Friday, December 3, 2010

INAC slammed over travel expenses

An area native leader is heaping scorn on Indian Affairs for extravagant spending. Anishinabek Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare is angry INAC was a part of the 125 million dollars spent by civil servants on extravagant trips over 4 years. He says the money could have been spent on Aboriginal education.

Hobbs first day on Monday

Keith Hobbs will officially become the Mayor of Thunder Bay Monday. Hobbs will be sworn in Monday night and says he'll be giving a short speech outlining his game plan. Hobbs says he's excited to get everything started.

Hovorka gets justice

A victory for Thunder Bay singer Shy-Anne Hovorka. After being disqualified for not being Aboriginal enough, her album is now being considered by as a candidate for a Juno Award as Aboriginal Album of the Year. Hovorka believes a flood of e-mails and phone calls from her fans may have helped her cause.

Future CA's pass test

Nine Thunder Bay residents have passed what is considered one of the most challenging professional entry examinations in the world. The future chartered accountants passed the Canada-wide Uniform Evaluation. Successful students must possess knowledge, professional judgment, ethics and the ability to communicate.

NOMA reacts to extension

The Acting President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association is applauding both levels of Government for extending the deadline to complete key infrastructure projects. Dennis Brown says reaching the March 31st deadline was just not possible because of the region's short construction season.  Brown believes Municipal lobbying efforts played an essential role in having the date changed to the end of October.

RN helps Paramedics

A registered Nurse is now working along side the Superior North Emergency Medical Services team. Chief Norm Gale says the nurse will ease pressure for paramedics. The nurse will take EMS patients from paramedics, so they can deal with other calls instead of waiting for a doctor to take the patients. Gale says the nurse will be on call eight hours a day, seven days a week, up until March 31st of 2011. The position was funded by the Ministry of Health.

Hampton talks property taxes

Northerners living in the unorganized area received a shock in the mail when they received their final property tax bills on November 30th. The bills included a due date of December 3rd for the first instalment and December 17th for the second instalment.  Kenora-Rainy River MPP Howard Hampton blames the office in Thunder Bay, which was given the contract to look after all of the bills.  Hampton is asking for the deadline to be extended into the New Year without penalty to homeowners.  The deadline has since been extended to the end of the month.

Council meetings now on the Internet

Watching city council meetings will now be as close as a click of a mouse. City Clerk John Hannam says starting Monday, council meetings will be streamed live on the city website.  They'll also be archived so you can watch any meeting at your leisure.  The live stream can be viewed at  

OPSEU protests tax cuts

Members of Ontario Public Service Employees Union in Thunder Bay have a complaint against MPP Bill Mauro. They claim his government is giving tax breaks to big corporations at the expense of government workers.  The members protested in front of Mauro's office over the lunch hour Friday

Wasaya deal postponed

Wasaya Group is delaying the launch of its new Helicopter Charter Company.  An announcement was to be made Friday morning, but officials put it off until January stating that they are finalizing some legal details.  The multi million dollar deal was to be signed with V. Kelner Aviation but Spokesperson Joe Moses says it's unclear who the major parter will be. President Tom Kamenawatemin says he can't confirm or deny it's because they are finalizing partnerships.  The company would provide helicopter services for the mining, construction, geophysical, environmental, and tourism industries in Northern Ontario.

Big sigh from City Hall

There are no more worries at city hall about completing the waterfront project by March 31st.   The Harper government has extended the completion deadline for that and other stimulus projects in Canada. The deadline is now October 31st.  The new Mary J-L Black Library is the other local stimulus project.

Exhibit targets racism

There's an anti-racism exhibit on display at City Hall. Our city is one stop on a seven city Canadian tour. The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge Exhibit is made up of twenty six works. The pictures and stories are on display for about another week.