Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Nations youth receive important donation

Youth at four area First Nations around Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls are benefiting from a large donation of sports equipment from residents of Ottawa. The U-Haul truck load of equipment was distributed to children at Whitefish Bay, Northwest Angle #33 and #37 and Onigaming yesterday. Former Metis Nation of Ontario president, Tony Belcourt, who lives in Ottawa, helped organize the drive.

OPP prepare for New Years

Arrive alive this holiday season - don't drink and drive. It's a message we've all heard before but OPP constable Dave Cain says some people still aren't getting the hint. OPP will be out in full force over the long weekend enforcing their festive ride campaign.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Outbreak over at Dawson Court

The stomach flu like illness at Dawson Court is officially over.  The Health Unit has lifted all visiting restrictions.

Council 2012 Budget

City Councillor Linda Rydholm says there are problems with the way services are delivered in Thunder Bay.  Rydholm says they need to see what other communities are doing right.  The budget will come before council in mid-January.

Gravelle on auditor general report

MPP Michael Gravelle says the new year will bring an auditor general report into our air ambulance system. Gravelle says they look forward to hearing the findings.  The report is expected sometime in the near future; MPPs don't head back to work until February.

REACH in 2012

Confederation College's Health and Community Dean is looking forward to expanding their programs in 2012.  Kathleen Lynch says their health care programs have a tie to the region.  The REACH building opened in Thunder Bay in September.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snowfall expected to end tonight

The bulk of snow has already fallen in Thunder Bay.  Our Meterologist Bill Laidlaw says we can expect another 2 centimetres today.  We'll get a break from the snow on Friday but more is expected on New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Health Sciences Centre battles Enteric Outbreak

The Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre has reduced visiting to its 2A unit due to an outbreak of Enteric.  Officials says patients will be allowed one visitor only and they expect the measures to stay in affect for a minimum of 5 days. 

Gastrointestinal outbreak closes Dawson Court

A gastrointestinal outbreak is forcing a closure at Dawson Court.  Admissions, transfers, discharges and activities have been cancelled at 1 North and 2 South of the facility.  At the same time the Health Unit has declared the outbreak at Pioneer Ridge over. 

Murder Charge handed out

Kelsey Jacob is now facing a 2nd degree murder charge.  The man is charged in connection to the death of a 53 year old man last week.  Barney Beaver was assaulted at the Victoria Inn December 17th and later died in hospital.  Jacob will be in court next Thursday.

Nice weather on Boxing Day

Thunder Bay experienced warmer than normal temperatures during the holiday break.  On Boxing Day we broke a record for warm weather set back in 1994.  Our Meterologist Bill Laidlaw says we had a high of 6 degrees which is .5 degrees warmer than the previous record.

Fire at Boyer Truck Sales

Thunder Bay Police closed a section of Arthur Street last night while a fire was battled at Boyer Truck Sales. There is still smoke in the area and the fire is still smouldering. Arthur Street was closed for four hours last night from 10 until 2 am.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Get your trees chipped

Christmas tree chipping sites are open starting today. City Spokesperson Jason Scherband says there are five locations on both the North and South sides of Thunder Bay. You must take all ornaments, tinsel and plastic tree bags off of the tree to have it chipped.

Christmas Kettle a huge success

The Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle campaign has exceeded all expectations this year. With all the donations, the Salvation Army will be able to continue the mobile feeding program, offer the Red Cap anti-bullying program and keep the food bank running. The campaign ended yesterday raising nearly 175,000 dollars.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Assault victim dies

Police are now confirming that the person who was the victim of last weekend's assault at the Victoria Inn has died. They say he died this morning at the Health Sciences Centre.   The 53 year old man was taken to hospital with critical injuries after the Saturday morning incident. A 33 year old Summer Beaver man was charged. Police say they knew one another.

Friday, December 23, 2011

More to come for cancer care in 2012

2011 was an exceptional year for cancer care in Northwestern Ontario according to Michael Power, the CEO at the Cancer Centre. Power says there are several highlights to point to including funding for a new cyclotron. Power says to expect an announcement in the new year of a multi million dollar investment in new radiation technology

Mauro sees 2011 as a year of growth

Growth and investment in the northwest is how MPP Bill Mauro looks at 2011.  Mauro says he stands by the government's record even though he and fellow MPP Michael Gravelle faced defeat in the October election. 2012 should be an interesting one at Queens Park as the McGuinty government tries to work in a minority situation.  Looking ahead Mauro says the upcoming budget will be one to watch.

2011 an interesting year for Rickford

MP Greg Rickford is all smiles when he talks about 2011.  First he was re-elected in his Kenora Riding and then his Conservative party won a majority government. The year also saw Rickford take some of the national spotlight for the Harper government in the Attawapiskat crisis.

