THUNDER BAY – Monday night’s city council meeting was full of political decisions and unnecessary banter. Starting with way to much discussion over a 40 thousand dollar request from Fort William First Nation, grand standing was on full display.
The proposal was for funds to develop a feasibility study for a re-creation of the historic Mission Village on the Kam River. What I find funny about this specific situation is how most of the Councillors who spoke, asked about other sources of funding and were very cautious. Why be cautious about 40k when you hardly hesitated when asked by the Indian Friendship Centre for 2.5 Million and an additional 350K per year?
Then we had about 2 hours of debate or a proposal from Habib Architecture that calls for an aggressive reinvention of the South Down Town. Again a fairly straight forward situation, it was just an idea that a local business man wanted to bring to council, he didn’t ask for money or do anything other than put it out there. No decision was to be made and yet hours of discussion including several questions about why this wasn’t presented to the Fort William BIA. (FYI it was and Mr Habib mentioned it several times) Again certain Councillors wanted to make noise and get some face time.
Then we buckled in for about 2 more hours of debate over debt financing where again, almost all Councillors raised their concerns about whether or not we can afford this. What I find troubling is how certain Councillors make decisions only for good optics; they are working towards re-election and think the general population doesn’t see through it. If you blinding jump into a proposed 2.5 million dollar expenditure like the youth centre but make a show over a 40K proposal, our intelligent citizens of Thunder Bay are going to raise an eyebrow or two.
It really is time we expect more from our City Council, we aren’t stupid and it’s time we are treated properly. Most of us know that political decision making serves only the few people looking to collect extra votes for re-election. With the Budget Process starting Tuesday night, lets demand transparency and respect.
Candidate – MacIntyre Ward
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