Last week Greater Sudbury city council organized a meeting to discuss a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the long-awaited event center. Currently, the report’s proposal goes towards Kingsway Entertainment District, solicitor and city clerk Eric Labelle stated that the last week’s vote to end the discussions on the report was above board despite media reports and rumors.
After a several-hour discussion Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan introduced a last-minute motion to end all discussions on the PricewaterhouseCoopers report presented to the council. The motion passed rather quickly with 7-6, thus silencing the criticism for the report and making way for the KED site, over the other option of renovating the downtown arena.
After the end of last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Brian Bigger stated that the passing of Mr. Kirwan’s motion would not be the end of the discussions on both of the proposed locations. He explained that it will just end the discussions on the PwC report and that Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland can put forward his motion about learning more about the downtown renovation costs.
Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti and several other councilors voiced their discontent with Mr. Kirwan’s motion claiming to be illegal, as it was introduced at the four-hour mark and might have not made the cut. Additionally, Mr. Signoretti stated that according to Robert’s Rules of Order a two-thirds of a majority is required to end a debate.
However, Eric Labelle, the Greater Sudbury solicitor and city clerk disagreed with the objections, as according to city bylaws a simple majority is enough to end a debate. He continued by stating that during the discussion all members were given the opportunity to speak up at least once. Mr. Labelle explained that the city’s procedure bylaw allows the chair to end a debate without a motion but only after all members have discussed the matter.
Mr. Labelle explained that Mr. Kirwan’s motion was procedural that required a simple majority vote and he had to wait until every member was given the chance to comment on the matter. He also said that the motion would have been out of order provided that all members were not allowed to speak at least once on the matter.
Mayor Says Everything is On Track
Halfway into June Mayor Bigger claimed that there should not be any further complications with the proposed event center in Greater Sudbury. The mayor also stated that city staff is already working closely with the partners of Kingsway Entertainment District, as the commitment of the partners is important to be fully understood by the council and the public.
According to the final report on the event center by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the renovation of the downtown area would cost significantly more than the construction of the complex at the Kingsway site. As stated by the report the renovation of the downtown area would cost approximately CA$125.4-128.6 million and the KED location would come at around CA$113.8 million without the parking area.
Source: Keown, Mary “KED vote was done properly, city clerk says”, Sudbury Star, June 26, 2021