THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay’s Young Professionals Network, continues to support the investigation into the feasibility of an Event Centre. For the project to be viable, SHIFT and its membership understand that there must be a net economic benefit to our local economy and a sound business plan must be created to demonstrate financial stability. As the next generation of Thunder Bay, SHIFT understands the decisions made today will have a lasting effect on us in the future and thus we feel a comprehensive evaluation must be completed before a decision of such magnitude can be made. After polling our membership and analyzing the feedback, our stance is that SHIFT is encouraged by the process the City of Thunder Bay has taken, but understand there is a great deal of due diligence required before initiating construction.
Shift President Nathan Lawrence states, “Any significant infrastructure investment requires adequate due diligence and I applaud the City of Thunder Bay for taking the necessary steps to properly investigate the ins and outs of this project by way of the recently approved feasibility study. Regardless of the nature of any infrastructure investment, I challenge our City Council to ensure that they are leveraging our community tax dollars in a way that will help to generate a larger tax base, provide greater opportunities for business investment and provide a long term quality of life benefit to the citizen of Thunder Bay”.
“It is important that the City listens to everyone’s view points when looking at the feasibility of a project such as the Event Centre. As community members we too should all be open to respectfully listening to the view points of others and to always allow our fellow community members the opportunity to share their thoughts openly. It disappoints me when I hear that community members were treated in a disrespectful way when trying to share their opinions about the Event Centre at tonight’s public consultation hosted by the group ‘The Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay'”.
“I am very disappointed by members of that group who heckled some of the individuals that simply wanted to speak in support of the project. Everyone should have the opportunity to share their thoughts…that’s what having an open discussion is all about,” commented Lawrence.
A fundamental goal of SHIFT is to encourage young professionals to make Thunder Bay their home.
“We have elected our City Council to make an informed decision on our behalf and that’s what I fully expect them to do as our elected officials,” continued Lawrence. “In a number of months, we will have our opportunity to hold our community officials accountable full their decisions at the next election when our community once again casts their votes. Until then, I congratulate our current Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Council Members for all of the work they do to make our community strong. No community is prefect, but with strong community engagement, smart investments, and a lot of hard work, we will continue to make Thunder Bay an even strong community day by day”.
In a media statement SHIFT states, “In order to accomplish this, the City needs to offer economic benefits and a high quality of life to attract and retain talent. With a keystone facility such as the proposed Event Centre, SHIFT feels confident that our great City will be able to boast of a high quality of life, something that is difficult to quantify in a business plan. By having young professionals relocate to Thunder Bay, the City will continue to grow with the changing demographic as well as have an influx of new knowledge, experience and views. New ideas and points of view will continue to make Thunder Bay a dynamic city to live”.
SHIFT is excited about the prospect of having an Event Centre, but advocate for economic viability and continued public consultation on this topic. SHIFT will continue to be the voice of Thunder Bay’s young professionals by being actively engaged in discussions and advocating on their behalf.