Good day, council
As a resident, homeowner and businessman in Thunder Bay for the past 11 years, I write today to express some thoughts with regards to recent decisions taken by council and the need for council to be more intentional in their deliberations.
I have followed the debates and arguments pro and con for the indoor turf facility. It is notable to me the shifting landscape upon which many of these arguments are laid. To listen to some of you, I hear your version of fact change depending on the day or whom you are interviewing with. What I have never heard is actual empirical data supporting the pro side of this equation other than those who have a vested interest in this project.
What should be at the forefront of council's thoughts, words and actions are the hardships the people of Thunder Bay are currently experiencing as a result of the pandemic which has laid waste the very thought of normalcy. businesses shuttering their doors and many losing their means of providing basic survival needs which have become a day-by-day struggle. The people look to those elected to provide at the very least a sign that council is working for the people of Thunder Bay to address the challenges and give hope of better days.
Instead, turf facilities, big neon signs, round-a-bouts dominate the policy and direction of this council. Council promotes projects that are best left for a time when the people are prospering or at the very least, not starving or living hand-to-mouth week after week. This should be the objective of council; to steward the city in such a manner as to place a measure of hope that things can return to a place of normalcy once again.
A few years back under the previous council, a request for $3 million to add onto and renovate the existing police station was made. That council was obsessed with the “Event Centre” and the inadequate conditions at the police station were relegated to a banker's box in the file room it would seem. Now some years later, the issue comes back before council, but this time speaking of the need for an entirely new building at a cost in the ballpark of what’s proposed for the indoor turf facility.
Thunder Bay’s need for effective police services is, without doubt, a key core element to any cities survival and prosperity and should be a priority for council with the same vigor and intent many have shown for the indoor turf facility which is not a core element to this city.
Respectfully, it is time for council to invest in the core projects of Thunder Bay and not those that serve just a handful.
K.D. (Tom) Thompson,