Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oxy warning from M.O.H.

The city's Medical Officer of Health is wondering if the Health Unit's needle exchange program will be overwhelmed as Oxycontin addicts move to other drugs. Dr. David Williams says if the program can't meet the anticipated demand, it could result in the outbreak of infectious diseases such as H.I.V. Aids, Hepatitis C and other sicknesses. He says that could be disastrous for some communities if they can't get a grip on a sudden mass use of illicit drugs that they have no control over.

City embraces Respect

Eliminating racism, homophobia and harassment will take respect from everyone in Thunder Bay. That's the theme of the new program that has been adopted by the city.  The "Respect" campaign was started at Confederation college in 2006 by its student union and was incorporated into the city Wednesday.  Mayor Keith Hobbs says bridging cultural gaps is vital for the future of Thunder Bay.  

NDP wants Health Minister's Head

The Provincial Auditor General's report on ORNGE Air Ambulance is drawing calls for the Health Minister to resign.  NDP Leader Andrea Horvath says the report proves that Deb Matthews is incompetant. MPP Bill Mauro disagrees saying there are to many cracks in the system that are beyond government control. Mauro says new legislation that was introduced Wednesday will go a long way to preventing a situation like ORNGE from happening again.

Early start to street sweeping

The early arrival of spring-like weather is getting the city's roads team into gear. Manager Brad Adams says street cleaning is beginning this week, sooner than it usually does by about two or three weeks.  He says they normally start street sweeping the first or second week of April. 

Union boss optimistic about Viterra deal

The head of the union that represents grain handlers in the city is optimistic that the sale of Viterra will not have much of an impact on the company's three local elevators or the employees. Viterra was acquired by Glencore International. Steelworkers union boss Herb Daniher says however, it's not unusual for such deals to result in lay offs. Daniher says once the deal is actually finalized is when the union will try to discover what it will mean for workers.

School Board talks mandatory gym classes

The Lakehead Public School Board says it will follow the Province's lead when it comes to talk of making physical education mandatory up to Grade 12.  So far the McGuinty government is refusing to commit to adopting a call from Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario.  Education Officer Charlie Bishop says they understand that students need to be more active in a world full of technology.  Bishop adds if the initiative were to happen it would change the high school credit system.  The two groups feel that if gym classes were mandatory it would help prevent chronic diseases.

Warm weather records continue to break

We may have rain today but yesterday saw record breaking warm temperatures. Here in the City we reached a high of 21.1 beating the 1946 record of 13.3. Those figures our courtesy of our Meteorologist Bill Laidlaw.

Humane Society pans private members bill

Thunder Bay's Humane Society isn't thrilled with a Progressive Conservative's private members bill.  Executive Director Maryann Kleynendorst says the revised bill 47 is troubling to the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The bill comes back for a vote tomorrow in the Ontario legislature.

Food forum on at LU

Thunder Bay has two community kitchens. The results from the projects at the Regional Food Distribution Association and Our Children Count will be presented today at a food forum at Lakehead University. Spokesperson LeeAnn Chevrette says community kitchen's help build community and foster healthy eating habits.

Union gas rates decline

Northwestern Ontario Union Gas customers are going to see their bills decrease in the coming month.  The Ontario Energy Board has approved changes to the natural gas commodity price that Union Gas charges its customers.  OEB Spokesperson Paul Crawford says the new lower rates come into effect April 1st.

Golf season starts

Its an early start to the golf season in Thunder Bay. Owner of Dragon Hills Golf Course Mike Komar says the driving range and the course officially opened Tuesday at noon.

Ground beef product recall

The District Health Unit is keeping its eye on the ground beef products recall that's in effect across the country. It's due to possible E. coli contamination. Spokesperson Chris Beveridge says they are simply getting the word out for now by contacting stores and higher risk institutions like day cares, hospitals and long term care facilities. Most of the products are frozen beef burgers in a variety of names. Here is a list of affected products.

Suspicious car fire on north side

Thunder Bay Police are calling a car fire on the City's north side suspicious.  The fire department was called to Frankwood Avenue where they alerted the police to the blaze.  The Forensic Identification Unit was called to the scene and more information is expected to be released later today.