Anti-KED group challenges city councilor to put his money where his mouth is in front of a judge

Ward 5 Council. Robert Kirwan calls ridiculous Minnow Lake Restoration Group challenge to Kingsway entertainment district legal opinion, says group is no longer paying attention

The Minnow Lake Restoration Group challenges the Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan to prove his legal interpretation of the Kingsway Entertainment District cost-sharing agreement.

As reported last month, Kirwan remains steadfast in his belief that all parties in KED are “legally bound to carry out their projects” – a commitment embedded in the cost-sharing agreement.

His legal opinion was not shared by the city administration and the majority of city council members, who voted last month for the city to warn the public that “the only construction commitment for KED is limited to the site preparation “.

At the time, Kirwan told Sudbury.com, “I will stand in front of a judge and have a fight in front of a judge with a lawyer pleading the other side and I will win.

The Minnow Lake Restoration Group is calling him and, in a press release on Thursday, offered Kirwan the means to prove his case.

“The Divisional Court case will not have witnesses for examination or cross-examination in court,” according to their press release.

“There is no jury. A trio of judges will make their decision based on the evidence MLRG provides to the court, the evidence that (the City of Greater Sudbury) provides to the court or any cross-examination of any affidavit, factum or discovery that has been submitted. “

The Minnow Lake Restoration Group hosted a location for the Kirwan Discovery Review between January 10 and 24.

“MLRG invites Councilor Kirwan to pronounce his peace under oath,” the statement said. “Although at present he has not responded to the offer.”

In a conversation with Sudbury.com, Kirwan said he does not open emails from people affiliated with the Minnow Lake Restoration Group or the city’s anti-KED lobby.

“I don’t even pay attention to them anymore,” he said, adding that he was reluctant to comment on their activities.

“I basically said my article about this site deal,” he said. “It’s a deal for the sitemap, but built into it, if you’re not going to go ahead with your project, let us know. “

Pressure from the Minnow Lake Restoration Group to prove its legal opinion is “ludicrous,” Kirwan said, also calling it “nonsense.”

“Nobody wants to take the case to court, so what’s the point? “

In addition, Kirwan and Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland has indicated that they plan to table motions in city council that would push for some form of engagement from KED partners. These partners include the City of Greater Sudbury (arena), Genesis Hospitality (hotel), the real estate developer and Gateway Casinos.

In Kirwan’s case, this would serve to reassure those who disagree with his legal opinion, as well as to commit the City of Greater Sudbury to monitor the arena until its completion. Although Gateway Casinos has suspended site preparation work, the cost of $ 9.73 million is expected to be shared between the partners. The city would commit $ 5.9 million, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment would spend $ 2.2 million, the hotel’s share is $ 1.1 million, and the developer’s share is $ 530,000.

With that money at stake, Kirwan said the partners are likely to want insurance from the city.

“Right now, I would like to see the company engage,” he said. “Let’s sign it, engage society in its regard, withdraw it as soon as the election is over.” “

This is a municipal election year, with polling day scheduled for October 24.

Represented by lawyer Eric Gillespie, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group is pursuing a judicial review of the management of KED by city council. This pending lawsuit alleges that the mayor, council and senior officials made numerous errors of law and left councilors’ requests unanswered.

If successful, the legal challenge would consider a July 14, 2021 city council vote to go ahead with the null and void project, which Gillespie said would immediately stop spending on the arena.

Kirwan’s legal opinion on the cost-sharing agreement is entirely separate from this challenge, which the Minnow Lake Restoration Group addresses in its press release, noting that it “wanted to give Mr. Kirwan the opportunity to argue” its position and reasoning, as an affidavit.

Tyler Clarke covers City Hall and Political Affairs for Sudbury.com.

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