Monday, June 21, 2010

Harbourview Funeral Centre creating a parking lot

The Harbourview Funeral Centre wants to build a parking lot for its facility.  The City of Thunder Bay rezoned the property at 179 MacDougall Street from light industrial to highway commercial.  Owner Chris Lent says they plan to make changes to the property to allow for proper water drainage.  The City is currently in the process of selling the land. Most City councillors were in favour of the rezoning application, but Joe Virdiramo wanted it written into the legislation that the property could be used as a parking lot only and not a Methadone clinic.

Methadone Clinic phobia

Clinic phobia is making the rounds of Thunder Bay. Councillor Joe Virdiramo made mention of the methadone clinic being proposed for Frederica Street at last night's council meeting. Virdiramo asked Development Services Manager Mark Smith if the City has any say on what types of clinics set up shop in the City. Smith says there is a phobia amongst the public in regards to clinics popping up in their neighbourhoods. Smith adds they typically just have say over the zoning but not what forms of clinics can be operated on that property. The rezoning of a piece of property on high street sparked the conversation on methadone clinics. A local union office and a possible future community clinic is being proposed for high street.

Open Spaces proposed for Kam River area

More open green spaces are planned for the Kam River area. A draft report on the area was presented to City council last night and the public will have their chance to weigh in on it this summer.  Development Services Manager Mark Smith says once the final report is in place; council can decide what forms of infrastructure they would like to put in place.  Councillor Ian Angus would like to see a mixed use residential area on the waterfront with the possibility of a condominium.

Local Tories show interest in running

Some north side Conservatives appear to be anxious to have a shot at federal politics. Mike Auld has stepped down as the candidate in Thunder Bay Superior North for health reasons. Riding Association President Michael Picard says the buzz has already started.  He says interest has been shown but he wouldn't say who those people might be until it's formalized.   Picard hopes to have a candidate chosen before the end of the summer.

Public School Board gets good grades

The Lakehead Public School Board is happy with its students test scores in the Ontario Secondary School literacy tests. The tests are handled by the Education, Quality and Accountability office and results were released last week.  Director of Education Kathy Seminieuk says their students scored 81 percent, just 3 percent below the provincial average.  Hammarskjold high was above the provincial average with 85 percent.  Meawnhile, Sir Winston Churchhill scored 80, Superior Collegiate came in with 69 and Westgate scored 87 percent.

Ride for Dad sets record

The final numbers are in. The annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad on the weekend set a new record for participation. Michael Pedri of the Health Sciences Foundation says over 78 thousand dollars was raised by the 346 riders. Pedri says organizations have no complaints. He calls support for the community oustanding especially the assistance from the corporate sponsors. In the ride's 10 year history, 628 thousand dollars has been raised for the Foundation.

Counselling Centre gets thumbs up

The Thunder Bay Counselling Centre is celebrating. It's received it's accreditation, essentially a stamp of approval from counselling experts. Executive Director Nancy Chamberlain says it gives them continued credibility.  She says it assures  the community that they are following accepted practices in everything from administration, to finance to programming.   Chamberlain credits her staff and the board for the achievement.

Still no deal for Superstore workers

The workers at the Real Canadain Superstore are yet another step closer to striking. Not only have they already voted in favour of a walkout, now comes word that conciliation talks aimed at getting them a new contract broke off Monday. The major stumbling block in negotiations are company concessions that include wages and benefits. The countdown to any strike action will begin with the release of a conciliators report.

Native merchants sell their wares at Chippewa

Ruth Stebens was one of the many merchants who were selling First Nations jewerly at the Aboriginal Day celebration at Chippewa Park.  

Thousands take in Aboriginal Day

Aboriginal Day is another success. About 3 thousand people took in the festivities at Chippewa Park. This year's ceremonies were special for the Metis. Thunder Bay Council President Wendy Landry says it's the Year of the Metis. She says under the constitution Metis are considered Aboriginal People and so it's a huge statement for the local committee to recognize them. Landry says the contribution the Metis made to Canada can't be ignored.   Organizer Stephanie Feletto says Aboriginal People have come together to celebrate the day for generations.   She says it's a time to celebrate life and meet new friends.