Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tbaytel Shows Signs Of Growth

Tbaytel has paid the city more than what it was supposed to in its quarterly installment. In addition to it's usual $2.5 million payment, the city-owned company kicked in $780,000. President and CEO, Don Campbell says "The money is thanks to better than average growth." Tbaytel paid the city a total of  $3.28 million for the quarter.

New Suggestion To Prevent Vandalism

Surveillance cameras are scheduled to be installed near the site of the recently damaged stone figures at Prince Arthur's Landing. However, one city councillor believes there's a more common sense solution. Andrew Foulds thinks prevention can take different forms. He says, as an example, the figures could be moved to a more visible location. Foulds believes such preventative thinking should be a part of all public projects.

Auxiliary Constables Set To Graduate

The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Headquarters will be hosting a Graduation for 18 Auxiliary Constables at 3:00 p.m. at their headquarters on Friday. Sgt. Jackie George, Media Relations Officer says the 8 year old program helps recruit potential officers in the future. The Auxiliary Constables will perform 20 hours of volunteer work per month at 12 different First Nation Communities in the North.

EA Underway Into Old Fort Project

Officials at Thunder Bay's top tourist attraction hope it's the beginning of the end to their flooding problems. An Environmental Assessment process is now underway for a project to prevent future flooding at Fort William Historical Park. The old fort has been hit with severe flood damage from the Kam River in recent years. Project Manager Robin Gould predicts the EA will take about a year to complete before a potential solution is found. Gould says the process is starting with public input.

OMA Wants Talks To Resume

The Ontario Medical Association is calling on the Provincial Government to head back to the bargaining table with the help of a third party concilliator. President and Thunder Bay Doctor Stewart Kennedy says talks are stalled over the Province's proposed cuts to the fees doctors charge patients. Kennedy says cutting fees will hurt Northwestern Ontario's chances of retaining doctors.

Mantis Mad With Appointment Too

Thunder Bay's Injured Workers Advocate Steve Mantis is the latest to disagree with the Premier's appointment of former Tory MPP Elizabeth Witmer to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.  Mantis says the Premier should never have appointed the former Minister of Labour that was responsible for opening up the board to include the interests of both workers and employers.  He suggests Dalton McGuinty saw the opportunity for a by-election with the appointment and jumped at the chance of getting a majority.

Tourism Concerns In The Northwest

Tourism officials say they have some concerns about their industry as the summer season approaches. Gerry Cariou of the Sunset Country Travel Association says the closure of tourist information centers in Kenora, Fort Frances and Rainy River is a major sore spot for the industry. Cariou says while there are signs of recovery in the American economy, he's not sure that will translate into more visitors this summer just yet.

Reliance Home Comfort Strike

Thunder Bay's Reliance Home Comfort staff are on strike.  Union members put up picket lines yesterday after the company imposed working terms during collective bargaining.  Spokesperson Dave Moffat says they want to keep the communication lines open.

Rafferty Derides FEDNOR Cuts

More opposition in the House of Commons to the federal government decision to trim FEDNOR's budget. MP John Rafferty wonders about making cuts to a program he says can help strengthen the economy of a struggling region.

Local Roads Don't Make List

Northern Ontario has been shut out of the top 10 worst roads in the province. CAA has just wrapped up its annual Worst Roads contest, and all of the top nominated roads were either in Toronto or southern Ontario. Spokesperson for the contest, Kory Kennedy says regardless of where the roads are, they are hoping the upper levels of government are listening when it comes to road maintenance. Thunder Bay's Onion Lake Road didn't make the cut.

Counselling Centre Goes Online

Thunder Bay's Counselling Centre is now offering help to people over the internet.  10 counsellors are now trained to provide online counselling services.  The project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to the tune of almost 100-thousand dollars.