Highs and lows for the NDP in 2011

Thunder Bay MP John Rafferty says 2011 was a year of mixed emotions for the NDP. In his look back on the year Rafferty says there were huge strides made in the election with the low point being the death of their leader Jack Layton. The year will also go down as an interesting one for Rafferty. He and his fellow NDPRer Bruce Hyer were sanctioned for voting against their party on the Long Gun Registry, but he's doing what he can to be the voice of his constituents. Rafferty predicts 2012 will be a struggle for the NDP since the Harper government has a majority.

FWFN Chief calls 2011 "positive"

As 2011 closes out on the Fort William First Nation, Chief Peter Collins says it was a positive year. He says the reserve made history with the signing of a land claim agreement with the Canadian and Ontario governments. Strategic planning will play a key role for the Fort William First Nation in 2012. Looking to the future, Chief Collins says that planning will be centred around economic development and adds, the community will keep looking for different economic opportunities.

Hobbs admits to rough spots in 2011

Mayor Keith Hobbs now has a full year under his belt. He says that 2011 was a good year for him even though he had to plow through some rough spots, like being kicked off the Police Service's Board for most of the year,  but says he's resilient  The Mayor says to watch for the city to continue getting aggressive with economic development in 2012 adding, the new year should bring an added push to get  new development here

Hospital CEO looks to the new year

The Health Sciences Centre will be going into some uncharted territory in the new year.  President Andre Robichaud says 2012 will be the first full year for the hospital under its new strategic plan. It's a four year plan which they plan to pursue aggressively next year.  Robichaud says in 2011 the hospital reached or exceeded its objectives.

Buses to run on holiday schedule

City buses will be running during the Christmas holidays.   On Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, Thunder Bay Transit will provide service on the holiday schedule which is the same as the Sunday schedule. For more information, visit.

Gun registry bill still needs passage

Abolishing the federal long gun registry is going to have to be a New Year's resolution for the Harper Government.  The last session of Parliament ended last week without the bill being passed. Kenora M.P. Greg Rickford expects the legislation will finally make it through the House of Commons early in the new year. The next session of Parliament is scheduled to start in February.

Woman escapes Peter St. fire

No one is hurt as the result of a house fire this morning at 103 Peter Street. Platoon Chief Dave Nelson says it began just before 9 o'clock in the basement of the bungalow.   A woman who was in the house at the time escaped the blaze.  There's no word on what may have caused the fire.

Holiday Fire Safety

Thunder Bay's Fire Department wants you to have a safe holiday season.  Spokesperson Bob Vander Ploeg says there are a number of ways fires can start over the holiday season.  Vander Ploeg says keep an eye on candles especially when kids and animals are around them.

NAPS bust bootleggers

Nishnawbe Aski Police have put an end to bootlegger operation in Kashechewan.  They stopped two men at the LCBO in Moosonee who were attempting to bring booze to the community.  Police seized 225 units of booze with a street value of over 17-thousand dollars.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dryden councillor quits

Over to our west, a major vacancy to fill for Dryden city council. Mike Wood has resigned as Councilor, effective January 31st. Wood says he feels like he's not making an impact on Council. Wood finished second in the 2010 election and third in the 2006 election.

Durand wants a premiere for Thunder Bay

If Thunder Bay's Kevin Durand has his way he'd like to host a motion picture premiere in the city. Durand wants to have a special opening for the movie Edwin Boyd, which he stars in.  It's the true story about one of Canada's most famous bandits. He's hoping to invite the director up for the event which could include a question and answer session with the audience.  Durand says he has a total of four movies that'll be coming out next year.


A clarification on a story regarding a class action suit planned by Thunder Bay's Heli Kijanen.  We said that she was planning a suit alleging sexual harassment when in fact her complaint centres arounding alleged bullying and harassment.

Toys for Tots does it again

It's another success for Thunder Bay Firefighters Toys for Tots Campaign. Spokesperson Bob Vander Ploeg says they raised over 149 thousand dollars for the Christmas Cheer fund. Vander Ploeg is thanking the community for supporting them.

Domestic assault

Thunder Bay Police were called to a domestic assault on the City's North side last night. Police say a 34 year old man is charged with assault with a weapon after threatening his common law wife with a knife.

"Serious interest" for law school post

Brian Stevenson
There's a high degree of interest for the job of Founding Dean of Lakehead University's new law school. Search coordinator Rod Hanley says since the search began it's attracted quiet a few applicants.  He says about 40 to 50 people have expressed a "serious interest" in the position.  Hanley says the names will go to the search committee by the end of January.

ER holiday crunch

The Health Sciences Centre is preparing for the holidays. Spokesperson Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott says the Emergency Room at the hospital will be hopping. She says during the holidays they get up to 400 visits a day up from 300 on a typical day. It's because most of the walk-in clinics in the city are closed for much of the season, causing the holiday crunch.

