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Timmins man rants about city and Klingons, later seals his own mouth

Tension over proposed campsites for 8-day summer festival reaches alien levels

A discussion regarding two potential RV parks for this summer's "Stars and Thunder" festival took a few eccentric turns on Monday night at city hall.

The City of Timmins has been scouting locations around the municipality to serve campers who will be visiting the city during the eight-day international fireworks and music festival, and has narrowed its sights.

The first portion to be discussed was a property at 3449 Highway 101 West, just past the Kamiskotia Road intersection, near Cook's Lake. The other is a parking lot on the west side of the Northern College campus in South Porcupine. The zoning amendment would be approved from June 15 to July 8, although the actual camping would take place between June 23 and July 2.

It should be noted that the 'camping' at the two sites would be exclusively RVs, as tents will not be permitted.

Councillor Pat Bamford said the city should consider extending the length of the camping period, citing potential economic windfall.

The meeting served as a 'public meeting' and anyone in attendance was allowed to express their thoughts on the matter. None was angrier than local citizen John Ivanovs who stepped forward to the hot seat. Earlier he handed members of council copies of a petition against having RVs at Northern College.

"You seem to be totally disregarding normal courses of doing the re-zonings, the environmental impact. You've got 21,600 litres of water per day that has to be disposed of from the site. They are right by Porcupine Lake, and I don't believe that all of the RV owners are going to be nice enough to wait until they go to a pump-out station," he said.

Ivanovs lamented that a traffic study hadn't been done for the site, noting that RVs are slow moving vehicles, and will be in a high-traffic area. He also questioned the deal between the city and Northern College.

"Is the city charging Northern College property tax on this for that short little period of time? Right now it's an educational institution, it is tax exempt. They are now making money. They are making big money. They're going to be making $73,867," he said, adding he felt it was inappropriate for the city to be advertising the campsites on the official festival website before they've been passed at council.

He then got animated, speaking to each of his hands as if they were people, and said the city was applying to the city:

To Right Hand: "Well Mr. Engineer, what do you think?"

To Left Hand: "Well I don't know Mr. Administrator, what do you think?"

To Right Hand: "Well let me see, I don't think that's right."

To Left Hand: "Oh yes that's right."

"No it isn't right. That's how stupid it is. The city is applying to the city," said Ivanovs.

He then called the public meeting 'a sham' as he felt the city had its mind made up already, regardless of public input. He then brought up a city declaration and flag raising from earlier in the day. 

Ivanovs eventually removed the seal from his mouth, and stayed for the duration of the meeting. Andrew Autio for TimminsToday

"Speaking of nonsensical, I do have to digress this morning you allowed the Klingon Empire to raise the flag."

Mayor Steve Black cut him off and told him to stay on topic. 

"Okay let's go back to the real world, and not the pretend Klingon world," replied Ivanov.

On Monday morning, Black declared the day as 'Klingon Empire Day' which was a request by Crimson Dawn, the local chapter of Klingon cosplayers. They have made their presence known at council in the past.

The subsequent flag raising was especially irksome for Ivanovs, who continued his rant, before Black interjected again by telling Ivanovs he was belittling a local group doing positive things. 

"I'm not going to have it at our table. If you're done with your objection to the item, I'll ask you to step down," said Black.

"I am done with the objections to this. As I say, what's the point of a public meeting? You don't listen anyways, to anything," said Ivanovs, before returning to the audience.

He later further chimed in from the audience, and was once again asked to be quiet by the mayor. Ivanovs then brandished a piece of paper which said 'Free Speech' on it with an arrow through it, and applied it to his mouth. He wore it for well over an hour.

The vote to approve the proposed RV sites will be back on a council agenda in the near future.

After the meeting, TimminsToday asked him why the Klingons had him so riled up.

"Klingons don't exist. The mayor approved raising a Klingon flag. This is make believe. This belittles, this demeans, every charity that's had their flag raised there. It's flying beside the Canadian flag. It demeans the Canadian flag. It makes a mockery of the whole idea. He's acting like a child, and nothing but a child."


Andrew Autio, freelance

About the Author: Andrew Autio, freelance

Andrew Autio is a Timmins-based freelance journalist
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