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Sudbury city councillor wants referendum on building $200M arena downtown

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There is a big issue on the table at the city council meeting in Sudbury on Tuesday night.

A report by city staff recommends council approve spending $200 million build a new downtown arena and events centre. The other options are to renovate Sudbury Arena, which is 73 years old and the third is to do nothing.

But those options don’t sit well with Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, who wants council to defer the report.

Leduc said he wants residents to have more information and opportunities to have their questions answered by city staff.

“I want to be able to get out in front of our residents and have town hall meetings to answer all their questions,” he said.

“Since this report came out, there has been a lot of questions sent my way from various residents. This is a $200 million question or ask and we need the support of all the residents of Sudbury.”

Leduc said he will also be asking for clarification of a bylaw that was passed when the city borrowed $90 million in 2018 for the possible build of a new arena on the Kingsway.

“The bylaw specifically points to the Kingsway location and right now we are using those funds to support the arena downtown here,” he said.

“So I need to ask staff do we need to change that bylaw and if so how do we go about it?”

Leduc said the report is good but he can’t support a new downtown rink right now.

“Right now, the residents want to see a new arena but the majority of my residents want to see it in a different location,” he said.

“They don’t want to see it in the downtown core. This is on the tax levy right now and I just can’t support that at this point in time.”

Leduc said he is currently drafting a motion for a referendum on the issue that he will present to council April 30. He said the exact wording of the question is yet to be determined.

CTV News reached out to Mayor Paul Lefebvre and his office said he will be available for comment after Tuesday night's meeting.

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