Vic Fedeli’s announcement that the Ontario government will guarantee its portion of the loan required to finance the Cassellholme redevelopment was welcome news for Bonfield’s mayor Randy McLaren.
Before this, each of the partnering municipalities who have an ownership share in North Bay’s Cassellholme facility, were responsible for “guaranteeing the province’s portion,” Mayor McLaren said during Bonfield’s last council meeting on October 26.
That was “the sticking point” for most municipalities he said, and “that log jam broke the other day when our local MPP declared that he had found the solution in the provincial treasury.”
However, McLaren remains concerned that some municipalities may still resist moving ahead with the project.
“Now that a solution has been found,” he said, “it still befuddles me to see, based upon some correspondence that I’ve seen from various councils, that they’re now arguing other points related to the entire project.”
McLaren mentioned these plans regarding Cassellholme occurred “over the past decade,” and to postpone “because I want to look at a new site, or I want to look at a different floor plan” is “unacceptable.”
To throw those existing plans “in the trashcan and spend another five years drafting and seeking out property and everything else is totally unacceptable to me.”
Mayor McLaren told council and the public he anticipates the next meeting when the municipalities convene to discuss the project, “and I can tell I’ll be the lone wolf in the room because the other mayors are bringing up these other subjects now and we’re way too far down the trail to be discussing the site, the tendering process and all of that, it’s all a moot point.”
It will be “interesting to see what new valid argument they have for not moving forward,” he said, adding “each Mayor of each municipality is supposed to be the leader and it’s time they start to lead.”
“It’s time to move on and build a new Cassellholme.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.