Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mayoral Debate brings up many issues

It was standing room only at the mayoral candidates debate at the Lakehead Labour Centre last night.  250 people took part, and only one candidate didn't show Brian Kwasny.  Audience members brought up the proposed Multi-plex and questioned if they city can afford such a project.  Keith Hobbs says if he's elected Mayor big ticket items will go to the public for a vote. Meanwhile, incumbent Lynn Peterson says it's not a done deal they are just conducting a feasibility study. Frank Pullia says nothing is final since council will change in two months time. Collin Burridge says he would engage the public on major infrastructure projects.  Another hot topic was the city's tax rate.  Councillor Frank Pullia says the city can't raise taxes any higher or else people will be forced out of their homes.  Meanwhile, Collin Burridge says he would put the money used to pay off the Health Sciences Center towards lowering property taxes.  Lynn Peterson says they pay close attention to what is in the budget, balancing cutting items and providing critical services.  Keith Hobbs says he would put off projects that are not necessities such as the waterfront project.

Health Unit warns of outbreaks

There are a couple of outbreaks at local old age homes. Officials at the health unit have declared a respiratory illness on Plaza One. Meanwhile, there's an outbreak at Versa Care on the fifth and sixth floors only. The health unit is urging people to stay at home and refrain from visiting those sites.

First Nations sign agreements

Marten Falls and Webequie First Nation signed a relationship protocol with each other.  The document deals with exploration of any Ring of Fire discoveries.  The two first nations also signed a protocol with the Ministry of Northern, Mines and Forestry and Natural Resources.

No transit deal yet

The transit dispute still isn't settled, but the buses will still be running Friday.   Conciliator Myrna Mann will be flying in from Toronto to help both sides come to an agreement.   Union boss Charlie Brown says for now, there will be no strike as long as the talks are continuing.  Brown also promises that he will give the public plenty of warning if there is a strike. 

Jordan Staal out for start of the season

Thunder Bay's Jordan Staal is going to miss the first six weeks  of the NHL season.   The star forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins needs 5 to 6 weeks to recover from a foot infection that followed an operation.    The surgery necessary to repair a tendon injury Staal suffered during the playoffs. It's a bit of a blow for Staal since he has only missed one regular season game in his 4 year career

Waterfront the backdrop for PM visit

Final preparations are complete at the site of the waterfront project   for Prime Minister Harper's visit to the city Friday.  A huge tent has been set up on the construction site and police and security have scoped the area.   Harper will be part of an event there during the noon hour.   At 6 o'clock Friday evening he'll be at the Victoria Inn to make a speech to Conservative party faithful.

LUSU prez calls tuition news shocking

There are tough words coming from the president of the Lakehead University Student Union.   Mike Snoddon  says Stats Canada figures that show Ontario has the highest average undergraduate tuition fee at 6 hundred dollars,  is shocking. Snoddon says even LU is getting up there after it broke the 5 thousand dollar barrier this year. He also accuses the McGuinty government of allowing it's own tuition increase guidelines to be broken.

Fundraiser receives boost

There are smiles all around at the local Alzheimer Society office. It follows a 5 thousand dollar donation towards the Coffee Break fundraiser. Director Alison Denton says it came from Bob Stewart of the Caribou Restaurant.   Denton says the money was raised at Stewart's 50 birthday party

Home owner charged for not maintaining smoke alarms

The Owner of a house on Redwood Avenue is facing some fines after being caught without working smoke alarms. Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue responded to a small fire Tuesday evening and found smoke in the home. The fire was confined to an electronic air filter in the furnace. The home did have two smoke alarms but were not working. Officials are reminding people to make sure all their smoke alarms are working properly.

We are just days away from the Thunder Bay Marathon

Organizers are geared up for this weekends inaugural Miles with the Giant Marathon. President Barry Streib says runners will be able to pick up their kits at the Chamber of Commerce Superior Living health and wellness leisure expo Friday and Saturday.  The race starts at 8 o'clock Sunday morning on Red River Road.

Terrace Bay Pulp is out of creditor protection

Great news for Terrace Bay, the pulp mill is reopening. Yves Fricot says the facility pulled out of creditor protection late yesterday evening and is bringing employees back to the mill. There will be about 340 people employed at the mill and around the same amount working in woodlands operations.  Fricot says it will take about two weeks of prep work before the mill will be ready to produce pulp.