Residents of outlying areas of Greater Sudbury demonstrate to demand better delivery of basic services


A group of protesters concerned about declining service levels in Sudbury’s outlying communities marched past Tom Davies Square on Tuesday.

With less than three weeks to go until the municipal elections, a group of around six placard-bearers said they wanted the mayoral candidates to address their concerns.

Improving the delivery of basic services such as police patrols, public transit and winter maintenance are major concerns.

Arly Matthiesson, a technology technician recently moved from Dowling to a unit in West Sudbury. He said Sudbury’s eight mayoral candidates were missing a golden opportunity to attract small-town voters.

« Anyone who wants to come forward and offer to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to improve services in outlying areas’ – that will elicit support from those areas for them, » he said.

« It’s a dedicated voter base. »

Matthiesson said public transport was a big deal for him, as commuting from Dowling « was difficult, if not impossible ».

« I depend on the bus to get around, » Matthiesson said.

He added that Dowling’s bus service is sparse at best.

« It’s four o’clock between [buses] to take a taxi that will take us to another bus stop that will then connect us to the city. »

Chantal Gorham of Onaping Falls was among a group of protesters concerned about declining service levels in communities on the outskirts of Greater Sudbury. They marched past Tom Davies Square on Tuesday. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

Chantelle Gorham, a business owner in Onaping Falls who organized the march, said residents of that community were concerned about safety due to fewer police patrols.

« The police should know that we deserve a regular police presence, » she said.

« They should know that with the number of accidents that have happened in the general area, it should be a priority, but it’s not, » Gorham said, referring to recent accidents near a level crossing on Route 144.

« It’s like pulling teeth for them to recognize us. »

Gorham said that since the Greater Sudbury amalgamation nearly two decades ago, the condition of sidewalks, streets and parks in Onaping has also declined noticeably.

« We really feel like we’re not heard or seen and our communities certainly reflect that. »

A man wearing a cap stands next to a protest sign
Don Gravelle is running for mayor of Greater Sudbury in the October 24 municipal election in Ontario. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

Three mayoral candidates — Miranda Rocca-Circelli, Devin Labranche and Don Gravelle — addressed protesters at the rally.

« I think the reason they’re here is desperately needed, » Gravelle said. « The further you go, the less they feel like the city hears what they’re saying. »

Gravelle has heard of fire safety issues in Whitefish and Beaver Lake in the western part of Greater Sudbury, where he said the fire department was « half-staffed ».

“It becomes a critical safety concern for the people of this city,” he said.

The municipal election is on October 24.



Back to top button