To the editor:
Mayor Keith Hobbs, I'm stunned by the extent of your arrogance in regard to the building of an Events Centre here in Thunder Bay and, more specifically, a recent comment you made pitting seniors against youth in an attempt to explain any opposition to this project.
Much like your commentary about 'fear-mongering', this remark was, to say the least, insulting, inflammatory, unenlightened, condescending and divisive.
And if this is your position Mr. Hobbs, I seriously question if you are up to the job of mayor in this community.
As an elected official, one should remain fair and, at minimum, respectful but your seditious rhetoric and inexplicable (even unreasonable) unwillingness to listen objectively to all arguments in this matter to date border on partisan bullying and is highly suspicious in my view.
Is this really about wanting what's best for Thunder Bay, or is it more about ego and the flexing of influential muscle to satisfy some other, more hidden agenda?
I don't ask this question lightly.
So far you, and others who support this initiative, have deliberately ignored very compelling and reasonable arguments against it and I have to ask myself why. You hear them, but you're not listening.
Why do you continue to so fervently dismiss the idea of a plebiscite which is what most residents want? Unlike random surveys and public meetings, a plebiscite is far more inclusive, would cost nothing and would settle the matter once and for all.
Your failure to provide a 'reasonable' explanation for denying us our right in this regard begs the question, what are you afraid of?
Also, why the urgency to get this facility in place? Who is it really being built for? And why the need to ram the Water Street location down our throats when it is more than evident that this is not where the majority of residents, even those who support the project, want it to be.
The simple truth is, even those opposed to it would probably very much like to see a facility of this nature built here someday - I know I would. Just not right now.
We simply can't afford it.
And your attempts to allay our concerns by constantly reminding us that we are nowhere near shovel-ready as financing and other relevant considerations are still a distant reality is ineffective when, at the same time, you and your supporters continue to spend obscene amounts of taxpayers' money as you stubbornly forge ahead with plans to make it a reality with, or without, the approval of the general population.
In further efforts to appease the public, you claim that appropriate funds are also being simultaneously invested in our infrastructure and we applaud you for that.
The problem is, it's altogether too little too late since efforts to put the city's crumbling house back in order should have been happening all along, and certainly long before investing in lavish home theatre systems and the like.
In my opinion, Mayor Hobbs, your provocative and desperate diatribes on television and in the newspaper of late only serve to raise more questions and concerns than you have provided satisfactory answers for.
More to the point, if you are considering running for re-election, but continue to disrespect the public-at-large and ignore the voices of reason, you (along with many councillors) may find yourself sitting on the sidelines come Fall.