On Wednesday, April 26, 2006, City Council approved a motion by Mayor David Courtemanche that will create a Community Solutions Team. This citizen-lead team will conduct an extensive public consultation process that will recommend solutions addressing issues raised by residents and businesses in outlying areas.  

Mayor Courtemanche affirmed that the City is committed to building a stronger and more inclusive community.  'It is no secret that, since amalgamation, residents and businesses of outlying areas have had some concerns.  By working together we can take a productive and planned approach to address these issues.”  The Mayor further emphasized that all Greater Sudburians stand to benefit from a stronger and more unified Greater Sudbury.  'The Community Solutions Team is yet another initiative, similar to the establishment of the Community Action Networks, intended to engage citizens from every neighbourhood and community across our vast city”, stated Mayor Courtemanche.

The motion which was approved by Council included the following statements:

  • "The new City represents a combination of urban, sub-urban and rural settings;"
  • "Residents in outlying areas have expressed a desire for the City to be more responsive to their needs;"
  • "Municipal services, by-laws and policies should reflect the unique needs and issues facing outlying areas;"
  • "City Council should take a pro-active approach to addressing these needs by identifying practical solutions to existing problems;"

While many are applauding the idea of the committee, there are others that are saying it is six years too late and that with an election only six months away, this is nothing more than a method of trying to diffuse the momentum of the de-amalgamation petition. 

The fact that the motion contains the statement that "municipal services, by-laws and policies should reflect the unique needs and issues facing outlying areas" leads one to wonder if by-laws will now be altered to apply themselves to various parts of the City after all of the work that has been done to make the by-laws more uniform throughout the City of Greater Sudbury. 

This action by Council is being identified as a sign that Councillors are completely out of control and out of ideas. They have made mistakes and are caught in a corner with no way out. The Committee will discover nothing that Councillors ought to know already if they were indeed representing and in touch with their constituents.

Led by former Nickel Belt MPP, Ontario Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier Floyd Laughren, the Community Solutions Team will implement a public consultation over the next several months and present their findings, including recommendations, to City Council in January, 2007. 'As a resident of the Walden area, and a long-time Sudburian, I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Community Solutions Team,” said Mr. Laughren. He noted that the Team's work will be open and transparent and focused on getting results. 'This initiative is an important milestone in the evolution of the City of Greater Sudbury .  All citizens will have a voice in the development of concrete and practical solutions to improve how the City provides services to our communities in the outlying areas,” added Mr. Laughren.

The Community Solutions Team is a unique opportunity for Greater Sudbury residents to get involved and influence decision making on issues and policies that will unite Greater Sudbury's diverse communities and allow the City to continue to thrive and prosper.  The Team will promote a better understanding between the City's rural, urban and suburban citizens, and identify specific ways in which the City can improve its service delivery to its outlying neighborhoods.  


On May 10, 2006, City Council approved the members of the committee and provided them with a budget of $75,000 to do their work.

In addition to Floyd Laughren, other members of the team include:

France Belanger-Houle A Chelmsford businesswoman
Barry Brett A retired police officer from Garson
Gisele Chretien A retired president of College Boreal and a resident of Hanmer
Martha Cunningham-Closs A resident of Onaping Falls
Keir Kitchen A former town councillor in Capreol
Jack Oatway A retired teacher and resident of Walden

It was also decided that the mandate of the committee will be to search out suggestions on how to make the "current system work". As a result, the committee will not entertain any discussion about de-amalgamation during its meetings.


Community Solutions Team Meeting Schedule

Residents from across Greater Sudbury are being called upon to participate in the Community Solutions Team public input sessions.

Last April, a resolution put forward by Mayor David Courtemanche and passed by Greater Sudbury City Council established a Community Solutions Team to engage citizens on issues raised by residents and businesses in the city's outlying areas.

The seven-member team of volunteers– headed up by former Nickel Belt MPP, Ontario Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier Floyd Laughren– will launch a series of public meetings in 20 communities across the city in an effort to clarify the issues and identify potential solutions.

Here's the schedule of the upcoming 20 meetings:



Start time



May 30

5:00 pm

Onaping Community Centre
1 Hillside Avenue


May 30

8:00 pm

Levack Public School
100 High Street


June 1

7:00 pm

Wahnapitae Community Centre
161 Glenbower Street


June 5

7:00 pm

Dowling Leisure Centre
79 Main Street

Kukagami Lake

June 6

12:00 pm

Sportman's Lodge on Kukagami Lake


June 6

5:00 pm

Wanup Community Centre
23 Old Wanup Road


June 8

7:00 pm

Capreol Community Centre (Arena)
20 Meehan Street


June 10

9:30 am

Garson Community Centre (Arena)
100 Church Street


June 10

1:30 pm

Dr. Edgar Leclair Arena (Arena)
158 Ste. Agnes Street


June 11

1:30 pm

Centennial Community Centre (Arena)
4333 Centennial Road

Beaver Lake

June 15

5:00 pm

Beaver Lake Sports and Cultural Club Inc.
45 Club Road


June 15

8:00 pm

Whitefish Community Centre (Firehall Meeting Room)
4895 Regional Road #55

Val Caron

June 19

7:00 pm

Raymond Plourde Community Centre (Arena)
1919 Helene Street


June 20

7:00 pm

Coniston Community Centre (Arena)
1 Government Road


June 22

7:00 pm

T.M. Davies Community Centre (Arena)
325 Anderson Drive


June 26

5:00 pm

Skead Community Centre
3971 Skead Road


June 26

8:00 pm

Falconbridge Recreation Centre
63 Edison Road


June 27

7:00 pm

Naughton Community Centre ( Former School )
1955 Regional Road #15

Blezard Valley

June 29

5:00 pm

Carrefour - Rhéal Bélisle Centre
2777 Main Street


June 29

8:00 pm

Chelmsford Community Centre (Arena)
215 Edward Avenue

Unable to attend one of these meetings?
Share your thoughts about the needs of Greater
Sudbury 's outlying areas and what the City can do to better address those needs by

·        submitting your comments online (click here to submit your comments)

·        submitting their written comments in person to any Citizen Service Centre

·        writing to the Community Solutions Team, Tom Davies Square , 200 Brady Street , Sudbury , ON P3A 5P3

Robert Kirwan Has Some Suggestions for Floyd Laughren’s Community Solutions Team

   Floyd Laughren, on the right, has been appointed to head up  a  Community Solutions Team which is now going on a tour of the outlying municipalities to talk to residents to identify their concerns and discuss possible solutions to the problems they have experienced since amalgamation.

