Friday, March 4, 2011

Board vice-chair defends tuition hike

With increased tuition fees at Lakehead University now set in stone, the vice chair of the Board of Governors is defending the move. Cam Clark says it was necessary because the institution is facing rising costs.  He says the board tried to find a balance between affordable education for those students with few resources and a fiscally responsible budget.  Clark suggests the increase was regrettable but necessary

Mayor says list shows need for fewer staff

The latest list of city workers that made 100 thousand dollars last year has the mayor on alert. Keith Hobbs says he's working to cut the overall budget for salaries. The mayor says he and other councillors are serious about starting the staff reduction process through attrition. The Sunshine List from the province shows that 80 members of the police and fire services are on it. Hobbs attributes that to the "terrible shift" that they work and he hopes to change that to reduce overtime rates.

Hampton: No substance to "stunted growth plan"

Provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton says the McGuinty government's Northern Growth plan is void of any substance.  He says there is no action plan in the document what-so-ever, and that after 4 years of study all there is, is  more study, more talk and more delay. Hampton says the plan shows that the government is out of touch with the realities of life in the north.

Porter to increase flights to T-Dot

Porter Airlines is expanding it's Thunder Bay to Toronto service.   The company says the new schedule takes effect on May 25th.  It will see an increase to five daily round trips during the weekday from the current three.  Porter says Thunder Bay has been a good fit with planes frequently loaded to capacity.  Thunder Bay Airport Manager Scott McFadden calls it welcome news. 

New policy institute cornerstone of growth plan

The Northern Ontario Growth Plan has finally been released. The controversial document has been in the works for over 3 years and included thousands of hours of consultations. Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle says now the plan can be implemented.  One the first iniatives in the 25 year plan will be the creation of a Northern Policy Institute. Gravelle says the institute is a direct response to northern residents who want a greater say in policy decisions affecting the region.

Police HQ broken into

Talk about gutsy. OPP in Sioux Lookout say that someone broke into the Nishnawbe Aski Police headquarters building in that community. Police didn't indicate if anything was taken only to say that they haven't arrested anyone

Commisso calls for change to Sunshine List

Thunder Bay's City Manager thinks it's time the province increase the amount used to make up it's Sunshine List. Right now the list includes public workers who make more than 100 thousand dollars a year. Tim Commisso thinks that number is getting stale given that it was created in 1996. He believes a better threshold would be about 140 thousand dollars. Last year 115 workers on the city payroll made over 100 thousand dollars.

Man spooks girl in Current River

City police are looking for a man in his mid twenties after an incident in Current River yesterday morning.   They say that at around 8:30 a man approached a 13 year old girl walking on Dacre Street near Leslie Avenue.  The girl tells police the man made inappropriate comments to her.  She was not harmed.   He's described as white, 5-8 and thin with short dark hair.

Hay admits Sunshine List will cause talk

City Fire Chief John Hay says the fact 31 firefighters made more than 100 thousand dollars last year is going to cause controversy. He says his hands are tied because of an arbitration award that gave them 7 years of back pay. However, public perception is a different story, admitting that there will be questions asked. Hay says that same award will play into this years Sunshine List as well.