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Sudbury rebranding takes a pause after rocky council debut

A plan to market Sudbury as "Canada's Resourceful City" got a rough reception from city councillors Tuesday night.
A new logo and slogan for marketing Sudbury as "Canada's Resourceful City" cost city taxpayers $75,000. That price was revealed, along with some of the campaign's promotional materials, at Tuesday night's city council meeting. (CBC)

A plan to market Sudbury as "Canada's Resourceful City" got a rough reception from city councillors Tuesday night.

For many, the new brand opened up old wounds from the days of amalgamation.

Several city councillors don't like that the Resourceful City campaign uses the name Sudbury, and not Greater Sudbury.

Councillor Andre Rivest, who represents Hanmer and Val Therese, said he believes council — and not the development corporation — should have the final say.

"For goodness sake, at the end of the day we're responsible for what branding is happening to Greater Sudbury,” Rivest said. “And if I can't vote and any of us here can't vote, it's not right."

Councillor Claude Berthiaume added, "I cannot accept this. Greater should be part of the name in here."

Darren Stinson, chair of the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, which developed this brand, said it's for attracting new businesses and tourists to the city — not a statement on community identity.

"They already know us as Sudbury,” he said. “We can educate them when we get here."

City councillor Joe Cimino said he wants to cross out the word "Resourceful.” He said he fears the moniker will undo the decades of diversification in Sudbury's economy and hark back to the notion that “all we are is mining. That's the image I'm getting."

'Money well spent'

Cimino also wanted assurances that taxpayers will get their money's worth for the $75,000 a consultant was paid to develop the Resourceful City brand.

Stinson said the cost should be put into context.

"If this rebranding effort attracts one company that employs two decent jobs or one really good job, then that money was well spent."

While the majority of council was OK with the new tagline, the city’s chief administrative officer Doug Nadorozny wanted to step back.

"It'd be prudent for staff to just sort of pause on moving forward with using that brand,” he said.

That means "Resourceful City" will stay on the drawing board, while staff figure out how to make it more of a crowd pleaser.

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