Thunder Bay ‘Not a place to be a citizen’?

Patricia and David. Photographer David Bresolin says,
Patricia and David. Photographer David Bresolin says, "I call this picture 'Dreams Do Come True' ".

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THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Thunder Bay was punched by sometime comedian Lewis Black from the Daily Show who was on MSNBC. Black explained how the one place in Canada that he would not want to be a citizen is Thunder Bay. “Thunder Bay is nice, but its not a place you would want to be a citizen of Canada that you would want to live in”. The comment comes three minutes into the interview.

On one hand the commentary demonstrates that our city is gaining an even growing reach. That could be considered as positive. At least we are known… however notoriety is not the same as fame. On the other hand, it shows how our city is getting out there with commentary that is less than flattering. 

Thunder Bay City Hall Sounds
City Hall Sounds features food, music, and great people all working toward a goal of building a better Thunder Bay

While it is easy as a resident to be frustrated when our city gets slammed, it is also realistic to realize it is important that we don’t lose sight of the goal of continuing to improve.

Yesterday, there was another amazing event at City Hall. City Hall Sounds featured music from a great trio.

Our Mayor has Gone Crazy?

However heading to City Hall on Tuesday, one of our city’s seniors, from her electric wheel chair stopped me on Brodie Street to express that ‘Our Mayor has gone crazy’. 

The reason, he was allowing Aboriginal and Black people to be at City Hall. The terms this woman used were right out of the depths of racial prejudice and hate. I would have invited her to join me in the 21st Century but feared that the leap from where she currently is would be a step way too far. The only point that a rational person could make from the woman’s comment was about a bar in the area that has her scared to be on the streets. 

The efforts of many to make our community a better place are ongoing. It takes all levels of government, and it takes full co-operation from government agencies, the Fort William Business Improvement Area (BIA). It takes co-operation and real effort from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO). The AGCO appears to be either a non-entity in Northwestern Ontario, or a determined failure. It would, in my opinion, be difficult to see the hyper expensive agency as anything but a non-entity.

The Fort William Street Fair is coming. Work is ongoing to make this annual event a success. It appears that some in the area have taken almost every summer night to be a ‘street fair’. Fights, drinking in the streets, and smashed bottles, windows, and empty business store fronts are far too frequent.

Fort William
Street parties and alcohol containers are found all over downtown Fort William.

 The Alcohol and Gaming Commission is supposed to have in place mitigation plans and programs from businesses it licences. Business owners in the area in the downtown don’t see the results of any mitigation program, they see smashed windows, and an environment that drives away customers. 

Change across so many areas of Thunder Bay are ongoing. There is a lot of work that goes into Riverfest and the Fort William Street Fair. That hard work is not assisted when conditions are not safe in the minds of local residents. 

Thunder Bay Police offer foot patrols during the work day, but those end at 5PM. Perhaps the quick solution would be for patrols into the evening, along with opening a community police outpost in Victoriaville right on Brodie Street and Victoria. Ensuring that there is less street drinking, fewer broken windows and less crime would be the obvious result.

Fort William Business District Street Fair
Kettle Korn is a Thunder Bay, well, heck an everywhere favourite!

The level of effort across the lines in Thunder Bay will help make sure that our amazing community continues to grow and to prosper.


One of the areas that top the ‘hit parade’ for Thunder Bay Police are the numbers of alcohol related calls for service. Yesterday’s figures from Crime Report show that there were 121 ‘Quality of Life’ calls in this reporting period. The number of domestic disputes, assaults, and other crimes that come about because of the numbers of people unable to handle alcohol in a responsible manner are costing our community huge dollars.

It is time for more action, and fewer words.

Thunder Bay is way better than this.

James Murray

Thunder Bay Crime Report
The Crime Report demonstrates the problems our city faces. Alcohol fuelled crime is a major area for Thunder Bay Police


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