Published Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:01PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:12PM EDT
In municipal politics, a two-page letter written by Sudbury’s mayor back in July to Premier Doug Ford is raising some eyebrows.
The letter concerned the 12 appeals filed against the Kingsway Entertainment District.
A letter from the Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger to Premier Doug Ford sounds innocent enough.
"There's an ongoing communication with various people at the provincial level and federal level. And so, business as usual." said Bigger.
In the letter, Bigger tells Ford the Kingsway Entertainment District will create more than 400 jobs and add $2 million to the city's GDP, but says the current appeals process is impacting the ability to proceed.
He goes on to say in the letter that delays in scheduling hearings for all 12 appeals are putting the project at risk and asks that they all be heard on the same date, November 6th.
"We wanted to understand when we would have clarification of the timing of the process." said Bigger.
He ends the letter saying "we ask that we meet at your earliest convenience, along with our key partners, to discuss these important issues in hopes of your intervention and of a timely resolution."
And it's the word intervention that has some suggesting Bigger was asking the premier to exert influence over the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in the city's favour.
Tom Fortin is one of the twelve appealing the city’s Kingsway development decision.
“The mayor asked the premier to intervene and have all four meetings scheduled on that same day to expedite the process, and that's in fact what's happened." said Fortin.
Councillor Mark Signoretti, known for his opposition to the Kingsway plan, says the mayor was going behind the backs of council by not copying them on the letter.
And mayoral candidate Patricia Mills says the letter displays a disregard for due process.
"This should not be messed about with. Now, whether or not the letter resulted in anything, is really not an issue. The letter itself shows bias." said Fortin.
But Bigger says it's just business as usual, part of his job as mayor to keep the wheels of a major project moving forward, especially with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.