Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hyer defends leadership hopefuls over attendance

The NDP Leadership hopefuls are taking some heat for going against some of former leader Jack Layton's words.  During the 2011 Federal Leaders Debate, Layton famously blasted Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff for missing votes in the House of Commons, saying most Canadians, if they don't show up for work, they don't get a promotion.  Meanwhile 5 sitting MP's vying for the leadership have the worst attendance record in the government.  MP Bruce Hyer says they may not be in the house but they are working hard. Hyer says they are learning what people are thinking across the country and that is very important for a leader to know.   Hyer says Ignatieff would intentionally leave so he didn't have to vote on contentious issues.

City's water once again exceeds standards

The City's water quality is looking pretty good.  The City's Environment Manager Kerri Marshall says the city has released the annual water quality report and we came in at or above every provincial standard.  More information can be found on the city's website.

Modified pen flare can shoot a bullet

Thunder Bay police have a new worry. Monday night they seized a pen sized emergency signal flare which was modified to shoot a .22 calibre bullet. Sgt. Rino Belcamino is issuing a warning about the safety of the device. He says not only is it dangerous to the person it's being pointed at, but people who modify it are risking their own safety. Belcamino says police are starting to see such converted devices more and more.

Guilty plea ends trial

A guilty plea to manslaughter means a murder trial in Thunder Bay is over before it began. A Fort Hope man is going to jail for 7 years in connection with the stabbing death of James Waswa in that community in 2010. The plea by William Oskineegish in a Thunder Bay courtroom puts an abrupt end to the trial that was to have started this week. The judge in the case accepted a joint recommendation by the prosecution and the defence on the matter. Immediately after the proceedings were over, there was a moving moment when the mother of the victim, hugged Oskineegish as a sign of forgiveness.

NDP motion calls for Northern Committee

John Vanthof says the NDP is not out to give Southern Ontario less of a voice, he's out to give Northern Ontario a stronger voice. The Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP has table Legislation to create a new Legislative Committee made up of Northern MPP's. Vanthof says the committee would have the power to examine legislation and make recommendations to the Government.

Osisko spending more $

The Hammond Reef gold project near Atikokan will get a lot of attention by Osisko Mining this year.  President Sean Roosen says the company will spend 59-million dollars this year on reserve development, exploration and feasibility studies.  He says they're aiming to have a feasilibty study completed by the end of the year.

Ignace Political Drama

A political drama is brewing in Ignace. Council will hold a special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss what to do with the Mayor's seat. Lee Kennard submitted a resignation letter to the municipal clerk on January 27th but he decided to withdraw that letter 5-days later. Council declared the office of the Mayor vacant on February 6th, sparking a debate on whether Kennard should return as Mayor. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing says Council handled the situation correctly. Several options now lie on the table including holding a by-election, appointing a councilor as Mayor or appointing Lee Kennard as Mayor.

NAN on education motion

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is applauding the Federal Government's unanimous vote to improve aboriginal education.  The N-D-P motion calls on the government to put First Nations schools on an equal footing with provincial schools, but is vague on details.  The motion is named after a former youth leader from Attawapiskat First Nation.

Klusterhuis anticipates Global Sticks return

The Mayor of Oliver Paipoonge is happy to hear news that Global Sticks is set to reopen again.  Lucy Klusterhuis says the business is important to her community.  Layoffs were announced at the plant back in October. 

RMG call centre linked to scandal

There's a Thunder Bay connection to the robo calls scandal on Parliament Hill.  The RCMP is probing allegations that voters in dozens of ridings were either misled or discouraged from casting their ballots.  The Responsive Marketing Group call centre in Thunder Bay is linked to some of the calls.  The RCMP have not returned our calls.

Illegal weapon found at mall

Police found an illegal weapon after paying a visit to the Intercity Mall yesterday to investigate a shoplifting incident.  While searching the man, police found a small pen like tool.  They put the modified flare gun down and it fired a .22 calibre round off into the air.  No one was injured and the man is going to be charged with several weapons charges.