Monday, September 30, 2013

CPC Speaks To Council

Thunder Bay's Crime Prevention Council says local residents feel safer since the group's inception in 2010.  Coordinator Amy Siciliano spoke to City Council at their meeting Monday night.  She told them about how they've made inroads in the past year including creating their Hate Crimes Awareness Committee with the local police force.  The group is also pleased to announce they received over 867 thousand dollars in a public safety grant which will allow them to network with National Crime Prevention organizations.

Minor Hockey Struggling With Registration

Registration numbers for minor hockey leagues in the Thunder Bay area have made a significant drop. Trevor Hosanna is the General Manager of Hockey Northwestern Ontario. He believes a mix of high costs, safety concerns and a growing lack of interest is to blame. Efforts are being taken to make the game safer, and more fun while reducing costs where possible.

Smoke Free Commitment Renewed

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre renewed a smoke free commitment Monday. Initiative spokesperson Kelly-Jo Gillis feels patients that do smoke, are being given the tools to quit.  Support also includes care kits, follow ups with patients after leaving the hospital and staff trained to help others quit smoking. 

Flu Shot Schedule Online

Flu season will soon be upon us.  The Health Unit will start offering it's flu shot clinics starting October 21st.  Health Unit Spokesperson Diana Gownalock says 21 clinics are being held in the city and another 8 in the communities surrounding Thunder Bay.   Gownalock says it's come one, come all but stresses seniors and children should try to make it to the clinics as soon as possible since they are at higher risk of getting the flu. To check out the flu shot clinic schedule click here.

City Manager To Update Councillors

On the city hall beat tonight...councillors will be getting an update from the city manager about  priorities for the city as they relate to sewers, roads and other infrastructure.   There is also a budget update scheduled as well as a proposal to sell the Prosvita Hall property on High Street  to the Indian Friendship Centre.  Thunder Bay's Crime Prevention Council is providing a yearly update to City Council tonight.

Two Transports Involved In Highway Mishap

The driver of a transport truck is recovering from minor injuries after a mishap involving two transports in the region.  OPP say the accident happened on Highway 17 between Raith and Shabaqua at around 5 o'clock this morning.  They say that one of the transports landed in the ditch and needed to be pulled out.   There were no dangerous goods being transported by either vehicle.

Little Change To NWO Federal Ridings

Little change to the boundaries in northwestern Ontario. The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario has submitted its final report to the Chief Electoral Office There are no changes to the riding of Thunder Bay-Rainy River which pleases MP John Rafferty who says the commission wanted to include a portion of the Kenora constituency in his riding. Thunder Bay-Superior North will be expanded to include Manitouwadge

Campbell Lauds Accountability Office

The Provincial Government is one step closer to having a financial accountability office. The bill has passed third reading in the legislature, and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says it will make sure instances like the scandal with the gas plants in southern Ontario, never happens again.  She believes the office will make sure money is distributed equally across the province.  The creation of an accountability office was a key demand from the NDP in the 2013 budget.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

OPP Nab Drug Traffickers

Nipigon OPP have charged three people involved in drug trafficking. Officers arrived at the Nip/Rock High School friday and noticed a young man who appeared to be selling drugs to students. A search yielded several grams of marijuana. He remains in custody at a Youth Detention Facility in Thunder Bay pending a bail hearing.

Rickford Addresses Ring Of Fire Delays

FedNor Minister Greg Rickford is defending his government's handling of the Ring of Fire. Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas was critical of how little appears to be done in the development of the Chromite project. Rickford stressed negotiations take time and it should be soon that local municipalities will be involved in shaping the project. The issue popped up repeatedly at last week's Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Conference.

Gravelle Back's Mauro's Bill

Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle says he's going to back his fellow Thunder Bay area MPP's private members bill. Bill Mauro's proposed legislation looks at reducing the number of nuisance bears in the region. Gravelle says he's got Bill's back. Mauro's bill also looks at expanding the hunt as well.

Thunder Bay Shout Out

After 5 seasons the Breaking Bad series finale airs tonight.   Thunder has had a small part to play in the series.  In season two episode thirteen,  one of the shows stars, RJ Mitte gives a shout out to the Lakehead.
Its not the first time the city has been immortalized in a popular North American TV show.  An episode of Prison Break mentioned Thunder Bay in a 2005 episode.

