Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Relief for sick animals

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it's been in contact with the owner of some distressed farm animals. Alison Cross says they are working with the Thunder Bay area resident to give the animals the care they require.   She says their agents have been on the property and a compliance order has been issued as part of the probe but no charges have been laid.

AG says it's working on First Nations jury rolls

The Ministry of the Attorney General says it is currently working with First Nations in the north to get better representation on jury rolls. It says to date 15 forums have been held with Grand Council Treaty # 3 and the Anishinabek First Nations. The ministry says the forums have been well received and says efforts in this area are ongoing. The issue became a hot button topic this week when a judge dismissed a jury pool in a local murder trial after she deemed there wasn't enough Aboriginal representation from the district.

Judge sets new trial date for Wareham

The second degree murder trial of 33 year old Andre Wareham will now take place November 21st  and is expected to last 2 weeks.   The new date was necessary after Justice Helen Pierce dismissed the jury pool on Monday saying it didn't represent the Aboriginal community in the Thunder Bay District.   Meantime his Toronto lawyer Steven Hinkson is planning to apply for bail.   Wareham is charged in the 2009 death of 29 year old William Atkins.

AbitibiBowater gets taxpayer funding

AbitibiBowater has signed an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority that will see them provide clean energy. The company is increasing its electricity generation capacity by 40 megawatts. Company General Manager Doug Murray says 9.6 million dollars comes from the province and it's Forest Prosperity Fund.

The move will create 56 jobs and is expected to be done by 2013.

Northern agencies being scrapped

The Provincial government is doing away with 11 of its agencies as away of saving cash.  NDP Critic Howard Hampton says it's strange that the Liberals heralded these programs just a couple of years ago.  The Northern Ontario Development Corporation is being scrapped.  The Northern Grow bonds committee and program is also getting the axe.

Hampton reacts to AbtibiBowater announcement

The NDP's Natural Resources Critic is happy to hear the province has helped AbitibiBowater with its biomass project.  However, Howard Hampton says it's good news for the Thunder Bay employees but the announcement probably offends others whose mills are out of business.  Hampton says no new announcements can change the fact that the Liberals have ignored Northern Ontario and the jobs crisis for the last eight years.

Airport sees increase in passengers

Thunder Bay's Airport continues to set new records for annual passenger traffic.  President Scott McFadden says they saw a 2.4 percent increase in passenger volumes.  McFadded attributes the increase in passengers to the companies offering trips to warm destinations.

Japanese disaster will impact our economy

For the second straight day the Japanese stock market saw a big drop and, according to an Economics Professor at Lakehead University, the instability could spread. Livio Di Matteo says the unfortunate devastation could impact insurance companies depending on how exposed they are in Japan, but gas prices could drop with oil demand in Japan dropping.  In the Long term Di Matteo says a Japanese rebuild could lead to an increase in demand for Canadian natural resources and exports.

Northern Poll unfavourable towards Liberals

The McGuinty Government has few fans in Northern Ontario when it comes to post-secondary education.  That's according to a new poll put on by the province's student federation.  Spokesperson Nora Loreto says the results were not Liberal friendly.  The poll suggests the Liberals have dealt with post secondary education worse than the Harris government.  73 per cent of Northerners want the post-secondary education system to be a priority in the upcoming election.

Hearst wants new pledge

Hearst council wants to change it's municipal pledge of allegiance.  The small mostly french speaking community wants councillors to have a choice between swearing allegiance to the Queen or the Country.  Councillor Andre Rheaume feels the change will be made noting the new oath of office wouldn't do away with the Queen it would just give councillors a choice.  The Ministry f Municipal Affairs is looking into it but has said that it's not a current priority.

AbitibiBowater signs energy deal

The provincial government is providing 9.6 million dollars towards AbitibiBowater's biomass combined heat and power project.  The company signed an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority to provide an extra 40 megawatts of power.  The move will create 56 permanent jobs, and is expected to be done by 2013.

City is ready to compete for Ring of Fire facility

Mayor Keith Hobbs says the city is working on a plan to cut energy costs to try and bring a Ferrochrome Processing plant to Thunder Bay.

The high cost of energy has been a major roadblock for the city in efforts to convince Cliff's Natural Resources to locate the proposed facility here.

Hobbs says it's too early to go into detail about the plan but he believes it will allow Thunder Bay to seriously compete for the facility.

While Sudbury has been named an early favourite by Cliff's to get the processor, Hobbs says Thunder Bay is still on the mining company's short list and at this point it's going to be a bidding war between interested municipalities.

City Council passed a motion at Monday's meeting to let Cliff's and both levels of government know that Thunder Bay is ready to work with the mining company to try and bring the facility to the city.