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Superior Court hearing on Kingsway Entertainment District starts today at 9:45 a.m.

Casino Free Sudbury to present legal appeal over a two-day hearing
Tom Fortin. (File)

Sudbury businessman Tom Fortin and Casino Free Sudbury will make their arguments against the Kingsway Entertainment District to the Superior Court of Justice starting Monday, June 29.

The hearing will be streamed on YouTube and you can watch it here starting at 9:45 a.m.

Fortin filed a more than 1,500-page appeals package to the Superior Court last October. While he is joined by the Downtown Sudbury BIA and others in the LPAT appeal, Fortin is the only name on the Superior Court application. The BIA had been involved but has since withdrawn.  

Fortin, through his lawyer, Gordon Petch, is arguing the city was biased when it approved the Kingsway site in April 2018. Those arguments were removed from the LPAT appeal last year, when the tribunal said it had no jurisdiction to rule on issues of bias, only whether planning laws were followed.

Fortin's arguments include a reference to a letter Mayor Brian Bigger sent to Premier Doug Ford in July 2018, asking the premier to intervene to speed up the LPAT process. As we reported last month, multiple sources have told one of the reasons why the LPAT hearing was delayed until May 2020 – more than two years after city council approved the project – was a partial reaction to the letter. The province was eager to ensure it couldn't be accused of improperly accelerating the process.

The appeal includes a reference to Bigger's letter and says Fortin's lawyers have been unable to get information from the city detailing any further communication from the province in connection with the letter.

Fortin has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money on the fight and has received donations from supporters. 

The two-day hearing is to argue matters of the law only and will not involve any cross-examination. 

According to CasinoFreeSudbury, a decision is expected later this summer. If the decision goes in Fortin's favour, the LPAT hearing scheduled for this September will not be required.