Trades council backs Sudbury arena plan

By Sudbury Star Staff,

A plan for a $50-million multi-purpose event centre in Sudbury has earned the endorsement of the Northeastern Ontario Building and Construction Trades Council.

The True North Strong group, which is proposing an arena and arts complex on The Kingsway, made a presentation to the building council earlier this month.

Project proponents Dario Zulich and Andrew Dale “highlighted the economic and social benefits of the project,” the council said in a release.

The trades council “welcomes economic investment that will create numerous jobs and encourage additional investment and commercial growth in the community, particularly during challenging economic conditions,” according to True North Strong.

The group’s vision for an event centre “is an example of a great opportunity for the City of Greater Sudbury to reinvest in much-needed social infrastructure at a time when the region is facing many challenges,” said Tom Cardinal, Northern Ontario area manager of the Carpenters District Council of Ontario Local 2486 and president of the northeastern trades council.

“The local job creation that will result from this type of project will put our members back to work in this difficult time of mining cycle realities and rising unemployment,” Cardinal said. “Additionally, it will further enhance the arts and culture aspect of the community, which help shape the quality of life of all residents.”

The event centre proposal is one of many potential development projects that were presented to city council in November at a public input and information session for large projects.

A new event centre has been the focus of much discussion in recent years, as Sudbury Community Arena, built in 1951, is deteriorating and can’t accommodate the range of entertainment, sports and business events that are taking place in other Ontario communities of similar size.

“We are extremely pleased and grateful for the overwhelming support we received from the (trades) council,” Zulich said in a statement. “Their endorsement reinforces that the timing is right to move forward with a project like this.”

The trades council represents about 5,000 workers and more than 15,000 family members in Sudbury and northeastern Ontario.

The True North Strong team, led by Zulich, Perry Dellelce and Dale, is proposing a public-private partnership to create an event centre on land that is already zoned for development on The Kingsway.

City council has not made any decisions on whether it will build a new arena and, if so, how it will be done.