Monday, June 28, 2010

Councillors trying out pilot project limiting questions

Council has approved a pilot project for two months limiting the number of questions a city councilor can ask the public and administration.  Most councillors were in favour of the change, but Councillor Rebecca Johnson was not.  Johnson says she asks questions that she knows the answers to for the benefit of the public.  Meanwhile, council voted down a resolution limiting how long a council meeting can run.   Many felt most meetings should go past 11:30 if it warrants it.

Library costs run over budget

The Mary J L Black Branch Library continues to run over budget.  The City of Thunder Bay approved 990-thousand dollars in extra costs associated with the library last night.  The latest tender for the project came in at over 4.2 million dollars and was awarded to Aurora Construction.  The additional cost is attributed to the construction market and the redevelopment of the preffered site at the West Thunder Community Centre.

Council approves purchase of new buses

There will be some new buses on city streets.  Council has approved the purchase of six new low floor 40 foot transit coaches from Nova Bus.  The buses will cost the city over 1.2 million dollars.

Canada Day brings the implementation of new long term care rules

The new long term care homes act comes into effect Canada Day and Thunder Bay's nursing homes are preparing for its implementation. Pioneer Ridge Administrator Cindy Jarvela says both the ministry of long term care and area homes are scrambling to implement the new rules. Jarvela says the homes will keep up the status quo and will have fully implemented the new act by years end. Jarvela says inspection teams will be coming into homes and conducting one on one interviews with residents and provide positive and negative feedback to the homes. The new act will ensure home infrastructure is kept up to date, and will also look at how residents are treated. 

City waiting for Hydro Board report

The City of Thunder Bay is going to wait to see what the Hydro board has to say about its size and structure.  Council was considering reducing the size of municipal representation on the board, but has since decided to wait for a report from the board itself.  The proposed make up of the board, if approved, would have only one member of city council on it. The city manager would also have a non voting position on the board.  Council is asking the board to review some of the proposed changes and provide a report on what they would like to see in their organization's makeup.

Police locate lost group

A group of five young adults are safe and sound after being lost in the bush over the weekend. OPP say that they went for a walk on a road in in the area of Adrian Lake Road in Marks Township and couldn't find their way back. Police walked into the bush for about a kilometre and half before the group was found.

Habs re-sign Pyatt

Tom Pyatt is officially with the Montreal Canadiens again. He signed a one year half a million dollar contract. For Pyatt it's a relief to get it done early and it gives him a chance to enjoy the summer worry free. He says he's happy to be back with the Habs. Pyatt says he hopes to use the contract as a springboard for something more longer term in the future.

NAN supports reading program.

The Lieutenant Governor's Summer Reading camp is getting the stamp of approval from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.  The First Nations organization is helping to promote it. David Onley says the future of the program looks solid.   He says they're getting longer term committments from sponsors.    There are 100 youth counsellors in the program.

L-U hosts 11th Shad Valley

Some of the smartest teenage minds in Canada are at Lakehead University for the annual Shad Valley program . This year there are 65 participants. Local organizer Sultan Siddiqui says it's important to host the program in Thunder Bay. He says it exposes the city to future leaders of Canada. The students will be in the city for a month. This year they're being asked to develop a product that will help to fill a need for the aging population of Canada.

Shelter House Food Drive a success

The Thunder Bay Fire Department's food drive for Shelter House was a huge success. Food was collected at the City's Safeway locations and all but one Metro locations Friday night. Shelter House Executive Director Cal Rankin says the public donated over a tonne and a half of food and over a thousand dollars in cash and gift cards. Rankin says this should get them through the next month or two.

Purse snatcher caught by police

A purse snatcher was arrest by Thunder Bay police over the weekend. The 18 year boy old nabbed the purse from an elderly woman Saturday Evening, and will appear in court today. Police are still looking for a second man involved in the robbery.

Fire Department deals with shed fire

A house on McPherson Street saw their shed get torched yesterday. Just before 6:30 crews responded to the call and when they arrived they found the shed completely engulfed in flames. Officials are calling the fire susupicious.

Time saving measures coming to Council.

The move is on to shorten long winded city council meetings. Councillors will be considering two possible solutions at tonight's meeting. One is a proposal to have all Monday night council meetings end at 11:30 pm. Any further business would be settled the next evening. The other proposal would be to restrict councillors questions during presentations by the public and to administraiton.  Also at council several major contracts are being considered by city councillors tonight. One is for the new Mary J. L. Black Library, another is for the re-roofing of the Canada Games Complex. There is no cost associated with those two projects in the council agenda. Meantime councillors will also vote on the purchase of 6 new transit buses at a cost of 1.2 million dollars.