Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thunder Bay Superior North Candidates let loose

It was a marked contrast to the Thunder Bay Atikokan debate from Monday night when the 4 candidates for the North riding slugged it out at the Community Auditorium. Incumbent Liberal MPP Michael Gravelle found himself under attack early on a number of issues, from the economy to mining. PC Candidate Anthony Leblanc repeatedly said the Liberals have forgotten the North and its time for a change to a government that cares about the North. NDP Candidate Steve Mantis says the Liberal government has failed to provide proper consultation with First Nations Communities in matters like mining and the far north act. Green Party Candidate Scott Kyle says tackling the drug problem needs to start with Pharmaceutical companies. Other issues that were discussed included education, health care, injured workers and economic development.

Fire Season still on

The fire season is slowly starting to wind down in northwestern Ontario.  There are still 38 blazes listed as active today.  Five are under control and two other are being held.  The other 31 are being observed, with no active fire activity noted.  In the meantime, fire crews are starting to pack up their gear, including hose lines and bring it back to their respective fire bases in the region.  With the recent warm weather, the fire hazard has climbed into the moderate range across the region.

Mill parts up for sale

An auction of equipment from the former Atikokan Forest Products Mill is expected to go today. A company had expressed interest in buying the mill, but was unable to secure a wood supply from the province. The mill, which has been shuttered for the past three years, was placed into receivership at the beginning of the year.

Northern Transmission Line

Providing badly needed clean power to First Nation communities in the Far North.  That is the purpose of a new partnership between New Osnaburgh First Nation and Saugeen First Nation.  The two have formed Sagatay Transmission L.P. to move forward with a new power line from Ignace to Pickle Lake.  The 250-million dollar, 300-kilometre line is the first phase in a two-phase project that needs to be signed-off by the Ontario Power Authority.  The agreement will ensure treaty rights and the traditional way of life will be protected and that jobs and investment will be created.  The proposed project will follow along Highway 599 and will ensure that environmental and social impacts are minimized.

KI First Nation upset with mining company

Its like deja-vu all over again for the Big Trout Lake First Nation.  The band is upset that the mining company God's Lake Resources has started some exploration work in K.I.'s traditional land use area. Band Spokesperson John Cutfeet says the Provincial Government continues to ignore concerns.  Cutfeet says to add insult to injury, the exploration work is being done on an old burial site.

Healthy Provincial Candidates

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says health care needs to become a bigger election issue.  Spokesperson Wendy Savoy says they have talked to all the candidates in Northwestern Ontario and says the main party's support their proposals to create a healthier population.  Savoy says their proposals include more healthier food education, and more funding for physical education in the schools.

College home to international students

Confederation College has 63 international students taking part in their courses this year. Spokesperson Miriam Wall says they hail from sixteen different countries including Brazil, China, India, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Wall notes most of the students are taking the aerospace engineering program.

NAN working with Feds on governance model

Nishnawbe Aski Nation continues to work with the Federal Government on forming a First Nation's government model.  NAN Spokesperson Ben Cheechoo says talks should pick up now that there's a Majority Federal Government.  Cheechoo says it will take years to implement a government model for First Nations.

Joint meeting between F.W. and T.Bay

A joint meeting is being held between Fort William First Nation and City Council.  City Manager Tim Commisso says they're going to make joint council meetings a regular occurance.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday night at the First Nation's Community Centre.

City departments merge

Changes are on the way for several city departments.  The City's Emergency Services department will also look after Fire and the Superior North Emergency Medical Service.  Transportation and Works will merge with the Parks Department.

RFDA food drive this weekend

The Regional Food Distribution Association is holding it's annual food drive this weekend. Executive Director Volker Kromm says once again all the local grocery stores are participating and the goal is to gather 15 tons of food