.00 a seat is not unheard of for big name entertainment by any means. but that makes for at least a $300 night out for 2.
most wont/cant pay it.
so we will be left with has beens and up n comers.

cheap trick is coming .. wow no hits in 20 yrs .. is it even the same band as then.
Chicago .. great band but not "the" band, same story.
grand funk/bluesfest lead singer gone, same story.
sly and the family stone .. no sly

most cant afford the name brands
3/13/2014 8:14:10 PM
fastball says:
So basically, your message is to know our role and accept our place at the kiddies' table. Would you tell your daughter "I'm sorry, you might as well accept that you're not very smart, nor good looking - and you'll have to settle for the zit-face kid down the block and work at the convenience store for the rest of your life". Nice talk. Do any motivational speaking? Cheap Trick is a great live band and so are a lot of acts that are on the tour circuit these days. If bands like ZZ Top can play Cold Lake, AB and Kelowna, BC - then why not here? The reason why some acts don't stop here is that they can't make money by only selling 1200 seats at the Aud. and the Gardens is an acoustic nightmare. Sure, tickets can expensive - but people make financial choices all the time, depending on their budgets. Not everyone in this town works for minimum wage, or is "on a fixed pension". How about outdoor shows, travel shows, WWE, motocross, university sports, tournaments, etc? Why not us?
3/13/2014 8:47:30 PM
Eastender says:
Chicago concert, 20-25% empty seats. And you think you are going to fill the Events Centre?
3/14/2014 11:13:30 AM
tonytiger says:
Why are you saying ZZ Top never played here? They were just at our auditorium, a perfectly suitable venue for them, one which such bands vastly prefer to empty arena shows. So please don't continue misinforming people fastball. Geesh.
3/15/2014 5:31:53 PM
fastball says:
Sorry, bad example. I forgot that they played here.
I was Googling to see which bands were playing where this summer = just to see how many of them were bypassing us (for whatever reason). I noticed them playing in Cold Lake, which has 14K people - but a new Energy Center, which hosts a Junior B team and lots of events.
Good catch, though...I stand corrected.
3/15/2014 11:32:55 PM
tonytiger says:
Fastball, your decision to include cold lake as an example was not a good one. Seems Cold Lake only spent $6 million for their portion of arena construction, and they were able to snag ZZ Top, so why should we have to pay over $100 million for the same result that we had already from the Auditorium without an arena? Hmmm?
3/16/2014 1:33:01 AM
fastball says:
I'm sorry, did I miss the press release where it was announced that we are indeed paying 100M dollars for something?
I was merely citing examples of smaller cities to counter some arguments that "big" bands don't stop here because we're too small and out of the way. Forget I used ZZTop, alright? The name of the performer is not germane.
But plucking some arbitrary figure as 100M dollars out of thin air as our share of the build is also not a great example to use in any argument.
3/16/2014 2:55:01 PM
tonytiger says:
100 million? The city themselves used the total of $106 million tonight, with nary a mention of any private funding, and tax dollars are still tax dollars, no matter the federal, provincial or municipal level. It's still the public paying for something that should be funded 100% by private enterprise. If it's such a winning venture, why wouldn't they invest in it? We don't want to, but maybe they know something we don't. Let them put their money where their elected mouthpieces are.
3/18/2014 2:30:40 AM
smallmouth says:
Hey signman could it be that all of the concerned taxpayers concerns are about the events center not being built near the Da Vinci Centre or the Westfort Library?
3/13/2014 8:21:51 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Skyhigh (as in taxes)...what construction company do you own? This cane-shaker shtick is getting worn out...anything a bit more intelligent to add, or is that all you got?
3/13/2014 9:08:54 PM
sky high says:
Badger, at least I don't continually get facts wrong and then get made a fool of when someone points it out. I'll add this one more thing: your minority of about 3% will not shut this project down, no matter how loud the 100 of you scream and shout and thumbs up each other's comments. So you best just cover your ears and hide under your mattress if you don't want to hear that forward progress is being made. Have a nice day, I'll talk to you soon
3/14/2014 12:13:50 PM
Stephen says:
That was a cogent and well thought out article from the mayor. I respect him for sharing his thoughts in this media outlet, which is, however pathetic one might think it, the local journal of record.
As far as the new hockey rink goes, it will probably get built eventually, and, yes, the money people will make major bank. The question is, where to build it?
In a better world, it would be constucted in an economically depressed area that could use a bit of new infrastucture. I was going down Simpson St. today....
3/13/2014 9:26:28 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
What a joke!
3/14/2014 12:01:00 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
Let the Winnipeg Jets pay for the arena then??

