The Kingsway Entertainment Project event centre continues to be the main focus of discussions in Greater Sudbury. An opposition group that wants to see the halt of the development of the project, has now written to the minister of municipal affairs and housing, Steve Clark, to request a complete and full independent forensic audit of the affairs of the City of Greater Sudbury.
The KED is an event centre project which will be located in the outskirts of the city and which was greenlighted by the city council in the summer. According to current reports, it is on schedule to launch in 2024 and it will cost approximately CA$100 million of taxpayers’ money. It is also set to feature a CA$60 million casino by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment.
Requesting Provincial Audit
The anti-KED group consists of names such as Arthur Peach, Hazel Ecclestone, Lionel Rudd, Tom Price, Ian Berdusco, Patrick Crowe, and Evan Roberts. The group is also sent to present a petition with over 2,800 signatures against the project at this week’s city council meeting. Recently the coalition penned a letter to minister Clark in order to seek provincial help to prevent the project.
In the letter, the Sudbury Concerned Citizens Group mentions that they have plenty of concerns stemming from concerns of legal nature, as well as questionable administrative actions taken by the city. The group says that these actions could have some serious financial and legal consequences for the region.
One of the main arguments of the anti-KED group is that the city is proceeding with the project without assurances from all parties. The coalition also points out that the project is also facing a judicial review, which was launched in August by the non-profit Minnow Lake Restoration Group, which aims to null and void the council’s decision to proceed with the plans for the event centre.
Another one of the group’s arguments against the city’s new entertainment facility is that there is also an ongoing OPP investigation for alleged bribery. This is regarding earlier this year when Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier shared those representatives of Dario Zurich, who is the developer of the site and the gaming company approached him before the 2017 vote to explain to him the benefits of the project.
City is Unimpressed
However, despite the anti-KED efforts to stop the project, the City of Greater Sudbury seems unfazed and is continuing with the plan for the event centre. In a September city council meeting, members of the council successfully voted on a motion to start site preparation work. The process is set to begin before the end of this November and it will be conducted by Bot Engineering & Construction Ltd.
At the start of November, the project also gained one more ally as the Wahnapitae First Nation officially declared its support for the new arena. Chief of the tribe, Larry Roque, said that the KED would have a significant positive impact on the city of Greater Sudbury as would be an exciting tourist destination for visitors from all around the world.
Source: “Anti-KED group wants province to step in, city’s CAO to resign”, Sudbury Star, November 22, 2021