Provenzano Commends Grassroots Movement for Chilly Willy Change

Christian Provenzano

Christian Provenzano, candidate for mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, said today that the movement formed to save Chilly Willy’s is an excellent example of democracy in action. Using social media sites like Facebook, concerned members of the community were able to organize a meeting Wednesday night and have a direct influence on the outcome at city hall.

“I want to congratulate those who took the time to get involved and participate both online and at the meeting Wednesday night,” Provenzano said. “This is an example of grassroots democracy in action, and you should be proud of the results.” Over seven thousand members joined the Facebook group opposing city council’s decision to remove the bar and grill and spend $1.5 million to renovate the space for a library.

“When people work together, they can make a change,” Provenzano stated, “and that’s what makes grassroots politics so important. ” Provenzano continued,“But when I’m speaking with community groups, I keep hearing one thing: we need to take a fresh look at how we’re spending money in this city.” Provenzano indicated that the decision to spend $1.5 million to retrofit a space occupied by an existing business was at odds with a majority of the community. “We cannot be afraid to ask for input on key decisions and this is a great example of how we can all be a part of the solution.”


  1. The discussion still needs to happen and be heard in open council to the usage of the demised area.
    I like others want to see that happen.
    Mr. Fratisi has stated “It was ultimately the library board’s decision (not to relocate to the Rhodes Centre),”.
    This is not settled yet.
    Although the library has extricated themselves from the usage discussion the council will need to study, debate and decide and make a clear direction to us the share holders if a restaurant/ bar/ lounge will be in the arena or not.
    Library discussion can now be had clearly and separately.

    My request to council for information still stands.

    It is good to see the public take an interest in municipal matters. My hope is they do continue and become more informed on not only what’s breaking in the headlines but to what concerns them.

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