Council at its best, and most combative during last night’s meeting

THUNDER BAY – Watching City Council last night was to witness the Council Chambers at their best, and in many ways at their most combative. The best was a decision by Council to support the efforts of Evergreen – A United Neighbourhood. The group which has taken on the task of making the Ogden area of Thunder Bay a better place received complete support last night in its continuing efforts. Council voted to support the Evergreen effort, spearheaded by Linda Bruins to takeover their new headquarters.

That building, formerly the headquarters of the Hell’s Angels is now set to become a focal point for the area’s young people and serve as a beacon for the community. Councillor Paul Pugh speaking during debate, on this project, said it is a project that “deseves the full support of Council”.

Mayor Hobbs commented it will be a pleasure not to need a warrant to enter the building.

There was also a hint of controversy during the Evergreen debate. Councillor Aldo Ruberto was asking of Mark Smith if there were a way that the City could refund or rebate the $1,800 application fee. The issue raised by Ruberto was not directly on track, a matter that Mayor Hobbs, chairing the Committee of the Whole moved to address.

However Councillor Trevor Giertuga jumped in demanding that Ruberto move on. “Lets have some decorum here,” stated the Mayor.

It was not the only time Councillor Giertuga shifted to fiesty. Later in the evening, as a citizen, Henry Wojak, was addressing Council, Giertuga was in the chair for that portion of the meeting.

Giertuga told Wojak, who was speaking in opposition to a motion to allow a deer hunt within Thunder Bay City Limits, his time was up. Wojak continued speaking. That led to Giertuga seeking Wojak to be ejected from the Council Chambers after he called the Councillor a curse word. The initial task fell to Deputy Chief of Police Hay. Wojak ended up tossing curses and rude gestures at Council as he was ejected.

To be clear, the actions of the speaker, leading to his ejection, were over the top. There is not the place in a Council Chamber for that kind of behavior toward Council or Administration.

The resolution to allow for a controlled deer hunt to help cull the growing deer population passed by a 10-3 vote.