Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Transit city hall terminal approval delayed

The operators of a Thunder Bay funeral home wish city staff had consulted them before deciding to make the city hall transit terminal permanent.
(Mary-Jean Cormier/CBC)

Complaints about a lack of consultation with nearby businesses prompted Thunder Bay city council on Monday night to delay a vote on whether to make the bus terminal at city hall permanent.   

The operators of a Thunder Bay funeral home say they wish city staff had consulted them before deciding to send that recommendation to council.

Joe Salini, president of Blake Funeral Chapel, said he only learned about the city's plan from a news reporter.

The owner of Blake Funeral Home said area business owners had been assured they would be asked for feedback on the city hall transit terminal. He said they've heard nothing. (Mary-Jean Cormier/CBC)
Businesses in the area had been assured they would be asked for feedback, he said.

“The overall demeanour of the response we've received from the city has been very lacklustre to say the least,” he said.

“We've heard nothing from them over the last several years. We've not been consulted in the process and that's where it falls apart. It appears that someone dropped the ball.”

Concerns of area businesses include noise and diesel fumes.

Salini said he understands that transit passengers need a place to catch the bus, but he had concerns when he heard about plans to spend money on heated shelters and widening sidewalks at the city hall location.

"I did send an email to the mayor and city council last week stating my concerns, and I only heard back from two aldermen and the mayor,” he said.

A law firm across the street from city hall also wrote a letter saying there wasn't any consultation.

Buses line up up outside city hall in Thunder Bay on Tuesday afternoon. (Mary-Jean Cormier/CBC)
The general manager of facilities, fleet and transit acknowledged at Monday night's council meeting that there had been an "oversight" in not speaking to area businesses, but said feedback won't change administration's mind.

“We are of a firm belief that this is the best location for the south core hub of transit,” Michael Smith said.

Council narrowly voted to have administration consult with area businesses about the change.

Councillor Aldo Ruberto asked for the referral.

“This is not about location,” he said. “This is about process. We're talking about a process.”


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