New Twist In Greater Sudbury’s KED Plot

By Ben Hamill - October 12 2020
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New Twist In Greater Sudbury’s KED Plot

An unexpected development in Greater Sudbury City recently threatened to add yet another twist to the already-complicated Kingsway Entertainment District plot. Greater Sudbury District Council recently heard how 3rdLine Studio, a local developer and architectural practice doing business in Sudbury, could potentially save city coffers up to CA$40 million in the event that the city chooses to entertain the idea of 3rdLine’s Project Now instead of continuing with the existing KED initiative.

The Project Now team during their presentation before council highlighted some of the advantages of their project over that of pushing ahead with KED – including the fact that the legal battle between local businessman Tom Fortin and supporters, and the Greater Sudbury District Council, remains an ongoing fight with no clear end-date in sight.

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Controversial Pair Of Supporters

Worth noting is that the two councillors trying to rally support for Project Now – Ward 1 Councillor Mark Signoretti and Ward 4 Councillor Geoff McCausland – are known enemies of the completion of the development at Kingsway Entertainment District.

Greater Sudbury businessman Tom Fortin is however the main and original antagonist in the KED story. Fortin has claimed all throughout that Gateway’s Kingsway Entertainment District development approval is actually the result of a bias decision on the part of the local city council. Fortin has via his attorney, lawyer Gordon Petch, repeatedly stated this opinion before the country’s Superior Court.

Superior Court Appeal Pending

Petch last year drafted a 1,500-page application and affidavit in which he set out multiple allegations of improper conduct on the part of the City of Sudbury at the time of the granting of the approval of the go-ahead issued in favour of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment in terms of the operator’s application to construct a casino and entertainment venue. Via Petch’s application, Fortin applied for a dismissal of the permission to develop the venue, claiming all throughout that the community impact studies typically necessary whenever a new casino is about to be developed, were never actually completed by the operator and city council.

Instead, claims Fortin, the project had been pushed through by a reliance on biased bylaws and meetings conducted behind closed doors and without proper public consultation and/or the necessary transparency and oversight alongside local commercial stakeholders. The Supreme Court however in its September ruling scrapped the validity of all allegations put forward by the controversial businessman – a ruling Fortin has now appealed.   

KED The Preferred Project

Pending the outcome of the appeal, further developments are expected to come to pass over the course of the coming weeks. Several councillors have however spoken out against the project being pushed by 3rdLine Studio – including prominent city councillors Al Sizer, Bill Leduc, Mike Jakubo, and Robert Kirwan.

Said councillors have expressed their repeated support of the completion of Kingsway Entertainment District in Sudbury. Pulling out of project KED is at this stage simply not a viable option, pointed out Councillor Robert Kirwan.

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