Christmas Tree Chipping starts Monday

Christmas tree chipping sites are open starting Boxing Day.  City Spokesperson Jason Scherband says there are five locations on both the North and South sides of Thunder Bay.  You must take all ornaments, tinsel and plastic tree bags off of the tree to have it chipped.

Knife point robbery at Mac's

A Mac's Mart clerk is safe after having a knife held to his throat during a robbery last night. Police say they were driving by the store on Arthur Street when they saw the incident go down. Police caught three young men in the store and talked them into dropping their knives. The trio are charged with Robbery with a Weapon, Assault with a Weapon, Wearing a Disguise and Forcible Confinement.

Taxi By-Laws to be reviewed in 2012

The New Year will bring an overhaul of the City's outdated taxi by-laws. Spokesperson Ron Bourret says they're working with local taxi companies to improve the municipal legislation. Bourret says they plan to hire someone to conduct a review of the current taxi system.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas at the airport=busy

Have patience at the airport if you're travelling during the Christmas season. Manager Scott McFadden expects it to be busy.   McFadden says it's a good idea to arrive early and expect to wait in line.  He says being prepared for pre-screening is a good idea by not having your Christmas gifts wrapped.  Arriving early will also save you hassles.

Overjoyed it's out in the open

The Thunder Bay woman who wants to start a class action suit against the RCMP over bullying and harassment says she's glad it's all out in the open. Heli Kijanen  says it's like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders.  She says she's kept her feelings inside for so long she began to doubt whether she would ever be able to tell her side of the story.   Kijanen says she decided to take the legal route against her former employer after watching a news report on the issue

Dog case back in court next month

The case of an alleged Current River dog mauling will be back in court in the new year. The city has laid charges against the owner of the dog that apparently killed a neighbours dog. The city's Ron Bourret says the court will hear the case next month.  Bourret says the city is not asking that the dog in question be put down

Global Sticks could reopen Jan.16th

The owner of Global Sticks says he's shooting for a reopening of his troubled popsicle stick plant in Oliver-Paipoonge January 16th.  Reggie Nukovic says a new business plan is in place and says he's working on investor support.   He's hoping to give out more information the first week of the new year.

Government employees raise $

Ontario government employees are revelling in their fundraising success. They showed off how much they raised during this year's United Way drive. 50 offices and 1 thousand donors took part.

Mishap closes Trans Canada

No one is injured and no one is charged following a tractor trailer mishap just west of Schrieber last night.  OPP say that the driver of the truck lost control while climbing a steep snow covered road.  That caused the truck to jackknife and block the highway, closing it for 4 and a half hours.  

ONWA wants action

The Ontario Native Women's Association is calling for a dialogue to address sexual violence and Aboriginal women.  It says there are not enough support services in First Nations communities to deal with the problem.   ONWA wants the discussion to talk about what it sees as the root causes from colonization to residential schools. 

Tis the season for binge drinking

Tis the season for teenagers to binge drink.  Thunder Bay's drug strategy co-ordinator Patty Hajdu says the Christmas season brings high school drinking parties.  Hajdu is asking parents to pay close attention to their kids and know what's going on in their social circle.

Christmas wrap reminder

The city is out with its yearly reminder not to put Christmas wrapping paper in with your recyclables.   They say that brightly coloured paper and foil gift wrap cannot be recycled due to the extremely high ink content of the paper.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Local lottery winner

An 18 year old city girl is 75 thousand dollars richer after winning in a scratch lottery game called It's a Wonderful Life.   Shyra Bannon-Neault says she plans to buy some nice Christmas gifts for the family and then buy a new car.

Shipping drawing to a close

The 2011 shipping season in the Port of Thunder Bay is winding down. Port Authority CEO Tim Heney says it'll extend a little later than most years.  He says locks at the Welland Canal will close on December 30th and the Soo Locks in Sault St. Marie will close around January 7th.  Six ships are expected to arrive in port which will spend the winter here being repaired.

Union gas rates going down

A nice gift of savings for Union Gas customers in Northwestern Ontario. The Ontario Energy Board has approved changes to the price Union Gas charges its customers for natural gas. Local residential consumers who use 26-hundred cubic meters a year will pay about 28-dollars less per year. The changes go into effect January 1st. Lower natural gas prices in North America are credited for the drop in price.

Local lawyer involved in proposed harassment suit

A Thunder Bay lawyer is getting involved in a proposed class action lawsuit claiming sexual harassment against the RCMP.  Sandy Zaitzeff says he's part of the process because of a local connection to the case.  He says a Thunder Bay resident who used to work for the RCMP in British Columbia years ago came to him after the first news reports of sexual harassment at the force first surfaced.