Police Memorial Service Sunday

A memorial Service to honour men and women of the force who died in the line of duty is today.  The service is part of Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day.  A march at 1:30 will take place from the Provincial Court house to the service at St Paul's Church.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The "Thunder Bay" Visits Thunder Bay

A new Great Lakes freighter named after our city made it's first visit to our port. Special ceremony was held Friday at Keefer Terminal. Canada Steamship Lines President Louis Martel says it's not the first CSL ship to carry the name Thunder Bay. He says the freighter is designed to last at least 25 years.

Dawson Road Home Catches Fire

Fire and Rescue are looking into the cause of a fire on Dawson Road around 1am. The blaze was too intense to battle from within the building, which suffered heavy smoke and fire damage. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated. No one was home at the time of the blaze, and no one was injured.

FedNor Funding Event Centre

Thunder Bay's Mayor Keith Hobbs is hoping FedNor Minister Greg Rickford will be announcing some funding for the proposed Event Centre soon. During an event Friday the Minister refused to comment on funding applications that are currently being reviewed. Hobbs says he has high hopes. Hobbs says the Event Centre would be the crowning jewel in the waterfront development project.

Retail Sector Declining

The North Superior Workforce Board is giving Municipal leaders a sneak peak of how the region's labour sectors are faring. Executive Director Madge Richardson gave an update to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association recently and says an area that is showing a decline includes the retail sector as well as personal services such as housecleaning, and cooking.

Hall Of Fame Induction Tonight

The Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of fame is inducting its a-class of 2013 tonight.  In the athletes category it will be paralympic athlete Andrea Cole, former NHLer Tony Hrkac and Canadian women's hockey star Katie Weatherston.   In the building category it's Brian Mallan and Brian the team category Sailor Jim Cameron gets the nod.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rickford Defends ROF Process

FedNor Minister Greg Rickford is defending his government's handling of the Ring of Fire.  Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas was critical of how little appears to be done in the development of the Chromite project.  Rickford stressed negotiations take time and it should be soon that local municipalities will be involved in shaping the project.  The issue popped up repeatedly at last week's Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Conference.

Tbaytel Reaches Safety Milestone

Tbaytel is patting itself on the back for reaching a safety milestone.   The workers have gone half a million hours without a workplace injury.  The city run utility credits the dedication of the staff for keeping it a safe working environment.   A special  ceremony to mark the occasion was held today.

New President At George Jeffrey

Firedog Communication's Stephanie Ash is George Jeffrey Children's Centre's new President.  Ash was previously a Board Director, and replaces long-standing President, Bob Speer.  Ash says her goal is to help get service to as many children as possible and to reduce the waiting list which currently stands at about 200 children.

Hobbs Hoping For Fed Funds For Event Centre

Thunder Bay's Mayor Keith Hobbs is hoping FedNor Minister Greg Rickford will be announcing some funding for the proposed Event Centre soon.  During an event today the Minister refused to comment on funding applications that are currently being reviewed.  Hobbs says he has high hopes for the project and will keep pushing for Federal funding.  Hobbs says the Event Centre would be the crowning jewel in the waterfront development project.

LU President Going To Queen's Park

Lakehead University President Brian Stevenson is going to visit Queen's Park on Monday and Tuesday.  It's part of the annual Lobby Days. Stevenson will be joined by VP of External Relations Deb Comuzzi, and Director of Government Relations Richard Longtin.  They'll be meeting with key ministers, critics and party leaders.

3 Million Dollars In FedNor Funding Announced

FedNor Minister Greg Rickford is in Thunder Bay today and he brought his cheque book with him.  Over 3 million dollars was announced for several area projects including over a million for the City to renovate the Whalen Building and the Delaney Arena.  Rickford says the investment in Thunder Bay is going to improve the economy.  49-thousand dollars is going towards the Friends of Chippewa Park and another 49-thousand will go towards hosting the Canada Rural Revitalization Foundation's national conference in Thunder Bay.

MV Thunder Bay Welcomed

It's a proud day for Canada Steamship Lines.   The freighter MV Thunder Bay made its first stop at Keefer Terminal today.  A special ceremony was held to welcome the ship to the city. CSL President Louis Martel says the ship was built to fill a need for the company on the Great Lakes. This is the fourth ship named after our city in the company's history.

LRCA Budget Set

The operating budget for the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is set.   Chair Bill Bartley says after a modest increase of 1 and a half per cent it works out to about 1 and a half million dollars.  He says while nothing special is planned the Victor Street erosion project will continue to be a priority.  The budget was approved at this weeks authority meeting

Prescribed Burn In NWO

The Ministry of Natural Resources is preparing to ignite a prescribed burn in the Horse Lake area in the Sioux Lookout District. Officials say the burn will renew almost 700-hectares within the Lac Seul Forest which suffered severe weather damage between 2001 and 2007.  The burn is scheduled for today.

