City approval was biased, Superior Court hears in first day of hearings over Kingsway Entertainment District
SUDBURY -- All day Monday, the Kingsway Entertainment District was the subject of a Superior Court proceeding via video conference.
The public could also listen in on YouTube. Local businessman Tom Fortin alleges city council was biased when it passed a series of bylaws permitting the massive development to move forward.
First up at the hearing was Fortin's lawyer, Gordon Petch, laying out allegations that council was biased in making decisions and broke municipal laws regarding the KED development.
"It's not whether you like it or not, it's whether these experts, that have been at this for years with the city are warning them, you better study this, because all the stuff you hired us to do, won't have any merit if you do this," Petch said.
Petch also said council broke municipal law by holding closed-door meetings without following proper procedures. The suit also claims council didn't hold proper public consultations about a new casino development or study it with due diligence.
"You study this, you just don't ram it through," he said.
Other lawyers taking part in the trial are representing the City of Greater Sudbury and Gateway Casinos. After a full day of hearing from Petch, the other side gets their turn Tuesday morning beginning at 10 a.m.
If the Superior Court rules in favour of Fortin, and decides the decision to build the KED was biased, then the city would have to either appeal the decision, or scrap the entire project. Even appealing the project would cause problems for the KED, which has been mired in legal battles for the last two years. A major hearing on the project scheduled for September would have to be rescheduled until after the appeal is heard, causing even more delays and putting the future of the project in doubt.
If the Superior Court rejects Fortin's appeal, then the September hearing in front of Ontario would move ahead with a final decision expected a few months later.
- Files from Darren MacDonald