Civic Election 2022: The Economy: Candidate for Mayor Robert Szczepanski

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Robert Szczepanski

THUNDER BAY – THUNDER BAY VOTES – In our continuing civic election coverage NetNewsLedger sent questions to all the candidates running for Mayor.

Here is what was sent:

The economy impacts all aspects of our city’s potential.

Thunder Bay has fewer manufacturing jobs. The largest employer is the TBRHSC with 2,824 employees. That is followed by the Lakehead Board of Education, Lakehead University and the City of Thunder Bay.

Resolute is at 419 at the paper mill, and 223 at the saw mill.

Thunder Bay in perhaps one of the more telling statements from outgoing Mayor Bill Mauro, has been found by the national media.

Between scandals with the former Chief of Police and former Mayor in court, to the ongoing situation with the Thunder Bay Police Service and the Police Services Board, national coverage of Thunder Bay is often not the brightest picture that our city wants.

Questions:

  1. What as Mayor of Thunder Bay would you do to boost solid good paying jobs in our city?
  2. As Mayor how would you market our city to companies to attract them to Thunder Bay? What experience do you bring to the table in this area.
  3. Do you feel that “Legacy” projects like an Event Centre and an Indoor Turf Facility are major factors needed to bring in new companies to Thunder Bay? IF so why?
  4. Our city’s reputation due to national media coverage has struggled as what many see as the truth of the state of our city has been shared across the world. Being the “murder capital” and “overdose capital”
  5. Thunder Bay’s motto, “Superior by Nature”. In a world where diversity matters, some suggest this motto could be – based on some of the racist actions of Thunder Bay in the media – as saying “We are better than you”… Should it be changed?
  6. How would you as the Mayor make our economy stronger?

Robert Szczepański Answers

1 ) What as Mayor of Thunder Bay would you do to boost solid good paying jobs in our city?

First and foremost in the past when politicians have promised “more jobs” its been call centers and having had worked that I don’t think our city needs more of those. What I feel will intise more people to start small businesses or attract more franchises to Thunder bay is “Lower rent” .

I’ve worked retail jobs in intercity and have seen the insane amount of sales a business has to make just to afford rent and that makes in harder for a local business to rent there and makes it impossible for employers to give their workers raises.

2 ) As Mayor how would you market our city to companies to attract them to Thunder Bay? What experience do you bring to the table in this area.
Again as stated above, Lower rent. If opening a business or franchise is more affordable then it will be more desirable and more likely to happen!
3 ) Do you feel that “Legacy” projects like an Event Centre and an Indoor Turf Facility are major factors needed to bring in new companies to Thunder Bay? IF so why?
4 ) Our city’s reputation due to national media coverage has struggled as what many see as the truth of the state of our city has been shared across the world. Being the “murder capital” and “overdose capital”
Past politicians have been in hard denial about this and I feel like if we want to fix the problem we have to say “yes this is a crisis and we have to prioritize fixing it”
5 ) Thunder Bay’s motto, “Superior by Nature”. In a world where diversity matters, some suggest this motto could be – based on some of the racist actions of Thunder Bay in the media – as saying “We are better than you”… Should it be changed?
Let’s be fair, Thunder bay has not been “superior ” to anything in a long time , a change is needed and maybe changing the slogan could be a good start.
6 ) How would you as the Mayor make our economy stronger?
Wage increase, lower cost of living.
Simple solution but I know I’ll have to fight tooth and nail to even get other politicians to acknowledge this.