THUNDER BAY – Mayor Bill Mauro held his first town hall meeting since last fall’s election last night in Thunder Bay. The event brought about 75 residents. Topics at the meeting included city infrastructure including Dease Pool, the proposed indoor turf facility, issues with the police budget, along with the Mayor taking aim at the national media over how Thunder Bay is being covered.
First on Dease Pool, the Mayor told supporters that the process to renew the century-old community facility would be hard. Procedurally it would take a vote of nine councillors to reverse the almost unanimous vote last winter to close the pool. The supporters of the pool are seeking a counsellor to bring what they call a “soft motion” before Council.
On the national media, Mayor Mauro expressed that he feels Thunder Bay is being held up as the worst city in Canada. The Mayor continued in his criticism of the two reports on the Thunder Bay Police Service and the Police Services Board. Mauro told the audience that the budget for the Thunder Bay Police Service was increased by about $2 million dollars.
The concern on the national media reporting on the city has the Mayor very frustrated. “We all have the same problems, pretty much. This idea that somehow Thunder Bay is worse than everybody else, and that we’re the hate crime capital of Canada or the murder capital. It’s just taking these stats and using them to sell newspapers and it’s driving me insane.”
The Mayor expressed concern over the two reports on the TBPS and PSB were unfair to the city in his view. Those two reports said that one of the problems is systemic racism. The Police Services Board, which the Mayor sits on was required to take additional training under the supervision of Thomas Lockwood. That training has been completed. On January 13, 2019, Celina Reitberger the Chair of Police Services Board apologized to Thunder Bay’s Indigenous population over the treatment of Indigenous people.
The Mayor also addressed the lack of an indoor turf facility in our community saying that in 2019 to not have that kind of facility is not acceptable.