Lawyer Warns of Potential Kingsway Entertainment District Risks

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Attorney Eric Gillespie has cautioned that the Kingsway Entertainment District project could prove costly in the long run.

Eric Gillespie, a prominent Sudbury lawyer, has cautioned against proceeding with the Kingsway Entertainment District (KED) project, warning that the development could prove costly down the road.  Gillespie, who represents the Minnow Lake Restoration Group, advised the city that proceeding with the project would be risky due to mounting legal action.

Gillespie’s warning comes at the heels of a recent city council vote of seven to six in favour of the site preparation approval for the KED location. The new site is expected to feature a hockey arena and a hotel, as well as a casino complex managed by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. Since its announcement, the project has faced multiple legal challenges, with the latest one on its way.

Proceeding at Their Own Risk

In a judicial review, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group argued that mayor Brian Bigger and the city council made numerous legal slipups and left some questions unanswered.  According to estimates, KED would cost CA$9,73 million in total, of which CA$5,6 million would be funded by the city. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment plans to spend around CA$2,2 million, while the hotel operator’s share is estimated at CA$530,000.

However, if the judicial review of the decision succeeds, the vote put forward on 14 July to advance with the project would be made null and void, subsequently stopping the development.  Gillespie is convinced that the city officials are disregarding the fiduciary duty they have sworn to uphold. According to the 2001 Municipal Act, councillors must act in the interest of Greater Sudbury’s finances.

The city’s solicitor, Kelly Gravelle, revealed that, to date, less than CA$5,000 had been spent on the Minnow Lake Restoration Group file. However, the attorney of the non-profit organisation claims that there is far more at risk with the project. In Gillespie’s words, millions of taxpayers’ money would be at stake if the project goes ahead.

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