Andrew Foulds Current River Ward update

Thunder Bay City Hall Andrew Foulds Current River

Andrew Foulds Current River Ward Update
Andrew Foulds

THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Dear Current River Ward Residents, 

It continues to be a privilege to represent you at City Hall.  I listen carefully and I am very appreciative of all the feedback and comments you forward to me.  Please feel free to contact me at any time with any of your concerns. 

Andrew Foulds Current River Ward Update

I would like to inform you of two items.  The first is perhaps the most critical issue facing the city and the region: The potential loss of the Thunder Bay Generating Station. 

Once again we have a southern Ontario based organization that is making decisions on what we need without understanding the realities of this city and region. The Energy Task Force, co-chaired by my colleagues Iain Angus and Larry Hebert have been doing their best to educate those decision makers. It was their initiative, supported by the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and the City of Thunder Bay that brought Minister Bentley and the Ontario Power Authority to the City a couple of weeks ago.  This was the first time the OPA has shared their projections with people in the Northwest in spite of being asked to do so time and time again and according to those in attendance the OPA is drastically underestimating the amount of electricity we will need to connect all of the new mines to the grid. At the same time they are also over estimating the amount of electricity that can be produced or brought into the region.

What is at risk here is not just the property taxes paid by OPG for the generating station or the 100 or so jobs at the plant – and both of those are important to this community – what is really at risk is our ability to take advantage of the billions of dollars in mineral wealth in our ground here in the Northwest in order to create over 14,000 good paying jobs across the region.  If the companies who are planning to open these mines are not assured of having the electricity they need when they are ready to start, they will take their money elsewhere and all of us will lose out.  We can’t let that happen.

I know my colleagues and I on Council will do what we can to make sure we keep the Generating Station operating. You need to make your voices heard as well.  Write to the new Premier and tell whoever occupies positions of importance to make sure we have all the power we need in the Northwest so that we can share in the prosperity of the province. 

The second issue is the upcoming municipal budget.  The following are key dates and the  2013 Budget Calendar: 

 

2013Calendar

Budget Package (Operating and Capital) delivered to City Council, including tax facts sheet

Jan 31, 2013

Community Handbook & Budget Available on Web

Feb 1, 2013

Informal Question and Answer Session with Council (Operating and Capital)

Feb 5, 2013

1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Long Term Financial Overview

Feb 5, 2013

5:30 p.m. start

Public Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting

Feb 5, 2013

Immediately following Financial Overview

Council Review and Approval of Rate Supported Budget  (Operating and Capital)

Feb 5, 2013

Immediately following Pre-Budget Consultation

Council Review and Approval of Tax Supported Budget  (Operating and Capital)

Feb 6 & 12, 2013

Feb 13, 2013 (if required)

5:30 p.m. start

Ratification by City Council

March 4, 2013

Special City Council

Please get involved in the budget process.  I want and Council wants to hear from you.  This is the most important task that Council does.  

In closing, I would like to wish the North End Recreation Centre and the Current River Recreation Centre all the best in their respective winter festivals.  The February Freeze at North End takes place Sunday, February 3.  The Current River Winter Carnival takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday February 8 to10 th, with events during both the day and evening.  These types of events don’t just happen, it takes many volunteers and hundreds of hours.  Thank you to all those volunteers who have worked so hard making the Current River Ward a better place to live, work and play!

Andrew Foulds

Councillor, Current River Ward 

If you have any comments or concerns please do hesitate to contact me at 766-9914, or  via email at afoulds@thunderbay.ca, or www.thunderbay.ca