(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The City of Thunder Bay, along with other city’s across the continent, have made riding the city bus free of charge in the face of the public health crisis situation sparked by the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19.
The city bus system is often utilized by not only the very poor and vulnerable but also by the struggling working class who simply can’t afford a vehicle.
People have been using the bus for whatever their reasons are since city transit was made free. Some use it to check on their vulnerable family and friends, some use it to get necessities for their home, and some, sadly, use it to keep warm and ride around town as they are homeless.
Wealthy and privileged Thunder Bay city councillor Aldo Ruberto took to social media to air out his thoughts on the situation in what many see as toxic and degrading. In the post, it appears he is upset people are using the city bus for a ride… Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that what the city bus is meant for? People, who need a ride? He then goes on to scold the often impoverished and financially struggling people who ride the bus as “idiots”.
Thunder Bay is known as the city with the “Giant Heart”. Aldo Ruberto often plays it up that he loves this city and the people. I’m feeling a huge disconnect here after reading his comments regarding the mostly indigenous and mostly poor people who utilize the transit services.
It is unlikely Aldo Ruberto will apologize to the community for his comments. These comments he made are likely going to be viewed as highly toxic to reasonably minded individuals.
UPDATE: 6:15 pm, same day as the article was published.
It appears that city councillor Aldo Ruberto has edited his post and removed the words “idiots”.
People noticed and weren’t happy. It appears Aldo had, what he calls, “other choice words” he may have preferred to use, but resorted to “idiots”. Below are some of their comments.
City Councillor Brian Hamilton spoke up about Aldo Ruberto’s unprofessional and degrading comments towards the citizens of Thunder Bay. Below is his comment.
UPDATE: 8:03 pm same day as publishing, it appears Aldo Ruberto’s post has been removed from Facebook or perhaps he has limited it to only his friends list.
UPDATE: Aldo is now appearing to be upset that he wasn’t interviewed before this article was published. He has blocked me from Facebook and doesn’t like my reporting, as is highlighted in the previous article below. He appears to want to control who is media and who is not. How scary is that?
History on Aldo Ruberto article dated February 11, 2020.
(THUNDER BAY, ON) – City Councillor Aldo Ruberto has posted publicly in what appears to be him being upset about our crime reporting. It seems he thinks that reporting on crime is worse than the crime itself. He has blocked me from his page, so here’s my input.
Aldo Ruberto was a hairstylist before he was a city councillor. He got elected in 2006 and has held his seat ever since.
On Aldo’s watch, as a city councillor, Thunder Bay residents have sat back and seem to have barely heard anything from him regarding the southern Ontario gangs that have taken over, gun violence, city councils blunders, the lives lost due to drug overdoses and the out of control addiction rates in our city. But Aldo appears to invite everyone to stick their heads in the sand and ignore our website, which reports on these extremely important matters of public interest. Would Aldo prefer that the public be ignorant to these pressing issues?
Aldo appears to advocate for people’s mental health in his seemingly knee-jerk remarks. Interestingly enough, Thunder Bay’s addict population is in dire need of mental health resources and better addiction treatment resources. Something that after 14 years of sitting down at Donald Street, Aldo appears to not have impacted in a sufficient matter.
I’m left wondering that if I complied with a certain city councillor who asked me to stop reporting on so much crime almost a year ago, would I be in the crosshairs of Aldo Ruberto today? Further, I wonder if I hadn’t called out city council for their focus on a soccerplex, roundabouts, and yet another “crime committee”, if Aldo would have engaged in what appears to be yet another grandstand. Is this the result of not complying with a certain city councillors demand that I stop reporting on “so much crime”?
Where’s Aldo’s grandstand about gangs? Overdose deaths? Gun violence? Lack of enough beds in our detox centre? Aldo once told me he owns the building at the corner of Brodie and Victoria with the naked people painted around the top of the building. That corner was once notorious for street-level drug trafficking and other violence. Can he plead ignorant to these issues?
About a year ago Aldo and I got together and we made a video informing the public about how they can help moderate the, at times, overwhelming racist comments that are common across social media. Since educating the public on how to report racist comments, I am proud to report that we have not only banned hundreds of people for racist comments, but our Facebook page is now one of the most moderated and engaging comment sections in Thunder Bay. There was a Facebook page called “Yes, You’re Racist Thunder Bay”. This page would screenshot what they believed to be racist comments and post them. I counted about 3 comments that came from The REAL Concerned Citizens page in the few months that page operated. Meanwhile, they would have numerous comments from other local pages, many from Aldo Rubertos Facebook page. He’s claiming our news reporting drives hate. This, in my opinion, is just a knee-jerk reaction to our report earlier calling out city councils blunder. It appears using strong words and hiding behind ethnic minorities may not be above the tools Aldo uses to push an agenda.
It’s no secret that Aldo Ruberto is a successful local businessman and is quite wealthy. His friends list on Facebook is littered with well-off local business men and women. How would Aldo benefit from a less-informed public? Does the crime-reporting negatively impact his businesses? The crime and incidents we report on are often reported on by not only our local police service, but other local news agencies as well. Sometimes we break the story and sometimes we publish based off media releases from various agencies. Perhaps a news agency that can be critical of city council irked someone?
What really is the issue with our reports? Yes, we have gotten 3 or 4 things wrong in over 5,000 articles, which we have apologized for and corrected. No where do we claim to have a flawless record and no other local news agency can claim a flawless record. Is the real issue that the issues we are reporting on might be above the ability for the powers that be to correct? Is it easier to silence and discredit the whistleblower rather than admit and address the issues? How has Thunder Bay changed since 2006?