“I’m a fighter, I don’t like giving up” – Hobbs
THUNDER BAY – Mayor Hobbs is looking to find ways to build the Thunder Bay Event Centre. Looking at the decision to deny federal funding for the proposed plan, Hobbs says “I’m not going to pull and punches, I think it is from the Prime Minister’s office”.
Hobbs states that Minister Greg Rickford has been a part of putting this project forward along with the city and the provincial government.
“First and foremost, we wish to acknowledge that Minister Rickford works extremely hard for Thunder Bay and the entire Region of Northwestern Ontario,” states the Mayor.
Thunder Bay Event Centre Funding
“As well, we understand there are rules for any funding. The City was asking for leeway in interpreting the eligibility criteria to allow for funding of the Convention Centre component only”.
Hobbs states, “TBECC is an important project for the City and the proposed facility was acknowledged as a strategic downtown revitalization initiative and investment in regional economic development when the other orders of government supported the planning stages”.
“We are disappointed that a viable proposal for an integrated facility has been denied”, stated Hobbs. “We have never asked for Federal funding for an arena and that was made clear to the Federal Government from day one until most recently”.
“It was always for the Convention Centre component, which we were able to clearly delineate, and we always proposed a single integrated facility under one roof. Requiring a northern City like Thunder Bay to construct two separate buildings just doesn’t make sense from a financial and economic perspective.”
This matter will come back to Council’s April 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting with an update.