Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NDP member eats humble pie

MP Pat Martin is apologizing for remarks he made in an interview with Global TV which referred.
to Thunder Bay's Responsive Marketing Group in connection with the robocalls controversy. In an apology posted on his website Martin says he did not intend to impugn any notion of illegal behaviour to RMG. He says his statement was ill-advised. Over the weekend RMG slammed opposition MPs it says "level false and defamatory claims" against it . The company says it's cooperating fully with Elections Canada in it's probe of robocalls that were made to thousands of voters during the last federal election.

City launches pothole page

If you run across a pothole in the Thunder Bay the city wants to know about it. The City has launched a new online pothole reporting page.  Officials say its important to take care of potholes quickly because they can get worse very fast at this time of year.  To report a pothole you can visit the city's website at

Be careful with discarded needles

The Health unit is sending out a warning to people to be careful with what they find under the melting snow.  The District Health Unit's Superior Points Harm Reduction Program is reminding people to be careful if they find discarded needles.  Officials say use tongs or pliers to pick up the needle and put it in a hard container that is clearly marked.  You can dispose of the needles at any yellow metal disposal bins in the city that can be found on the Health Unit's website.  Spokesperson Lori Franzen says while the risk of infection is very low, its important to be careful.

Bushie inquest to resume

The inquest into the 2007 death of Reggie Bushie is getting back on track.  Regional Coroner Dr. Michael Wilson says a date for the inquest will be set at a hearing on May 15th.   The body of the 15 year old was recovered from the McIntyre River November the first of that year after  he was reported missing just days earlier.   The inquest is expected to examine the circumstances surrounding his death and the jury could make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

Hyer endorses Cullen

Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer is throwing his support behind Nathan Cullen for leadership of the NDP.  Hyer says Cullen has proven to be more than capable of taking the reigns of the party. Hyer says his second choice is Thomas Mulcair who he hopes to see as the deputy leader.

Police make another Mac's Robbery arrest

Thunder Bay Police have made another arrest in connection to the recent Mac's Convenience Store Robberies.  Spokesperson Chris Adams says a 17 year old boy was arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection to robberies where a person was wearing a mask. Adams says police have now made arrests in connection to 6 of 8 Mac's robberies in 2012.

Film Fest a "window to the world"

It's back for another season, the Northwest Film Fest is taking place once again at Silver City. Organizer Marty Mascarin says they again have over a dozen award winning features including the best picture winner at the Academy Awards , The Artist. The festival takes place over two Sundays, March 25th and April first.

Mascarin explains success of film festival

Northwest LHIN takes it on the chin

The Northwest Local Health Integration Network is getting a failing grade when it comes to health care planning for chronic diseases. The report by the Hamilton Spectator shows our region near the bottom. LHIN CEO Laura Kokocinski admits the problems exist, but says it doesn't mean we aren't getting the bang for our buck, adding the report goes far beyond examing the services that are provided.  Kokocinski says the organization is working to overcome some of the obstacles the region faces when it comes to coordinating health care.

LU interviewing potential Deans

Lakehead University's search for its first Dean of its Law School is nearing an end.  Officials at the school have confirmed that a short list of candidates is being interviewed.  No comment will be made for at least 3 weeks.

New subdivision request before councillors

City Councillors will be tackling property and planning issues this Monday. Council will consider an application for a 25 lot subdivision on a piece of property near the Fort William Country Club. The piece of land is on Mountain Road and administration is recommending council approve it. Meanwhile, an application is being made that applies to a building on the corner of Leslie Avenue and Black Bay Road. The owner is asking they be allowed to continue to use the existing building as a 5 unit apartment complex.

NWHU talks oxy addiction

The medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit wants to see more discussion in dealing with the withdrawal of Oxycontin.  Doctor James Arthur says it's an issue that simply one agency alone can't solve. Arthur says placing blame for the reasons behind the drug's high use in Ontario does little to address the problem.

Long Term Care Public Input

A task force seeking input into abuse and neglect in the province's long-term care homes won't be holding public meetings.  Instead, it's set up a website to gather that input.  Chair Gail Donner says they're working on some tight deadlines to get its recommendations into the government.  The deadline to comment for the is this Monday.

DSSAB's come together

The agencies responsible for the delivery of social services programs in Northwestern Ontario have joined as one in a call for more funding.  Representatives from the Kenora, Thunder Bay and Rainy River District Services Boards presented a united front in a recent meeting with the Province. Spokesperson Deb Ewald says it was the first time all three have come together. The lack of funding for social housing was among concerns expressed.

Campbell calls for Matthews visit

Residents in Rainy River are being urged to keep up the pressure on Ontario's Health Minister to help resolve their doctor shortage.  Their MPP Sarah Campbell says assurances from Deb Matthews that the community's emergency room won't close when the lone doctor leaves is not a complete fix.  Campbell says a letter writing campaign started by residents in Rainy River needs to continue to bring more long-term solutions.

Warm weather records broken

Four Northwestern Ontario communities set record high temperatures yesterday. The hot spot was Fort Frances at 12.6-degrees, just edging past the old mark of 12.5 set in 1995. Thunder Bay reached 12.2, blowing away the previous high of 9.4. Atikokan hit 11.4 and Ear Falls 11.1 degrees.

Rickford on Air Canada strike

Kenora MP Greg Rickford is defending legislation that will prevent Air Canada ground workers from going on strike.  The government legislation was passed in the House of Commons early this morning, and is expected to get an easy ride in the Senate.  Rickford says it's a busy time of year in the airline industry and it would be unfair to travellers if they got stranded because of a strike or lock-out.  The union representing Air Canada ground crews says Labour Minister Lisa Raitt's decision to send its dispute to arbitration undermines bargaining.