What if Thunder Bay isn’t broken?

What if it’s working just as it’s supposed to?
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Mayor Keith Hobbs’ statement:

I have copied my lawyer on this response. First of all I don’t consider Andre Lichtenfeld a former colleague. I testified against him in a Criminal Court proceeding and he was subsequently removed from the Thunder Bay Police as a result. I vehemently deny these allegations and invite you to read the definition of Slander. I did apologize to a group of people at a Public Event at Lakehead University early in my term as Mayor for saying that as a Watch Commander with Thunder Bay Police I was frustrated by the number of “ drunken Indians” that came through our cell blocks and that as a cop I should never have used that term. I came clean and several Indigenous people stood up and said they forgave me. I came clean and it made the media in Thunder Bay. I was thanked by many Indigenous leaders for my stance and my apology. As far as Litchenfeld’s allegations re: burners or putting someone in a boxcar that is just a bald face lie! Litchenfeld has had an axe to grind with me for years. I listened to your podcast last week and it is apparent to me that you chose to attack me as a result of the Indigenous deaths in Thunder Bay. Perhaps you should contact Chief Peter Collins of Fort William First Nation and ask him about my record on Indigenous Affairs. My first two trips as Mayor were to Fort Hope and Webequie to assist those communities when crisis struck. I have travelled to Sandy Lake First Nation at their invitation as a thank you from their Chief for the hospitality Thunder Bay showed them when they were evacuated due to fire. I have visited Pikangikum First Nation at the invitation of their Chief and spoke publicly about living conditions in that community. I have spoken on live radio to Northern Communities and welcomed Indigenous people to our community. For this I was threatened by a resident of Edmonton Alberta in his words for being “ An Indian Lover”. In 2011 when the Seventh Fallen Feather Jordan Wabasse disappeared I spent a frigid cold weekend searching backyards on foot for this lad. I subsequently attended the riverside service with Jordan’s family and Chief Cornelius Wabasse. After the service I was interviewed by the Fifth Estate and called for an Inquest into the deaths. Of course that interview hit the cutting room floor. I suggest you contact Chief of Gull Bay First Nation Wilfred King and ask him about my record on moving Indigenous people forward. In 2011, I signed an historic Declaration of Commitment with Chief Collins of Fort William First Nation and we have joint Council meetings and work on Economic Development, as well as social and cultural issues. I attended the last two Remembrance Days on Mount McKay with my Fort William First Nation friends. Yes Friends. I have attended numerous Indigenous Conferences as a speaker, attended numerous times at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School to speak to students, attended their graduations, feasts etc. Furthermore in your podcast you state that Mayor Hobbs should have been spending his time on the 140 something recommendations from the Inquest. Actually if you did your homework you would know that 34 recommendations were directed to the City of Thunder Bay and we are well on our way to implementing ALL of them. I sit on the Thunder Bay anti-racism and Respect committee and you can contact Amina Abu-Bakare Chair, and ask her about my work in the community. I have been in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and other national media outlets denouncing racism. Recently under my leadership and at my request our City Council donated a million dollar facility to Matawa Tribal Council for $2. This facility is a learning center and soon to be residence for Indigenous students coming to Thunder Bay for their education. A few years ago under my leadership our Council in partnership with the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Center attempted to pursue a community drop in center for Indigenous Youth. Our Council committed $8M towards this venture. When the Feds and the Province refused to assist with funds the project died. I could go on and on about the work I have done including being a productive Board Member of Shelter House that houses mainly Indigenous people that are homeless and suffering with addictions. Mr. Brown I shall listen to your podcast and I will guarantee that I will take legal action if you or anyone else chooses to slander me. It is easy to take shots at me right now due to the fact that I am presently before the Courts on a Criminal Charge. One charge has been withdrawn due to no evidence that would pass the test of a trial and I can assure you that the Extortion Charge will eventually be gone and I will be vindicated as my lawyer has already indicated to you. It was apparent by your last podcast that you don’t like me. In your words WTF? You don’t even know me.

Respectfully,

Keith Hobbs