Friday, November 30, 2012

OSSTF Upset Over Westgate Tiger Tip-Off

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation is speaking out after the Public School Board cancelled the Westgate Tiger Tip-off basketball tournament.  The board said the tournament was cancelled because they didn't feel there was enough supervision from support staff.  Union Rep Paul Caccamo says his members put over 200 hours to prepare the tournament and were willing to give more over the weekend.  Caccamo says he didn't hear from the school about their concerns about supervision.

Council Tackles Several Issues Monday

There could be a new school safety zone after Monday night's City Council meeting.  Council will consider implementing a 40 km/hr speed zone on Georgina Avenue from Mary Street to Frederica Avenue.  School safety zones would also be set up at Rockwood Avenue from 65 metres south of Whitney Street to 35 metres south of Windsor Street and Wishart Crescent from Windemere Avenue to Clarkson Street.  Meanwhile, Council is looking at improving drainage in the areas of Oliver and Highgate Roads.  City staff is recommending spending 125-thousand dollars towards drainage improvements including new ditching on the south side of Oliver Road and new culverts along half of Highgate Road.  Finally, Council is considering making a bid for the next Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities conference.  Council will decide tonight whether or not to officially throw the City's hat into the conference hosting ring.

B-Ball Tournament Cancelled

The Tiger Tip-off basketball tournament is cancelled and teachers' job action is being blamed. Ian MacRae, Superintendant of Education and former Principal at Westgate says he was forced to pull the plug on the tournament last night after the first round of games were played. MacRae says there were indeed enough coaches, but not enough support staff to ensure the students particpating would be supervised appropriately on school grounds.

Christmas Cheer Fund Sets Goal At 160-Thousand

The Christmas Cheer campaign is underway with a goal of 160 thousand dollars. Chair Linda Gambee says this year the need in the community is bigger than ever. The organization faced a funding shortfall last year and in order to balance their books this year they had to eliminate stew from the Christmas grocery hampers.

Eye See Eye Learn

The Eye See Eye Learn program is reaching out to Thunder Bay's surrounding communities. The Ontario Association of Optometrists pilot program just started. It will see a local optometrist travel to the surrounding communities and provide free eye exams and glasses to school children. The program already exists in the City and now it will include Red Rock, Nipigon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, Marathon, Geraldton and Manitouwadge.

CAA Reminds You To Drive Safe

While the official start to winter is a few weeks away, it's good to always be prepared. The Canadian Auto Association has some safety tips to help everyone stay safe on the roads. Spokesperson Korey Kennedy says it's important to keep an emergency kit. Kennedy also stresses the importance of making sure snow and ice is completely scraped off the vehicle.

Rickford On Residential School Ceremony

Shining light on an unfortunate past. Kenora MP Greg Rickford hosted a dedication ceremony on Wednesday to commemorate the legacy of Indian Residental Schools, which featured a stained glass window being installed in Center Block on Parliment Hill. Rickford says that it's a move forward for Aboriginal people who were affected by the residential schools. Rickford adds that it had some personal significance to him, considering he was part of negotiations and the signing of the Residential Schools Agreement.

Levesque Proud Of Diamond Jubilee Award

Thunder Bay's Police Chief JP Levesque says he's proud to receive a Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. Levesque says he's elated to receive the award and was shocked when MP Bruce Hyer's office called to tell him he was receiving the medal. Levesque says he's probably receiving the award for his years with the police force.

Hyer Hands Out 30 Jubilee Medals Today

30 of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals are being handed out today at a special ceremony this afternoon at the Prince Arthur Hotel. Independent MP Bruce Hyer will be handing them out to well deserving city and area residents who were chosen by a non-partisan group after nominations were submitted. Hyer says the award recipients are from all walks of life who have made outstanding contributions to our community.

ETFO Ready For A Strike

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is threatening strike action starting in December.  Teachers have until the end of December to reach a contract agreement or the Minister of Education will force a contract on the union.  Local President Ellen Chambers says they're left with no other options unless the Provincial Government calls them back to the bargaining table.  The ETFO has promised to give parents 72 hours notice before any strike, which will affect operations in each public elementary school throughout Ontario.

Basketball Teams At Home This Weekend

The Lakehead University men's and women's basketball teams are back at the friendly confines of the L.U. Thunderdome tonight and tomorrow. The Thunderwolves welcome the Laurentian Voyageurs at 6:00 and 8:00 o'clock tonight. At 1-4, the men's team has struggled defensively and Head Coach Scott Morrison says he's looking for a good showing tonight and tomorrow to end the first half. The Thunderwolves will host the York Lions in a double-header tomorrow night with games at 6:00 and 8:00 o'clock as well.