The Kingsway Entertainment District event centre continues to be the topic of heated discussions in Greater Sudbury even in 2022. Last week, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group, which filed for a judicial review on the matter, requested Ward 5 Councillor Robert Kirwan to prove his legal interpretation of the cost-sharing agreement for the project.
In the summer of 2021, the city council voted to proceed with the development of the KED, which is a CA$100 million project in the outskirts of the city. The site is set to include a CA$60 million casino property by Gateway Casinos, as well as a hotel, a hockey arena, and more. However, it has faced many difficulties since its announcement a few years ago.
Last month, Mr. Kirwan voiced his opinion that all parties in the KED are legally bound to complete their respective project, through a commitment built into the cost-sharing agreement. He even claimed that he would defend this statement in front of a judge. In light of his claim, on Thursday, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group has called him on its, in requested him to prove his case.
According to the non-profit’s media release, the Divisional Court matter will not have witnesses for examination or cross-examination in a court of law. There will be three judges who give their decision based on evidence provided by the organization, as well as evidence from the City of Greater Sudbury, or nay cross-examination of any affidavits, factums, or Examination for Discovery.
The organization has set up a location for Mr. Kirwan’s Examination of Discovery, which will be between January 10 and January 24, 2022. In the release, the non-profit invites the councillor to attend the examination and speak his peace as a sworn statement. However, the organization informed that Mr. Kirwan has not yet responded to the proposal.
When interviewed by a local media outlet, Mr. Kirwan explained that he does not open emails related to the Minnow Lake Restoration Group or any other anti-KED associate. He further added that he does not pay attention to such emails, and he is not willing to comment on their activities. He also described the organization’s push for him to prove his opinion, as ridiculous.
At the end of November 2021, the city had to start site preparation at the KED location. However, one of the partners, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment requested for the project to halt. The gaming leader said that says that it cannot proceed with the development until some of the uncertainties around the event centre are resolved. However, they assured that it remains committed to the site.
Further Delays on the Horizon
After the news of Gateway Casinos demanding a pause on the project, Trevor Farrow, a professor and former associate dean at Osgoode Hall Law School, predicted another delay for the project. According to him, the legal challenge from the non-profit group would enable one more delay for the event centre.
Source: Clarke, Tyler “Anti-KED group challenges city councillor to put his money where his mouth is in front of a judge”, Sudbury.com, January 7, 2022