Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Public gets their chance to talk budget

Council is being asked some tough questions about the upcoming budget.  The public had its chance to give input during Tuesday night's consultation meeting.  Resident Frank Armiento thinks administration is wasting money by spending money on the corporate review process.  He says the city should be able to find ways to save money themselves without hiring consultants.  Chamber of Commerce President Harold Wilson says the Chamber supports increased spending for infrastructure but savings need to be found to prevent tax increases.  Mayor Hobbs was happy to hear from residents and thinks for the most part people want to see the roads taken care of in the city but its clear people are not happy with tax increase.  Council will be back at it Wednesday night where its expected the water rate will take centre stage. 

Government minister to visit

The province's Minister of Colleges and Universities is coming to the city tomorrow.  Glen Murray is going to be at Lakehead University at 8:30 in the morning to discuss the McGuinty government's 30 per cent tuition rebate program.  A media release says he will be here to encourage more students to take advantage of the taxpayer funded initiative.

Syria: Worse before it gets better

A Lakehead University political science expert predicts the violence in Syria will continue and the body count will get higher. Laure Paquette says it's anyone's guess how it will end, but says it will go on a few more months at least.   Paquette says the death count will escalate since the Syrian government has moved from bullets to artillery shells

Local doc leads LHIN program

The North West Local Health Integration Network is adding to its team. CEO Laura Kokochinski says they've hired Dr. Richard Almond as the LHIN's Primary Care Lead. The Thunder Bay physician will work with doctors across the Region to ensure the highest level of care is being received. Almond says primary care is the backbone of any health care system and stresses he will help move the system to a more patient centred, cost effective one.

Conference bound

A major mining conference in London, England will have a Northwestern Ontario flavour to it. Rainy River Resources and Osisko Mining will be among 18-Canadian companies making presentations at the conference this month. Both are actively involved in exploration projects in this region. The conference attracts potential investors from around the world.

24 hour cardiac care

Thunder Bay's Regional Health Sciences Centre is embarking on a new way of treating cardiac patients.  They've teamed up with ORNGE ambulance, Superior North EMS and hospital staff to ensure patients can receive round the clock angioplasty care.  Cardiac Doctor Andrea McDougall says air ambulance will also help bring patients to Thunder Bay to have their arteries opened.

NAN wants more funding for schools

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is out with a report on the critical underfunding of First Nation schools.  Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose says the current funding system is inadequate and calls it a crisis.  Waboose says the Federal Government needs to start matching education funds for First Nations at the same level the Province funds public school boards.  Waboose says education under the Indian Act has failed remote First Nation communities.