To the editor:
I actually allowed myself to believe that Thunder Bay had changed. After years of back and forth, with increasing costs of the soccer-plex as a result of delays by previous councils, I had hoped we had finally elected a council with the courage to move this city forward. But once again at the last minute, two more councillors who had supported the project all along have a change of heart. I have to wonder why?
Initially, there was a 9-4 vote in favour, a pretty overwhelming display of support for the new facility. Those nine votes included Couns. Brian McKinnon and Peng You who bailed because they said they needed another 90 days to think about it.
Could other political aspirations have played a role? Even with those two gone, the project would still move forward with a 7-6 vote in favour including Couns. Kristen Oliver and Albert Aiello. The project was a go but then the unthinkable but typical Thunder Bay thing happened.
Oliver and her moral compass had a change of heart. She could no longer bring herself to support the project because it came in over budget, not unusual for projects of this size. The puzzling part for me is that Oliver previously supported spending about $40 million to include tennis. I don’t understand why she could support that expenditure but not a few million less for soccer.
With Aiello, his position was even more difficult to understand. All along, his support included statements that the cost for the average taxpayer was only going to be $20 a year. Well the new cost estimate may have raised that cost to $22.50 a year. It appears that 20 cents a month more for taxpayers was the breaking point for Aiello. So what exactly changed for these two councillors or perhaps a better question; who changed these two councillors?
Congratulations, Thunder Bay. No new hockey rink after years of work and now no turf facility. Unfortunately the same old story for this city. It is no wonder things never change