Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alarm bells go off over TTC deal

There's a lot of concern that Bombardier's contract to build light rail cars may be torn up by the new mayor of Toronto. A report from Toronto says that Rob Ford wants the Toronto Transit Commission to put the brakes on the LRT plan. Premier Dalton McGuinty says he plans to meet with Ford to find some common ground on the issue. It's widely believed if the 1.8 million dollar contract is torn up there will be a penalty to pay. Our mayor-elect Keith Hobbs says he wants to meet with Ford to tell him how important that contract is to the economy of Thunder Bay

Trillium Foundation gives money

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has awarded 820-thousand dollars in grants to 19 not-for profit organizations across Northwestern Ontario.  Sandy Lake First Nation is getting 72-grand to purchase equipment and hire professional artists to deliver a youth media outreach project. 50-grand is going to Muskrat Dam to study the possible construction of a bridge over the Severn River. The Chimera Project is getting 74-thousand dollars to hire artistic and program staff to create contemporary dance opportunities in Sioux Lookout. Ignace is welcoming nearly 14-grand to install a walkway and benches in the downtown core. The Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre will use 15-thousand dollars to purchase canoes, paddles, a trailer and life jackets.

OPG Atikokan project underway

Ontario Power Generation says work to convert the coal-fired plant in Atikokan is well underway.  It's to burn biomass fuel by 2013.  CEO Don Mitchell says part of the work includes developing an energy supply agreement and seeking pricing bids for fuel.  Mitchell says a number of bids were received in their call for bids.

Local MS Society weighs in on treatment

A Thunder Bay MS Society official understands the desperation of some MS patients. However, Board Chair Linda Adamson says the Government should hold off on putting money on the table for the controversial Liberation treatment. Adamson feels it would be in everyone's best interest to wait for the results of research on the treatment to be released. The NDP is calling on the Liberal Government to commit funds and the exact amounts for the treatment.

Bearskin deal takes time

It may be another month before the acquistion of Bearskin Airlines is completed.  Winnipeg-based Exchange Income announced its intentions to purchase the Northwestern Ontario airline back in September.  President Michael Pyle says the deal is moving along but notes it may be another 30-days until its finalized.  Pyle notes they are waiting on a number of things to happen, including Government approvals, but he doesn't anticipate any problems. Airline officials were hoping to have the deal completed the first week of December.

NAPS new boss

Claude Chum is the new Chief of the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service.  Chum has been in policing for over 21-years, starting his career as a constable under the First Nations program with the Ontario Provincial Police.  The Moose Cree First Nation native has also served with the Canadian Armed Forces and Navy.  Chum takes over as Chief on January first and says he's looking forward to working with NAN First Nations.

Port Authority has new member

Winnipeg's Greg Arason is the newest member of the Thunder Bay Port Authority board.  The Federal government appointed Arason to a three year term that starts January 1st.

LU Prof weighs in on by-election

A local political science teacher is weighing in on the most recent Federal By-elections. The Conservatives gained two new MPs and the Liberals just one in the Winnipeg North riding. Gary Munro is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Lakehead University and says it's interesting to see Julian Fantino elected. Munro notes Fantino was heavily involved in policing which ties into the Conservative Government's crime platform. Fantino claimed a former Liberal riding, and the Liberals knocked off an NDP incumbent.

Weight loss surgery only a matter of time

The Health Science's Centre is one step closer to being able to perform weigh loss operations. The hospital hopes a new counselling centre will allow for surgery on obese people in the future. The hospital's Brent Maranzan  believes it's only a matter of time now.  He says the facility has the expert surgeons, they now have to prove they take care of the before and after.  Maranzan says having the surgery done here will save thousands in health care costs.

Ca$h rolling in for library

Fundraising is off to a good start for the new Mary J-L Black Library.    Organizer Patrick Morash says a month into the campaign they've raised a quarter of the 200 thousand dollar goal.  The latest corporate donation is 5 thousand dollars from Westfort Foods

Motors and Muscles Raffle launched

Get your motors running....and buy a ticket for the Motors and Muscles Raffle. 600 tickets are being sold at a 100 dollars a piece.  Fundraising Chair John Trevisanutto says the draw will be made in August for a 2011 Harley Davidson Road King Classic Motorcycle. The draw has been sold out over the past six years and typically brings in over 30 thousand dollars for the Diabetes Association.

Kakabeka Falls not happy with proposed highway extension

Kakabeka Falls is ready to fight a proposed new extension of Highway 17 that would bypass the community.  The ministry of Transportation has released 4 proposed routes for the extension from the Shabaqua Corners to Kakabeka falls and all include a bypass.  There will be a public information meeting held tonight at 7 at the Redeemer Lutheran Church.