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Thunder Bay – Is Awash In Cash? Since When?

Only One Taxpayer

#LSN_Opinion   Thunder Bay – Is Awash In Cash? Since When?

TTHUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  --  April 4, 2017   (LSN) 

Soooo the City of Thunder Bay is willing to cough up $7 million in tax dollars to fund the movement of yet another piece of infrastructure to the waterfront in order to make the failing Prince Arthur’s Landing a success?  Plus the $750,000 for the planning and design of the gallery?

Almost $8 million of that sweet, sweet Thunder Bay taxpayer cash for an art gallery, which the taxpayers do not own. On top of that, the gallery’s annual operating costs will increase to almost $500,000?

There seems to be an endless  supply of that sweet, sweet  taxpayer cash when it comes the Prince Arthur’s Landing.  Ask and you shall have?  Why is that?

Yet there is zero money for taxpayer owned buildings such as the Centennial Botanical Conservatory?  Zero money for a larger Historical Museum? Both of those, if done right, are also tourist draws and can act as education tools for the local population.  People go to museums and botanical gardens as well as art galleries. They are also culturally important to the community.

How about everything else in the city?  The things that are not a $120 million hockey rink or the waterfront development?  How about those things?



Rydholm pointed out the waterfront art gallery ranked last among 14 infrastructure priorities in a community survey. It fell behind functional infrastructure like roads, bridges and stormwater drainage, as well as social infrastructure like youth centres, park enhancements, recreation facilities and trails.

She lamented senior levels of government refusing to fund the Centennial Botanical Conservatory and programs for the homeless while calls to replace the Thunder Bay District Jail and build a new detox facility are falling on deaf ears.

“I’m concerned about funding priorities here,” Rydholm said. – Tbnewswatch



There was no money to finish the Golf Links Road four laning project.  None.  Apparently we are drowning in cash..when it suits the high salaried residents of City Hall.  Eg. City budget time.  Other times, we are claiming poverty and go begging to Queens Park and Ottawa. Interesting how that works.

I do not understand.  In other cities, art galleries are heavily supported by the private sector. Donations by the corporate elites fund infrastructure such as symphonies, art galleries, dance and opera. In Thunder Bay, a city that has its fair share of millionaires, has few of them stepping up and putting some of the big piles of cash that they have been given by taxpayers back into the community.

In Thunder Bay, its all funded by the taxpayer.

The art gallery is going to fund-raise but their goal is a tiny fraction of the estimated $40 million cost of the project.  Fund-raising should account for at least a THIRD of the TOTAL cost of the gallery.  How about matching funds? Two taxpayer dollars for each dollar raised through fund-raising?  That way, the people who want this art gallery built will have some skin in the game.

Fund-raising should also pay for most if not all of the operating costs of the facility.  Why? Because the taxpayers do not own the facility.  That’s why.  Its basically a privately run business.



Coun. Aldo Ruberto pointed out the procedure is the same kind of investment the city made in Prince Arthur’s Landing, which he sees as a development success.

“We put in $22 million. We leveraged $22 million from the province, $22 million from the feds, and $66 million from the private sector. That $22 million garnished about $100 million from other sources. That’s a good investment,” Ruberto said.


“On top of that, we’re receiving approximately $1.5 million a year in taxation, forever. So in 22 years, we get our money back and for the next 1,000 years, we have a tax stream coming in to support other things like homelessness, like roads, like art, like culture, like sports.”  – Tbnewswatch



“On top of that, we’re receiving approximately $1.5 million a year in taxation, forever.

Probably thought that about the tax revenue from grain elevators and big box stores also. Forever is a very long time.

So in 22 years, we get our money back and for the next 1,000 years, we have a tax stream coming in

So where did the other $44 million in public funding come from?  Who do you think gives money to Queens Park and Ottawa so they can give it away?  That is taxpayer ” donated” money so it will be around 66 years before the investment made by the public sector is recovered.  And then only if property taxes can be maintained at the present level or higher…for 66 years! Just to break even!

we get our money back and for the next 1,000 years, we have a tax stream coming in

One thousand years? Seriously? You actually believe that people will still be living in this city in 1,000 years?



The art gallery’s economic impact study suggests a waterfront gallery would bring an anticipated $7 million to the city annually but some councillors pointed out art’s benefit is culture.  – Tbnewswatch



bring an anticipated $7 million to the city

That number is pure bullshit.  Guaranteed! Just read the Feasibility Study Report, page 32 Section 14 – Research Limitations.



BrookMcIlroy does not warrant that actual results achieved during the projection period will be the same, in whole or in part, as those shown in the projection. The projection is an estimation based on hypotheses and there is a significant risk that actual results will vary, perhaps materially, from the results projected. – Thunder Bay Art Gallery Renewal, Waterfront Site Feasibility & Economic Impact Assessment



Just remember, Brook McIlroy, the company that wrote the Feasibility And Economic Impact Assessment stands to benefit handsomely from the Art Gallery moving into the former tugboat basin. How?  By moving the development south towards the former Pool 6 site of course. They have plans for that entire stretch and beyond. Not exactly what I would call impartial.

Published by opbastard on April 4, 2017


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Lake Superior News / Lake Superior Media.


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