Friday, October 8, 2010

Foulds vote cloaked in mystery

A city councillor who sits on the EarthWise committee won't reveal how he is voting on the Horizon Wind Farm project.  Even though city staff are recommending in favour of leasing land to the company, Andrew Foulds says its the toughest decision he's had to make as a councillor.

Horizon responds to city report

Horizon Wind says it's wind farm project will have many environmental, social and economic benefits.  The company is responding to the city staff recommendation of the project, which still needs councils approval.   Horizon officials were not available to answer any questions, but did say the company will update the city on the provincial government approval process for the project.

Extreme Home Makeover: House of Commons Edition

MP Bruce Hyer wants to play musical chairs in the House of Commons.  Hyer is calling for the seating plan to be randomized, rather than sitting in party specific benches.  Hyer feels a seating plan change would foster more negotiation and a better working atmosphere.  Hyer made the statement in Ottawa and hopes to introduce a motion in the future.

Health Unit looking for smokers

The Thunder Bay Health Unit is encouraging rural smokers to take part in their "Stop" program. Public Health Nurse Amber White says their sign-up numbers are below the mininimum required to host a session in those communities.  Smokers who take part in the study receive five weeks of free quit smoking products like gum, patches, lozenges and inhalers.

YPN hosting Mayoral Debate

There's just over a week left to the municipal election. One of the final mayoral debates will be put on by Thunder Bay's Young Professionals Network. President Christopher Da Silva says they'll be taking questions from facebook and the floor. The debate will be held at the DaVinci Centre from 5:30 to 7:30 Thursday night.

Northern Ontario School of Medicine

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine's striking staff will vote on a tentative agreement Tuesday.  An information session is being held before the vote in Thunder Bay and Sudbury.  Union Spokesperson Tyler England says they're not for or against the contract.  The vote is expected to be wrapped up around 4 Tuesday.

Transit strike deadline Tuesday

A strike deadline for transit services is set for midnight October 12th.  Transit Union Spokesperson Charlie Brown says if they strike it's going to have a big impact on the city. 

Linda Rydholm says she'll vote against wind farm Tuesday

Councillor Linda Rydholm says she's going to vote against the signing of a lease with Horizon Wind.  Rydholm says she's standing up for her Neebing Ward.  She adds if council approves the lease it still needs to get Provincial approval. Administration is recommending council approve Horizon Winds locations for their proposed wind turbines.  Council will vote on it at a special meeting Tuesday.  Irene Bond is with the Norwester Escarpment Protection Committee and says they're dissapointed in Administration's report.

Hampton on long term care beds

Kenora-Rainy River M-P-P Howard Hampton says some seniors in Fort Frances are getting letters informing them long-term care beds are available to them if they leave the community. Hampton cited one case in which a woman was told a bed was available for her in Terrace Bay, some 550 kilometres away. Hampton says its letters they shouldn't have to receive. Hampton adds proposals for supportive housing in the region have yet to receive any approval.

More candidates weigh in on election issues

Colin Burridge is jumping into the discussion on whether council relies on administration too much. Burridge doesn't know if administration influences council's decisions. Meanwhile, Jeff Irwin feels council would have more power behind it's decision making process if the councillors were all full time.

Free Thanksgiving dinner Sunday

The Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association is going to serve a Thanksgiving meal to those in need.  The free dinner is being held at the Salvation Army Booth Centre. Firefighter Scott Chisholm says they look forward to helping out.  The dinner will be held from noon to 3 today.

Climate Change Day of Action

Thunder Bay is taking part in the 350 International Climate Change Day of Action. The Lakehead University Student Union is helping organize the event. Cutting our carbon emissions will be the main topic of discussion with a variety of key speakers. The event is taking place at Waverly Park in Thunder Bay Sunday from 2 to 3:50. Organizer Curniss McGoldrick says MP Bruce Hyer will be one of the guest speakers. Free tea and pumpkins will be provided at the event.

Commisso says process has been fair

All the debate comes to an end next week.  On Tuesday, city councillors are to make a final decision on the Horizon wind farm project. They'll be voting on a staff recommendation to lease land on the Nor' Wester Mountain range to the company for the purpose of building wind turbines. City Manager Tim Commisso believes it's been a fair process for both supporters and opponents.  He says this will be the 14th meeting on the project in  11 months.    Commisso adds the report to council says the city has an obligation to move forward on the issue.

Grow op busted near Nipigon

The combined forces drug unit has taken over 125 thousand dollars worth of drugs off the streets.  Officers found a grow op near Nipigon and seized 126 mature marijuana plants.  Two people were arrested and are facing drug charges.

Child porn charges laid in Thunder Bay

A 17 year old boy is facing Child porn charges in Thunder Bay. Spokesperson Chris Adams says the boy was arrested Wednesday after the Computer Crime Unit conducted a search of a south side residence.  Adams says officers seized computers and other storage devices and found a number of articles of child porn.  He says the sexual exploitation of children is always a huge concern for police.  The boy will appear in court November 25.

Thunder Bay's unemployment is up

Unemployment is on the rise in Thunder Bay.  Our rate edged up to 6.9 percent, up from last months 6.6 percent, but it's still well below the national rate which fell to 8 percent from 8.1.

OPP find body in Bindo Lake

The body of a missing person has been found in Bindo Lake.  OPP divers found the body yesterday afternoon.  The person drowned after their SUV plunged into the lake off a single lane bridge north of Sioux Lookout.  The gender and identity has not yet been released but police believe it was a woman inside the vehicle.

Administration wants the wind farm

The fate of the Horizon Wind farm is now in council's hands.  City staff released a report on the proposed farm yesterday, recommending that council approve the locations for all the proposed turbines.  Council will vote on the report at a special meeting Tuesday.