It seems as there are more legal obstacles on the way for the Kingsway Entertainment District’s arena center project. This week, the non-profit Minnow Lake Restoration Group has voiced its discontent with Sudbury’s city council’s decision to build the proposed entertainment center in KED. The group has a judicial court review of the decision to Ontario’s divisional court.
The Kingsway Entertainment District project has been a largely discussed one and it has been a subject of controversy for over three years now. The proposed plan includes a new municipal arena, a hotel, and a casino property, which are supposed to be built at the east end of the Kingsway District. As previous issues were resolved a new one has emerged now.
Minnow Lake Restoration Group’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, stated that the judicial review is in correlation with the city’s council verdict last month to proceed with the project. According to him, there are some details that were not discussed, and that they can really change people’s perspective on the subject. And he believes that the meeting last month was a desire of some members to move up the project.
A judicial review looks into whether legal requirements have been met before making a decision and according to Mr. Gillespie in this case that did not happen. The lawyer explained that if the court agrees that all requirements were not met, the matter will be then sent out back to the city council. In his words, if all the elements are put on the table for discussion it may lead to a different outcome of the decision.
According to the lawyer of the non-profit organization, one of the main concerns in the application was the fairness of the process followed by the city in its decision-making. He added that the public had such questions, however, they have remained unanswered, thus meaning that the motion is going forward despite a number of concerns still unresolved.
Mr. Gillespie noted that judicial reviews are not a common occurrence in court, but it has been done before. He stated that the group’s client is of the view and that there are proper reasons to bring up the issues forward to why the application is moving forward at this stage. The city, however, has responded that the council cannot comment on the matter at this time.
Prior KED News
Previously, Patrick Crowe, who is a major opponent of the KED project, has launched an online petition to include a vote for the project in a 2022 referendum. Mr. Crowe wants to hear the people’s opinion on whether the KED project should proceed or renovate the downtown Sudbury Community Arena. Over 700 individuals have signed up for the petition, and have voiced their preference to see the old arena renovated.
However, a week after the emergence of the online petition, Ward 5 councilor of Greater Sudbury, Robert Kirwan informed that the petition cannot impact the city council’s decision. According to him, there is almost no chance of the petition’s matter coming to a referendum. Additionally, as put by him, a matter only reaches a referendum only if the council is having trouble in deciding a subject, which is not the case here.
Source: “Minnow Lake group seeks court review of Sudbury council’s decision to proceed with KED”, CBC News, August 18, 2021