Keith Forrester, Greater Sudbury Manager of Real Estate, claims that one of the main opponents of Kingsway Entertainment District has attempted to mislead the Superior Court in his 1,500-page submission. Tom Fortin is known for being the face of opposition to the entertainment zone, highlighting the ways in which he thinks the city acted in a biased manner when giving its approval to the project.
Kingsway Entertainment District is projected to feature a casino venue managed by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. The permanent casino complex has been added to the project in order to complement well all remaining venues and projects within its structure. Introducing a gaming venue at a high-traffic area was projected to benefit city coffers down the road through hefty gaming revenue allocations.
Tom Fortin Filed 1,500-page Affidavit
However, locals were concerned by the problem gambling factor coming with every casino location, especially when it comes to casino venues situated in areas easily-impressionable children frequent. Mr. Fortin has expressed his discontent with the approval process of the special entertainment zone, claiming that the City of Greater Sudbury acted in a biased manner when OKing it. Last year he went on a war against the city.
Back in April 2018, the construction of Kingsway Entertainment District received approval with the greenlighting of several bylaws. According to Mr. Fortin, prejudice in making decisions has been demonstrated, one of the instance being the inking of an agreement with Dario Zulich, local developer actively participating in the project. The ultimate goal of this move was blocking of the rezoning approval the city issued.
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal had the task to review his objections along with those of other locals directly affected by the rezoning decisions. Mr. Forrester felt the need to make some objections to Mr. Fortin’s affidavit recently. The Manager of Real Estate made it clear that previous statements of Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan were used out of context in Mr. Fortin’s affidavit.
Back in April 2017, Mr. Kirwan made comments regarding an evaluation matrix by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The conversation was taking place between local councilors and a representative of the audit and consulting firm. Mr. Forrester also pointed out that the cite evaluation performed back in 2017 was done without taking into account that a casino complex might also be introduced to the area.
He claims that this would have affected the process. June 2017 brought the news that Gateway Casinos intents to relocate Sudbury OLG Slots once its lease expires in the spring of 2020. Now that the deadline is approaching, the casino operator is looking for a temporary venue while still remaining confident Greater Sudbury is the place to develop a gambling business. This year is about to see an official decision by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
May 5 is about to bring a public hearing on the entertainment zone’s casino complex and adjacent events arena estimating to CA$100 million. It should be taken into account that the saga should come to an end by the end of this year, as December 5, 2020, has been pinpointed as a deadline for issuing a decision. This spring would see a hearing of appeals that were reduced from their initial number in 2019.