There has been some development on the Kingsway Entertainment District project as this week Greater Sudbury’s city council has voted on the approval of site preparation. The council has voted 7 to 6 in favor of the approval. Site preparation will be undertaken by Bot Engineering & Construction Ltd. and it should begin by the end of this November.
The Kingsway Entertainment District or KED project will be in the outskirts of Greater Sudbury and it will have a hockey arena along with an entertainment centre. The project was first introduced first in 2017 but has faced many legal challenges since. However, now it is looking like the first work at the site will be broken in November.
7 to 6 Vote
Councillors who voted against the motion to permit site preparation were Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier, Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti, Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini, Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier and Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland. Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh decided to abstain from voting in the motion’s vote and his vote counted among the ones against it.
The ones who voted in favor of the motion were Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann, Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan, Ward 6 Coun. René Lapierre, Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo, Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer and Mayor Brian Bigger. The mayor explained that without risk the city cannot advance forward and what they are trying to do is to minimize and manage risk with KED.
Mr. Signoretti, who voted against the recent motion, stated that once preparation work is done, there are no assurances from the partners that the hotel and the casino will be built after that. Ian Wood, the city’s executive director of Strategic Initiatives, Communications, and Citizen Service, explained that all involved parties are relying on others to deliver their components first.
After the vote for site preparation approval, Mr. McCausland introduced a motion that would require further assurances from partners about the project. However, after an extensive debate on the matter councillors could not agree to it and time ran out. The motion will be now transferred to the next council meeting, which should be held on October 12, at 6 p.m.
The non-profit Minnow Lake Restoration Group continues its attempt to stall the KED project, as the organization has officially filed its evidence for its judicial review on the council decision for the site. One of the main arguments from the organization is that information that was requested by councillors is missing from the PricewaterhouseCoopers report. And this could have given different results in the vote.
Some locals of Greater Sudbury are too not quite delighted with the decision to build the entertainment centre in the outskirts of the city. Previously, Patrick Crowe launched an online petition, which aims towards bringing the matter to referendum at the next municipal elections. At the time over 2,300 residents have signed the petition in favor of the proposal.
Source: “City council greenlights KED site preparation work to commence by Nov. 29”, Sudbury.com, September 29, 2021