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Before Council Meeting community advocates were outside city hall

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - November 20, 2019  (LSN) Monday evening community advocates were outside city hall in the cold exhibiting the children's Save Dease Pool posters to show council that Dease kids understand well what is at stake with the loss of their Pool. The city had indicated they had to consult children to establish what their preferences were.  The councillors were in City Hall, warm and comfortable and perhaps having dinner behind locked doors prior to their meeting.  

Citizens were outside, in the cold, advocating for the community's children. Incredibly city hall refused the use of washroom facilities to a participating senior. Doors were unlocked only for arriving councillors and officials. For the first time in my life, I saw and understood what a class struggle looks like.

city hall poster exhibit


We have seen this before in Thunder Bay. Citizens were compelled to organize to prevent construction of condominiums at historic Waverly Park. Another group organized to save Heath Pool when the city had designs to close it. Dease Pool itself was saved twice before from demolition as a result of community advocacy. The botanical gardens, Thunder Bay’s centennial project to commemorate Canada’s 100th birthday, beloved by citizens and apparently hated by administration was saved from the wrecking ball after community backlash resulting from its abrupt closure.

The botanical gardens would be the last time the city would allow community preference to prevail. The Chippewa wildlife exhibit was shut down - out of the blue with no community input. The scheme was so hastily organized that no provision was made for the safety of the animals. Many were transported to a roadside zoo under OSPCA investigation, others we understand to transferred to larger facility where the director could, as populations warranted, authorize hunting. One deer died an awful death apparently in preparation for transport. But the city won – it shut down the facility.

Today it is Dease Pool again. The city will not tolerate citizen preference or even input. And the city will win.

But what exactly have they won? What is it we are really losing? Much more than a pool.


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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