Monday, January 30, 2012

Core Services Review is getting a big look

The Mayor is keenly looking forward to the Core Services Review Process.  An initial report that included the city's golf courses was presented to council Monday night and Mayor Hobbs says fiscal responsibility needs to be addressed.  Hobbs says he's been in favour of selling the Municipal Golf Course for a long time.  Hobbs also says he thinks all services need to be looked at.  He said he doesn't think there needs to be sweeping changes but it's time to be fiscally responsible.  The golf courses won't be back to council until the end of March.  City Manager Tim Commisso says the second phase of the Review will include the Conservatory.

Cell Towers discussed again

The Bell Mobility towers made its way to council again Monday night.  Councillor Aldo Ruberto tried to get council to vote against sending a letter to the Federal Government that stated Bell held public meetings.  Councillor Marc Bentz says the question was never about whether or not council likes the towers. Bentz says all the concerns will be forwarded to Industry Canada and will be considered before any decision is made.

Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is booming

The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute spoke to council  to give them an overview on how the organization has grown since Council's initial 5 million dollar investment.  CEO Michael Power says before the investment the Regional Health Sciences Centre had 3 supported Scientists now there is 13.  Power says the TBRRI has brought in 70 million dollars in direct and indirect economic activity.  Power says the next step is to commercialize the research being done here and to see the economic success stay.

LHIN CEO welcomes new duties

Ontario's local health integration networks will be given responsibility for family doctors. The CEO of the Northwest LHIN, Laura Kokocinski, says her organization is prepared to make it work. She says they welcome the news since it'll move the health care system to one that is more patient focused. Health Minister Deb Matthews says the LHIN's will help ensure patients have a more seamless experience between doctor and hospital.

LUSU holding daycare centre vote

The Student Union at Lakehead University is hoping students dig a bit deeper. Spokesperson Neva  Bassingthwite says LUSU is holding a referendum on increasing student fees by five dollars to help build a new daycare centre, adding it's become increasingly clear the current centre isn't meeting the needs of students. The voting will take place over three days next month.

Three locals to take part in suit

We are just days away from a class action harassment lawsuit being filed against the RCMP. Thunder Bay lawyer Sandy Zaitzeff says there could be up to 120 plaintiffs in this case including three in our city.  Zaitzeff says it could take years to settle the suit which alleges women in the RCMP faced on the job harassment

Grann trial underway

The trial of a city police officer is back on at the Ontario Court of Justice. 44 year old Constable Toni Grann has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of Breach of Trust. The charges involve falsified local records in the Ontario Sex Offender Registry

LRCA releases water quality report

The Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority is embarking on improving water quality in Rosslyn.  Spokesperson Bob Hartley says a recent water quality report shows septic systems in the community are potential threats to the two municipal wells.  Hartley adds homeowners will need to have their septic systems inspected.  A series of public meetings on the water quality report will be held next week.  Thunder Bay's water source Lake Superior came through with flying colours with no potential threats to water quality. 

Feds cut off Energy Grant Program

EcoSuperior is surprised the Federal Government has cut short its registration period for the ecoEnergy for Houses program.  The program provides money to homeowners who make improvements to their home that will save energy.  Executive Director Ellen Mortfield says the program was supposed to end in March.  People already signed up for the program have until June 30th to have their follow up home evaluation.

Nash in T.Bay today

Federal NDP leadership hopeful Peggy Nash is campaigning in Thunder Bay today.  Nash says if she's elected to Party Leader she will work to improve regional economic plans and secure funding for public transit.  Nash feels the Prime Minister is using the gun registry to get votes in specific ridings in the North.  Nash says she believes in Leader Jack Layton's gun registry plan that included public consultation over what annoys the public about the registry.

Ontario Scotties Results

A big upset at the 2012 Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Tracy Horgan from Sudbury toppled the previously unbeaten Rachel Homan foursome from Ottawa 7-6 in Sunday afternoon's final at the Kenora Curling Club. Horgan now advances to the 2012 National Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer, Alberta next month.

Howarth steps down

The head coach of the Thunder Bay North Stars is stepping down for personal reasons.  Todd Howarth told the ownership board and SIJHL of his decision recently.  The team's ownership group will make an announcement on Howarth's replacement in the near future.  Howarth is the longest serving coach in SIJHL history.