Seems Thunder Bay can't afford to build it with the way things are crumbling around us...but hey, seems it's already too late & the Thunder Bay folk are on the hook for this unwanted arena, especially @ the marina location!

I now understand why it's been pushed on us so much now...
3/14/2014 6:02:44 AM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Points of concerns and differences ?

1. Given the differences between a city charity casino and the one we have now, why have we not considered the differences between the markets between a hockey areana, and a convention hall ?

2. Given the historic focuses on 'build it and they will come' and 'a central location', why did we build a court house in a downtown, the furthers away from the current court house on COURT STREET ?

3. Given the historic lack of concern for community concerns over the conflict of use on the city waterfront, from parkland to mini Victoriaville, what will make citizen input different on this project ?

4. Why does the 'state of the art' hospital, lack many state of the art equipment needs ?

5. How did a city wide bike path for personal enjoyment and quality of life, become a complicated half completed bike lane system on busy streets ?

6. What happened to the University study and its concerns for high taxes ?

7. How do we rationalize logic?
3/14/2014 6:13:29 AM
nvjgu says:
Shure he said no, The farm team has already said there moveing here. I will give them three yr's or less. There will be no support. This is a twenty dollar an hour town.
3/14/2014 7:04:19 AM
jpm1953 says:
This forum regularly restricts comments they deem not worthy but depending on the topic they permit an endless rants that don't even have the slightest merit.Who is monitoring the monitor here?
3/14/2014 9:01:18 AM
countryboy123 says:
It irks me that Hobbs continues to call it a proposed "events and convention centre". It might be an events centre (if built) but it would NEVER be a real convention centre. We simply don't have the airport capacity like Toronto does to can bring in thousands of people on one day for a convention.
If he has not figured this one out already it just goes to show his lack of good judgement. However, he probably does know this and is just trying to put a more positive economic spin on his fairytale.
Keep in mind that if Dictator Hobbs does change his mind again and allows for this question on the ballot at least 50% of the registered voters must vote in order for it to be binding on council.
3/14/2014 9:18:33 AM
hughie says:
would have never thought Iranian style politics would be emulated here in thunder bay. mayor hobbs is a puppet just like the Iranian president is a puppet. The supreme leader and council of guardians call the shots in iran. No different here in thunder bay, commisso and city administration call the shots. in both regards, there is a total disregard for the wishes of the people.
3/14/2014 9:46:12 AM
TBay Girl 46 says:
Iran? Are you seriously comparing the building of an event centre to Iranian politics. Good Grief people - find something worthwhile to complain about.
3/14/2014 10:38:21 AM
joepublic says:
Very simple. Vote out any Mayor or Council member who does not want to let the public weigh in on a official vote.

These are suppose to be smart people? How about one of the following question:

Should the City go in debt to build an Event Centre? Yes or no

If the city does build an event centre where should it be located: a)Innova Park b) Marina area

Enough with the back door deals, making bad decisions, legal obligations that all result in the tax payer being stuck with another bill.
3/14/2014 10:55:10 AM
fastball says:
So what exactly is the main issue here? Is it the cost?
Or (just a wild guess here) is it the location?

Honestly, the Innova people should just get over it. The location is a done and dusted issue. Should we not worry more about the cost than driving/walking an extra few minutes?

3/14/2014 11:40:00 AM
animiki says:
It might be worth pointing out that there will, in fact, be a plebiscite--the election itself. Whether you are for or against this facility, make sure you attend one or more public meetings during the election campaign, and specifically ask those running their position on this center. Make sure that information gets out into the community. Then, base your own vote on the results.

Now, this is only one issue. There are obviously others, but if there's sufficient support one way or the other, the vote should tell and make the "wishes of the people" clear. Just be prepared for a result that reflects the whole range of issues being brought forward.

Nonetheless, this is obviously one important to a lot of people, so it will probably carry as much weight as any other single issue, if not more.