   Robert Kirwan, on the left, is running for the position of Councillor for Ward 6 – Hanmer and Val Therese. Kirwan states that it will be easy to predict what the final report of the Laughren committee will contain when it is released in January 2007.

   Many local residents feel that if the current group of City Councillors had been keeping in touch with constituents in each of their respective Wards for the past five years there would not be any need to spend $75,000 on this committee to find out why people living in Valley East and other outlying communities are so upset with the level of services they have been receiving.

   Kirwan has the following suggestions for the Community Solutions Team to consider when reporting back to City Council:

1.             The people of Valley East want the city to take better care of the basic service needs of every homeowner at the lowest rate of taxes possible. In others, keep our water and sewer running properly; keep our roads properly maintained; make sure our roads are cleared of snow during the winter; give us good police and fire protection; give us clean and well supervised playgrounds and recreational facilities; and give us an effective public transportation system.

2.             Once you have taken care of our basic needs, then we want you to start encouraging the development of Senior Housing complexes in Valley East so that our senior citizens have a place to live within their community and so that they can sell their large homes to young families. Then make sure there are enough day care spaces to meet the needs of those young families.
3.             Start promoting Valley East as a prime location for manufacturing companies and other job-producing businesses. We have plenty of room in our industrial park.

4.             Start promoting Valley East as a prime location for housing developments. Don’t spend all of your energy and money developing expensive areas like the South End when you have plenty of good land in the Valley.

5.             Stop spending money hiring out of town consultants. We pay our own staff a great deal of money. Use them or get rid of them! And, when you need work to be done, give the contracts to local businesses. Don’t hire outside contractors when we have good people living and contributing to our community right here at home.    

   Above all else, we want better representation from our own Councillors. Each Councillor represents the people of his/her own Ward first and foremost. Right now City Councillors seem to have forgotten who elected them in the first place. That is why the outlying area is so upset with the current system. Visit Robert Kirwan’s web site at www.kirwan.ca for more details on other issues that must be addressed to provide the people of Valley East with the level of service they deserve.



   Over 100 residents turned up at the Capreol Arena on Thursday, June 8, 2006 to let Floyd Laughren’s Community Action Team hear first-hand how unhappy they are with the level of services they have received since amalgamation in January 2001. Many of the presentations cited a desire to de-amalgamate and return to the “old system”, however, Laughren reiterated that discussions about deamalgamation were not part of the committee’s mandate.
   Laughren did agree, however, that conditions should not be what they they are now, nevertheless, they are. He agreed that it would be great if things had been done differently, but they weren’t and so now his committee is trying to come up with a report that addresses solutions that may fix some of the major problems.
   The crowd made it clear that the current City Council should be well aware of the problems and issues in the outlying areas if they were in fact representing their constituents properly.
   With less than 20 people turning out to the five previous meetings, the Capreol stop-over proved to be by far the most difficult faced by the committee. It is expected that the meetings in
Valley East and Chelmsford will produce similar crowds and results.

Good Crowd In Attendance At Hanmer Stop of Laughren’s Tour

  A crowd of approximately 75 people turned out for the 1:30 Sunday afternoon meeting of the Community Solutions Team on June 11. It was cold and rainy outside, but the climate was hot inside as local residents peppered the committee with a volley of complaints and issues that were upsetting this community.
   Laughren explained to the audience that he is convinced this process will produce positive results. He also alluded to the fact that he is discovering that people are not happy in the outlying areas. Each of the members of the committee also addressed the crowd confirming that they too, personally, were disappointed in where the City of Greater Sudbury is today.  One of them stated that he was “surprised that things got so bad so fast”. Kier Kitchen, one of the committee members stated that he was a member of the Capreol Town Council at the time of amalgamation and had “fought like mad not to be where we are today. I accepted the invitation to sit on this committee because if de-amalgamation does not go through, we have to do something to make things better.”
   When asked why meetings were not being scheduled in the former City of Sudbury , Laughren explained that it was clear that not much had changed in that part of the region since amalgamation, so people didn’t appear to have much to complain about.
   The introduction set the mood and it was soon evident that there were a great deal of things people in the crowd were also disappointed in since amalgamation.
   Many points were raised, but common elements included the identification of a serious lack of communication between the City Council and local residents. Some stated that the priorities that were being set by Council were not the same as those desired by their constituents. At the three hour meeting it was obvious that those in attendance felt a bit better about having an opportunity to state their concerns, but while leaving several were overheard stating that they didn’t expect much to be done.
   Residents of Valley East will get another chance to address the committee on June 19 at the Ray Plourde Arena and on June 29 at 5:00 p.m. at the Carrefour – Rheal Belisle Centre in Blezard Valley .


Published by
Robert Kirwan, President & C.E.O.
4456 Noel Crescent, Val Therese ON P3P 1S8
Phone: (705) 969-7215    
EMAIL   rkirwan@infocomcanada.com