From: Jennifer Hanson, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
North Bay City Council has addressed the town’s needs “in a big way” in an emergency meeting Friday evening when they voted 9-3 to approve a $1.9 billion, 37 pad Community Centre.
The Centre, which will be 21, 623, 280 sq. metres in size (or 5343 acres) and have a seating capacity of 665 000 people, has already begun construction.
“We sent [city worker] Roger out last night with a pick and shovel,” explains Councillor Grey Terrence. “He’s already started to dig a hole on Lakeshore for the foundation.”
The dissenting Councillors raised concerns about the cost of the arena, but Terrence was undeterred.
“They were arguing that with financing, the arena will actually cost closer to $2.5 billion – and they’re right,” says Terrence. “But what’s an extra $600 million for the economic powerhouse that is North Bay?”
In a long Facebook post, North Bay’s Deputy Mayor threw their “uncompromising and unswayable” support behind the project.
“Community Centres like this aren’t just for hockey,” reads the post. “They can be used for ball hockey, roller hockey, and even lacrosse if people get desperate.”
“The neysayers [sic] are going to make this into an anti-hockey thing which I don’t understand, even though we’ve been pushing it as a hockey thing since its inception.”
Paving the Way
What seemed to upset most of the protesting Councillors was the idea of spending almost $1 billion on buying all of Ferris just to pave it over.
“I’m confident that it can be done for less,” explains Councillor Terrence. “I haven’t been in the Ferris area since 2008, so I’m assuming by now that it’s a desolate, uninhabited badland that’ll go cheap.”