Thursday, February 9, 2012

Water Rate debate rages

City Councillor Larry Hebert is echoing many residents thoughts on the escalating water rates.  Hebert says they've asked administration to consider a lower rate for this year.  Some Councillors would like to see a 3.4 percent increase rather than a 6.7 percent one.  A report with the lower water rate will come back to council in the future.  Meanwhile Councillor Rebecca Johnson says one way or another the rate will go up, putting it off will just cost the city more money in the long run because the difference will have to be debentured. Johnson says it might be better to just take the hit now.

Murder trial to hear from last crown witness

The prosecution is about to wrap up its case in the Andre Wareham murder trial.  The crown says it will be calling it's last witness on Monday. Wareham is facing a second degree murder charged in the stabbing death in 2009 of William Atkins. Wareham is pleading self defense. In a police video played at the trial Wareham is heard telling an officer shortly after he was charged, that just before his arrest, he was getting his life together saying he stopped drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and marijuana. He also says he was throwing himself into his two jobs. He said " I wanted to re-invent Andre Wareham."

Raid nets Oxys

Police efforts continue to stem the flow of illegal prescription drugs in the city.   A raid at a south side city hotel on Wednesday netted police about 32 thousand dollars worth of Oxycodone.  Police say they also seized a small amount of Cocaine and almost 12 thousand dollars in cash.   They say a 22 year old woman and 38 year old man were arrested and charged.

Rafferty bids gun registry farewell

Thunder Bay MP John Rafferty is happy to see the long gun registry debate come to an end.  The final vote for the controversial bill is expected to come to a close on Wednesday.  Rafferty says there are so many other issues the Federal Government should be focusing on instead of the gun registry.  Rafferty says he hasn't had any further blow back from his party over his recent voting on the gun registry.

Census data for Kenora

New census data shows the population of Kenora fell below the national growth rate over the last five years. Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2011 census this morning and the population of Kenora increased to about 15 thousand, 348 people.  Vincent Dale is an analyst with Stats Can and says the city's growth rate was below both the national and provincial average.  Stats Can says Kenora's population grew by 171 people in the past five years.

Rickford on gun registry vote

A bill to scrap the federal long gun registry is speeding its way through the House of Commons. Earlier this week the Harper Government decided to limit debate on the bill. Kenora M.P. Greg Rickford expects the bill could pass third and final reading as early as next Wednesday.

Mauro on Toronto's endorsement of LRT

Thunder Bay MPP Bill Mauro calls Toronto's transit plans a moving target.  Mauro is happy to hear the City recently endorsed the light rail transit plan.  The Provincial Government's money for the project is tied to Toronto Council's endorsement of the transit plan.  Our Bombardier Plant is in line to build the light rail vehicles.

Dewar gets support

There's Northwestern Ontario support for Paul Dewar's bid to lead the federal NDP. Maurice Grinstead, the riding association president in Thunder Bay Superior North, says Dewar's recent visit to the city cinched it for him.