THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – If all funding is in place and it is clear we as a community can move forward with this initiative, I am supportive of the Event Centre, however it cannot move forward at ANY cost. It must be clear that we as a community can afford it without an additional burden to the taxpayer to pay for it. The important decision will have to be made that will clearly depend on what the Provincial and Federal contributions will be towards the capital build (right now the general rule is 1/3-1/3-1/3); and more importantly how we can offset the over $1million dollars operating loss each year to run the Centre.
City Administration, through direction of Council, must continue to do their due diligence to look at the opportunities to find additional cost savings in our overall city operating expenses to run the city (ensuring the necessary services required by our citizens are still in place); and to find and develop other revenue generating opportunities to balance the operating loss (example: a clear focused strategy to attract serious investment opportunities to our community to create jobs and growth that will increase our tax base).
This is the work that needs to be done in parallel with the Event Centre initiative. It is simply not a ‘build it and they will come’ initiative – a clear focused strategy of attracting investment and growth must allow for other initiatives to be developed to enhance the opportunities presented by the building of a world class Event Centre. The Event Centre should be considered as just one ingredient in an overall strategy of economic development growth for our community.
Our younger demographics in our City are eager for growth opportunities economically and are in favour, for the most part, that this Event Centre can be a catalyst for growth. We just have to make sure we are doing the right thing in the best interest of our community. I am optimistic we can make the right decisions together and create a prosperous future for our youth with their support, hard work and determination. A community we ALL can be proud-of and enjoy a quality of life second to none.
I have reviewed the information in the Phase 3 report and attended the presentations at the Open House on September 24th and I am comfortable that the appropriate due diligence has and is being done to provide citizens and decision makers with sufficient information to move forward to Phase 4 with funding requests to the Federal and Provincial government for their joint contribution of two-thirds of the capital cost.
Candidate, Councillor at Large