Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cost savings for Prince Arthur's Landing identified

Officials with the Waterfront Development office are scrambling to lower costs. They'll be working with Tom Jones Construction trying to find savings for work on Prince Arthur's Landing.Waterfront manager Katherine Dugmore says the bid for the project has come in 2 million dollars over the 12 and 3 quarter million that was originally budgeted. Tom Jones Construction General Manager, John Jones,  says the company has met with waterfront officials to discuss potential savings and that some have been identified and seem reasonable.  Where some of the cost savings have been identified Jones wouldn't say.   He says those talks are continuing.  The Prince Arthur's Landing project includes the splash pad and ice rink, along with the baggage building. The city hopes to award the contract at the June 21st. council meeting.

Foundation and Naturalists to build fund

Two local organizations are teaming up hoping to leave a green legacy. The Community Foundation and the Field Naturalists are working together to build a 60 thousand dollar endowment fund. The Foundation's Paul Wolfe says the money will provide resources to preserve nature sites. He says the Field Naturalists have quite a bit of land in the area and they need the funds to help maintain the land. Wolfe says the money would be used to make sure that things like fences are in good shape and that paths are well taken care of. It's hoped 20 thousand dollars of the fund can be raised from the community.

Treaty 5 ceremonies set to go

Wednesday is an important day for First Nations people in Northwestern Ontario. They're celebrating the 100th anniversary of Treaty 5 with federal government. Nishnawbe Aski Grand Chief Stan Beardy says it's a day to remember that without treaties there would be no Canada.  He says those treaties were signed to allow settlers to access lands under international law.   Ceremonies are taking place in Sandy Lake and Deer Lake First Nations.  You can get more at the Treaty 5 website.

Triple Nickel owner charged

Charges are being laid against the owner of the former Triple Nickel on Simpson Street.  City of Thunder Bay Licensing and Enforcement Manager Ron Bourret says they filed charges with the Provincial offences court.  The building was completely destroyed in a massive fire in the winter; leaving nothing but a pile of rubble.  Bourret adds that if the owner of the property is found guilty, the city will clean up the site and add the cost of the work to his property taxes.

Thunder Bay's housing starts on the rise

Thunder Bay's housing market continues to see positive signs of recovery. The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation is reporting 24 single-detached starts last month.  Analyst Warren Philp says that's the highest May tally for singles starts since 2003.  The 24 singles started in May were four units higher than the five-year-average for this month.

Beardy optimistic about HST solution

Nishnawbe Aski Grand Chief Stan Beardy says he is encouraged a solution may be reached in the HST point of sale controversy. Beardy's comment comes in the wake of a meeting held this week between Ontario First Nations and the federal and provincial governments. He says both levels of government have come a long way and is confident the point of sale exemption will continue for Natives when the HST comes into effect July first.

Construction nixes Canada Day Parade

There'll be no Canada Day Parade in Thunder Bay this year. The city's coordinator Melissa Wnuk says the waterfront construction forced them to cancel this year's parade and replace it with a short procession instead.  That will start at Camelot and Cumberland and move into Marina Park where the opening ceremonies will take place.  As well this year Canada Day festivities will be expanded to include Water between Red River Road and Cumberland Streets.

Fort William mill sold for scrap

Thunder Bay's Fort William Paper Mill has been sold for scrap. Abitibi Bowater sold four papermills across Canada to American Iron and Metal Company for 8.4 million dollars. National Representative for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Marvin Pupeza says it doesn't come as a shock. Abitibi will also be paid 40 percent of the net proceeds from any sale of papermachines from the four mills.

LU steel bridge team places third

Lakehead University's steel bridge team has taken third place in a National competition.  Zack White says they're bridge faired well against competitors.  White and his team mates are all civil engineering students at Lakehead University.

PETA wants a ban on horse drawn carriages

The animal group PETA is calling on Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson to ban horse drawn carriages in the city.  PETA's request follows a May 31st incident in which 4 year old Willow Scott-Hannam was killed. 
PETA says similar incidents have happened in other city's as well. Director Debbie Leahy says forcing horses to pull heavy loads is cruel and is an accident waiting to happen. Mayor Lynn Peterson has yet to comment.

Students study social issues

Public School students in the city are now more in tune with a number of social issues. It follows a one day conference on diversity in education. Organizer Robin Laye says it's the third year for the program.  This year the topics for discussion were, anti-homophobia, cultural sensitivity, racism, sexism and women's issues.   The purpose of the program is to allow students to learn the skills needed to deal with the problems they face in the system on a regular basis.