Greater Sudbury’s legal battle for the new events centre continues, as the anti-Kingsway Entertainment District online petition has accumulated over 2,300 supporters. Patrick Crowe and a portion of the local population believe the KED location to be irresponsible, not-sustainable, and that it is not easy to access by someone without a car.
There has been a ton of debate about whether Sudbury’s new event centre should be constructed at the KED site or by revamping the already existing downtown arena. The proposed new property will feature an event hall, a hotel, and a casino facility. The city council has opted for the KED location, which has led to some discontent among locals.
Previously, Mr. Crowe that the council must keep the future of the city first on the agenda, as according to him building the arena on the outskirts of the city is not a great idea. In his words, the KED site will be harder to access, and it will be in near proximity of an operational municipal landfill, which according to him is not in the great interest of the city.
Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland has also signed the petition, on the premise that he prefers a more accessible and more eco-friendly event centre. Bill Crumplin, who is a retired professor from the Laurentian University, has also opted for the renovation of the existing downtown arena stating that the KED location will not be prolific as any other arena that would not be centrally located.
Since the launch of the petition over 2,300 individuals have signed it in a call for a revamping of the current property on Elgin Street. Mr. Crowe also indicated that all roads lead to the centre of the city, making the downtown arena much more accessible for everyone. He also pointed out that due to the financial difficulties for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, the company may back out of the plan to launch a casino property in the new event centre.
Matt Binks who also signed the petition has also been put under scrutiny at Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan’s assessment of the KED and the jobs it would create. According to him, the idea that the project would create the reported 1,000 jobs is laughable. Local architect Arthur Peach and Hazel Ecclestone, have also opted against KED and said that they will continue their fight until the project is canceled.
However, this week, Scott Seguin launched a petition in support of the outskirts site. As put by Mr. Seguin the opposition of the project must grow up and accept the defeat. He wrote that the people are fed up with the subject and want to see the project proceed. At the time of writing, this article over 120 residents have signed the pro-KED petition, which is available online.
At the start of the month, Ward 5 councillor of Greater Sudbury, Robert Kirwan stated that the petition against KED will have little to no effect on the city council. According to him, the council has already made up its mind and it has decided the matter, and that there is no chance of the debate reaching the 2022 municipal elections as a referendum.
On top of the anti-KED petition, recently the project has faced one more legal challenge. Тhe non-profit Minnow Lake Restoration Group is now requesting Ontario’s divisional court for a judicial court review of the decision of Sudbury’s council. Lawyer of the organization, Eric Gillespie claimed that the council has failed to discuss some important details of the matter during the meeting when the decision was taken. According to him, this could lead to a different final vote.
Source: Keown, Mary “Anti-KED petition gathers more than 2,300 supporters”, The Sudbury Star, August 25, 2021