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City seeks public input on program and service review

Public will have one month to provide comment on report, which calls for the closure or sale of a number of facilities, including Port Arthur Stadium, golf courses and the Conservatory.
Thunder Bay city hall. (FILE)

THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay has opened a month-long comment period for the public to provide input on its controversial program and service review report.

The report recommending closing the Centennial Conservatory and put a number of other city owned facilities on the chopping block, including Strathcona and Chapples golf courses and Port Arthur Stadium.

Prepared by Grant Thornton and presented to council on June 22, the Phase 2 report also made recommendations to close Boulevard Lake Beach and the Jumbo Gardens Community Centre and a review of services and fees at the Canada Games Complex. It also provides possible guidance on infrastructure spending and priorities.

“This review is an opportunity for the new city council to gain a better understanding of the programs and services delivered by the city,” said Mayor Bill Mauro, in a release issued late on Tuesday afternoon, the day before Canada Day holiday.

“It also gives us the prospect of looking for any efficiencies and increasing our effectiveness, with the added bonus of having the majority of the review costs covered through provincial funding. We need to be adaptable, looking at what we’re doing now, and what we need to be doing into the future. This Report gives us more information to help us make strategic choices and we want residents to have a voice in this process.”

Neebing Coun. Cody Fraser said he expects some of his colleagues will bring forth motions to make some of the cuts at budget time, which will then be discussed around the council table.

He added he's more than willing to talk with anyone who has any concerns with the report or anyone in support of the recommendations contained within.

"Anyone can reach out to me and comment to me any time on anything. I’ve received lots so far. Calling for public comment is making things more accessible and will encourage people to comment," Fraser said on Tuesday night. 

The public comment period will be open until July 31. To comment, visit

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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