Thunder Bay has a Choice Right Now
THUNDER BAY – For many, the decision announced on Monday that the Thunder Bay Event Centre is likely to be shelved is cause for celebration. For others it is cause for concern.
Perhaps it is an opportunity.
Over the years in Thunder Bay, from Victoriaville, the Community Auditorium, The Waterfront, and the Event Centre, one of the constants has been division in our community.
Generating unity in our city is often far more difficult than it should be.
Perhaps it is from how the City of Thunder Bay formed. The two very competitive cities of Port Arthur and Fort William brought together as Thunder Bay have always been a source of division.
What we need to do is start putting our amazing volunteer base and our well-founded reputation for being a city with a giant heart together with the goal of planning our future.
Right now, we as residents, from one side of the city to the other, from infant to Mayor need to start working to make Thunder Bay a stronger and more unified community.
Now is the time to look at what we really want our city to be like in the future.
Right now we have racism rearing its ugly head across the community.
We are seeing, as the snow melts the impact in our city of addiction. Hair spray containers, hand sanitizer containers, mouthwash bottles and syringes litter the downtown core.
The need for addiction treatment facilities in our city is obvious. Bluntly put we can talk all we want about building a better future, but Thunder Bay will only ever be as strong as our weakest residents.
Setting a goal to become a better community means we need to focus on reduction with a long-term goal of elimination of addiction in our city.
Healthcare is certainly an issue in our city. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is a great facility, but it is far too often full, and far too often in gridlock.
We have a Medical School, and we have a shortage of doctors in our community and region. People looking for preventive healthcare or a check-up often have a hard time finding a doctor.
Setting a goal of expanding the availability of healthcare in our community should be a goal that everyone can get behind.
Making our community safer should be another goal that together our community should work toward.
Supporting our police service, encouraging the citizens of our community to work together to make criminal activity an ever decreasing issue in our city would be a goal that all should support.
We need to tackle the root causes of issues in Thunder Bay. Our social services should be a base to building up people and allowing them to reach their full potential.
That means working across the region to ensure that Northwestern Ontario students are offered all the opportunities to become all that they wish to be in their lives.
Some of these goals are going to take a combined civic, provincial and federal government effort, but most importantly will be the need for our residents to engage and decide on what we want in our future.