Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bruce Hyer heads to China

Bruce Hyer is going to China. The Thunder Bay-Superior North MP leaves today to be part of a joint federal-provincial trade mission to promote Canada as a tourist destination. Hyer calls China a real tourism priority and says the number of potential visitors is huge. 45 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad last year, a number that's expected to increase to 100 million by 2020.

Transit union votes in favour of contract

Last night transit workers voted to accept the contract offered by the city. The vote was 78 percent in favour, according to union president Charlie Brown.

Transit workers retain their current benefits and gain a pay increase under the new three year contract. While transit workers are getting a bump in pay. Brown says city transit workers are still below the provincial average.

The contract also adds protections to prevent bus surveillance cameras from being used to monitor job performance, Brown says the cameras are there for the safety of drivers and passengers and should only be used for criminal matters.

Brown voted against the contract although the union recommended a vote in favour and called the negotiation process the most "dysfunctional" he's ever seen in his time as union president.

Brown says the contract will be up for negotiation again in 18 months.

Strategic plan update

City councillors will hear Monday about how well they're doing to implement the strategic plan.

City Spokesperson Karen Lewis says they'll be giving an outline of their progress and of plans 92 initiatives. Lewis says 75 of the initiatives are either complete or have major aspects complete.

Lewis adds they'll be recommending council put in a corporate review process to look for ways to make the city more efficient.

Monday's council meeting is the last before the municipal election.