TL;DR - Get out and vote.
3/14/2014 11:14:56 AM
reese says:
The rest of the story
Liberty is a well armed lamb
3/14/2014 1:01:39 PM
Rach M says:

Some useful information for anyone who wants to read more than opinions and angry comments about the event centre.
3/14/2014 1:22:13 PM
chezhank says:
Hobbs and his cabal should not be allowed to dictate to the people of Thunder Bay....even the Crimea is urging people to vote in a referendum on Sunday to decide fairly and freely their future. There will be six deputations Monday Night at city council asking that a question be put on the ballot for the event centre. Please go and support these individuals.... meeting starts at 6:30pm. Your support is needed. henry wojak mayor in waiting
3/14/2014 1:30:20 PM
fastball says:
Seriously, Henry? You're actually comparing a sovereign nation being invaded and ripped in two, with the world superpowers potentially coming to loggerheads - and 100 or so people asking for a vote on a building potential being built in TBay. You don't think there's just the teensiest bit of difference there?
That's your problem, Mr. Mayor-in-his-mind - you're too heavy-handed on the drama. You have no sense of proportion. You invoke mountains when all we're talking is molehills. You use a trowel when all you need is a butter knife.
Ease up on the drama.

3/14/2014 3:31:43 PM
Wolfie says:
Disgusting comparison, Mr. Wojak.
3/14/2014 7:31:05 PM
chezhank says:
Why,Crimea voted for Independence.
3/15/2014 1:49:21 AM
fastball says:
You should just stop. Just back away.
Stop right now while you're merely CONSIDERED an buffoon. Continuing to publicly display your intellect and judgement only serves to confirm it.
3/15/2014 9:23:22 AM
Eastender says:
How is it you feel justified in labelling Mr Wojak a buffoon, from the safety of your keyboard, and anonimity. If you want to call somebody a buffoon, why dont you put your name on your post and stop being a weasel.
3/15/2014 7:10:05 PM
fastball says:
In my occasional moments of self doubt and introspection, when I wonder if I'm being unduly harsh on good old Chezhank - I just have to go over some of his posts, and then I don't feel so bad.
3/16/2014 9:47:15 AM
mercy mercy me says:
me thinks hobbs protest too much....'you gotta know when to fold'em, know when to hold'en, know when to walk away, know when to run'....don't shoot the messenger
3/14/2014 4:53:18 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
In the 1996 or 1998 election I suggested a convention multi-plex.

Why ?

It would bring in many 'tourists' who had to attend the conference, the convention.

Why ?

Here is the difference.

A hockey game at the Gardens, can hold up to 5,000 people. Only a very few would need overnight accommodations at a local hotel and food; the market is mostly ALL locals.

A convention could attract 1,000 to 5,000 people. Conventions are provincial, national or international meetings help by companies, trade shows, etc. Of the 1,000 to 5,000 people attending MOST ALL would need accommodations and food. We would need thousands of hotel spaces.

Currently the city does not engage in this business.

Currently the major hotels do, the Valhalla, the Airlane, the Victoria Inn.

If the city entered this market the convention hall could take away business from the private sector, as in for the convention, and the hotels would not have the space.

Conventions are a long term project.
3/15/2014 8:02:38 PM
fastball says:
I'm trying to figure out your point here. Are you saying there's not enough hotel rooms in town? Surely you jest.
You must be aware that there is a large 150-room Delta going into the Marina area...which is right next door to the Prince Arthur - combined with a new Marriott in the Intercity area, along with a new Comfort Inn by the hospital and a new Day's Inn by Montana's? And those are just new "new" ones.
3/16/2014 2:45:31 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Thinking outside the box and the current options...?

I recall when I ran in the 1996 or 1998 election, being asked where the new hospital was to be built...on the site of the Port Arthur General or the site of the McKellar.

I suggested that we keep both hospitals. That we expand on the Port Arthur site, the cancer centre was already there, so was the helicopter pad, and we keep McKellar Hospital as a smaller second hospital.

So again today, where do we build 'this structure' based on the Innova Park, or downtown Port Arthur.

Well first of all we really don't need another Garden to be rebuilt. We need a new expanded convention hall exhibition center. It seems the current Lakehead Exhibition Site was where such a project originally had been developed. This site should be given some thought, although it is already congested with developments like THE DOME.

However another new intercity, site, one where there is lots of land for expansion should be considered.
3/16/2014 1:18:52 PM
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