THUNDER BAY – Syed Kabir says Thunder Bay may be more vulnerable than it’s been in years.
The pandemic highlighted the fragility of the economy and as the city moves forward, Kabir believes more emphasis needs to be placed on economic growth, protecting, sustaining and building Thunder Bay’s infrastructure and improving the quality of life for all who live here.
As a first-time candidate, running to succeed Shelby Ch’ng in the Northwood Ward, Kabir wants to bring a Masters of Business Administration approach to city hall to help the city attract new business, while also creating an environment the allows existing businesses to thrive and grow.
“The reason I’m running is I feel the system is not running in Thunder Bay,” said Kabir, a former sales manager at the Chronicle Journal, a past president of SHIFT, Thunder Bay’s Young Professionals Network, the creator of Creon Media and the general manager at the Italian Cultural Centre.
“I have been here for almost eight years and I’m raising my two kids. I went to school here, I started my own business here. I truly believe there was a lot we could have done … but at this point people are still sleeping on the streets. The crime rates are high and I also feel like our tax dollars are not being utilized properly.”
Kabir added a new approach and a new strategy is required for solve these issues.
“We can’t solve the same problem with the same strategy in place. We have to come up with something new. The world is changing every day. We have to adopt new technologies.”
Northwood voters are facing a bevy of issues over the next four years, and Kabir said infrastructure woes is the one that comes to the forefront when he’s talking to residents in the area.
“I live by the river, and whenever it floods, my neighbours are scared,” Kabir said.
“It has been an ongoing issue for residents.”
Kabir is on board for an indoor turf facility, which as proposed by the city would be built at Chapples Park, but it also has to fit the city’s finances.
At the moment, it doesn’t, he said.
“We don’t have the budget or the money to spend on it. I think we should partner with some private company or find some other way, but not spend money on it.”
Should he be elected, Kabir promised to ensure Northwood gets a little more love and attention around the city council table.
“That’s why part of my platform is to have a fair allocation of the tax dollars allocated for Northwood so we can have infrastructure, the roads and streets and other kinds of things so we can improve those things,” Kabir said.