Jan 10, 2013- 1:18 PM
Our community needs to get aggressive with its thinking. First and foremost we must ensure our roads are maintained and last more than two to three years.
There’s a simple solution — restrict heavy truck travel. It’s done in many cities — Calgary, for example. Restrict weight on all roads except for former trans-Canada roadways to half loads all year round. Doing this would ensure roads last longer.
Our roads have mainly deteriorated due to mining companies giving up on rail transportation in the 1980s and early 1990s. These goods can still be transported this way. Spur lines are still in place and can be used.
Yes, mining companies may be upset, but the down and dirty truth is they do not pay for the maintenance of our roads.
Secondly, the city must invest by ensuring a mega-project such as an entertainment centre is built with in the city.
We also desperately need a new signature arena that could seat 10,000 to 15,000 people, a 60,000 to 100,000 square foot conference facility and a 1,500 to 3,500 seating capacity theatre for the performing arts.
This does not need to be done by the city on its own, but by a joint venture with the private sector – for example casino operators, hotel operators, sports teams users or arts and theatre promoters.
We must learn to think outside the box and get progressive.
By building this type of facility, we open the doors to large major conventions, travelling shows such as off-Broadway productions, concert stops by larger acts, national championships and world championships.
This facility could also incorporate shopping, restaurants, and maybe even a professional sports team.
We have one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, if not the world, but we will not get people to visit it unless we get progressive. It’s time to be a destination to visit, not a place to leave to go to Toronto or another city to participate in a tournament, concert, play, or conference.
We have many things to offer visitors — Science North, Dynamic Earth, our many lakes and our citizens. Let’s make this happen, citizens of Greater Sudbury.
Greg A. Connor