The Minnow Lake Restoration Group has begun its legal battle against the newest Kingsway Entertainment District report by the city of Greater Sudbury. The report was compiled by Ian Wood, the city’s executive director of Strategic Initiatives, Communications and Citizen Service, and Mayor Brian Bigger, and the claim is that not all needed information was included in the document.
On the basis of the missing information, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group believes that the decision of the council was not entirely informed. Therefore, the group says that the decision for the KED location should not stand. That is why the group has decided to pursue a judicial review on the city council’s proceeding with the site that is located on the outskirts of the city.
The Minnow Lake Restoration Group has officially filed its evidence to the court and the city lawyers through Gillespie Law. This was submitted on September 17, 2021, and it is compiled almost entirely of transcripts of local elected officials and staff from public meetings. This week the organization published a press release on the subject at hand.
In the release the company provided a sample from the transcripts which they have used as evidence in their case against the KED project. One of their arguments is that councillors have asked for a specific piece of information about KED to be included in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report issued in June, however, this was not the case.
In the application for judicial review, the organization states that Mayor, Council, and Senior Staff have made several errors in law and they have failed to follow the rule of procedural fairness. Thus, failing to include information that could have had an impact on the council’s decision for the project. Councillors have requested info on a Climate Energy and Emissions Plan, and update from Gateway Casinos & Entertainment who had a plan to establish a casino in the new arena.
Lawyer Gillespie told the local media outlet that the city could make a decision to file additional information on the requested topics for review. He also said that they are discussing the matter with the city, and if they do not reach an agreement, the court will then help them out. He finished by saying that the end goal is to have the city follow the process that the public and some council members expected to happen.
Previously, Ward 3 councillor Gerry Montpellier was involved in a little bit of a controversy, as according to him, one of his social media posts was misinterpreted. Mr. Montpellier said that he did not vote as he was previously approached by representatives of Dario Zulich who proposed KED to explain to him the pros of the project. The councillor said that this was not a bribery attempt but a simple presentation of facts.
Some locals of Greater Sudbury are not quite happy with the project to be on the outsides of the city too. Over 2,300 residents have signed up for an online petition for the matter to go to a referendum in the next municipal elections and decide between building the KED or renovating the downtown arena. The petition was launched by Patrick Crowe and his argument is that the KED site would be much harder to access for residents without a car.
Source: Clarke, Tyler “Legal action against the city’s handling of the KED pushes forward” Sudbury.com, September 22, 2021