THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay City Administration recommended pulling city assets out of Youth Centres Thunder Bay tonight at City Council. Youth TBay was the vehicle for an 18 month pilot project and the centre is seeking to move forward and continue operations. Miss Bailey speaking for Recreation and Culture was seeking to pull city assets out of the centre which in effect would have crippled the centre.
Youth Tbay was looking for $25k in interim funding from the City to continue operations.
City Council in a City Council heard from Administration on Youth Centres and in a unanimous vote shot down Administration.
Andrew Foulds proposed funding the youth centre, located in the Chapple Building in Victoriaville in the downtown Fort William Business District. Foulds moved an amendment seconded by Westfort Councillor Virdiramo.
Foulds stated, “This youth centre is important. To not fund the organization, the board would be focused on fundraising and not on youth programs”.
The elimination of equipment would be devastating, there is enthusiasm of both the Board and the Youth Board.
Mayor Hobbs had two questions, he wanted a “Yes or No answer to”.
Hobbs asked if the pilot project was a success. Miss Bailey from Administration said yes. The Mayor then asked, “Have we looked for other private partners?”.
Administration stated that since the pilot project ended, they have not.
Through the Council’s questioning of Administration, it appeared that Council’s direction to Administration had not been followed to the degree Council wanted done. Administration seemed to feel that the hard work of volunteers and the board at the Youth Centre was not likely to offer long-term sustainability. That view was not supported by Council.
Councillor Ken Boshcoff said, “These youth are not fundraisers, but they have been working and raising the funds to keep the centre open”.
“There are the makings of success here”.
Councillor Paul Pugh stated, “We have not done that much with youth when all is said and done. This amendment does go to a youth centre that is very much needed.”
Pugh added, “With all respect to the author of this report, Evergreen is not doing what these youth need. This centre is doing what the youth need. This amendment is worthy”.
Councillor Virdiramo stated that “I have never seen so much work done. This is the tenth anniversary of the Youth Charter, and to send this message to the youth in our city would be wrong.”
City Manager Tim Commisso stated that the current model that Youth TBay is offering is different from what the city started with.
Councillor Johnson offered support and asked why Administration has not put the Youth Services Committee together after over a year since the previous committee ended its service.
The vote, a strong endorsement from Council for Youth TBay and the youth in our city, will require the Culture and Recreation Department to find the additional $25,000 to support the direction that City Council has put before them.
Council sought answers from Admin.