NPI CEO Has Big Plans

The independent think tank the Northern Policy Institute is embarking on a number of projects.  They've been up and running for 13 months and CEO Charles Cirtwell says one of the first things they've done is commission a review of the Federal Aboriginal Education Act.  NPI is also looking to create an online community consultation tool that will poll Northerner's thoughts on Provincial Government policies. Cirtwell addressed members of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Conference in Thunder Bay yesterday.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

NDP Press Matthews On Hospital Overcrowding

The provincial government continues to plead for time in fixing the overcrowding problems at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.  In the legislature NDP leader Andrea Horwath pressed the health minister on the issue and Deb Matthews said it's a work in progress.  She says the regional health authority, the Northwest LHIN, is working hard to resolve the problem.  Matthews points to the new 544 bed seniors complex being building in the city by St. Joseph's Care Group.

Dryden Boys Honoured By OPP

The OPP are recognizing several Northwestern Ontario civilians for their brave actions.  Dryden's Kale Greer, Christison Maua and Koen Taylor were honoured for saving the life of Kale's four year old sister while they were playing at the Big Eagle Lodge tourist camp.  The young girl disappeared when the boys thought to see if she had wandered off to the dock.  That's when Christison says he saw her in the water and they decided to scoop her out with a fishing net.  The boys were given an award today in Thunder Bay by the OPP Deputy Commissioner.

Humperdinck Cancels Again In Thunder Bay

Health issues have forced British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck to scrub his Thunder Bay appearance at the Community Auditorium. He was scheduled to sing Saturday night, but  Humperdinck's Facebook page says he called off the performance  because of "a trapped nerve in his neck." His website, , says his Thunder Bay show is postoned.

Canfield Says NOMA Frustrated

Members of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association are telling the Minister of Northern Development and Mines that they are frustrated.  Several municipal leaders spoke today with Michael Gravelle about their growing concerns about the future of the Thunder Bay Generating Station and the Ring of Fire development.  NOMA President Dave Canfield says they're understanding but something more needs to be done to help speed up the process.  The comments were made during the annual NOMA conference in Thunder Bay.

City Roofer Fined

A Thunder Bay firm has been fined 50-thousand dollars for violating Occupational Health and Safety Act. Lakehead Roofing and Metal Cladding was charged May 2012 after a worker was injured while working on a roofing project in Sault Ste. Marie. The worker suffered serious leg injuries after falling 14 meters before a piece of safety equipment engaged to stop his fall.

Police Nab Driving Suspect

City police have their man.  They say they've have captured the person they were looking for yesterday following a car chase in Westfort . Police say the officer involved in the incident was able to identify the suspect.   A 27 year old man is scheduled for a video court appearance on charges of dangerous driving.


Thunder Bay's Regional Research Institute is welcoming a new Vice President of Corporate Services and Operations.  The hospital has hired Peter Myllymaa from the local health authority.  Myllymaa will also act as the hospital's new Chief Financial Officer.

NOMA Ready For Conference

The annual Northwestern Ontario Municipal conference  is underway in Thunder Bay.  NOMA President Dave Canfield says they will bring municipal leaders from the region up to speed on a number of important topics.  Canfield says energy concerns surrounding the Thunder Bay Generation Station, mining and forestry will also be on the agenda. 

Culture Days Are Here

The City is celebrating it's fourth annual "Culture Days".  A flag raising ceremony is being held this  morning at City Hall to kick off the four day event.  Over the next couple of days you can check out belly dancing demonstrations, and learn how to Ukrainian dance in 60 minutes.

OPP Honour Officers & Civilians

Members of the OPP from across Northwestern Ontario are being honored today in Thunder Bay.  A Pickle Lake officer is set to receive the Commissioner's Citation for Lifesaving for rescuing a man from a burning building.  A Thunder Bay civilian is receiving a bravery award for pulling a quadriplegic man to safety from a burning vehicle.  Meanwhile, three young Dryden boys are being honoured for saving the life of a young girl.

Investigation Closed

City Police are closing the book on the case of a woman who was found dead in an Archibald Street home.  A post mortem exam was conducted yesterday and the death is no longer considered suspicious.  Police responded to the home early Tuesday morning following a 911 call.  The name of the woman has not been released.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mauro Wants To Expand Bear Hunt

Thunder Bay MPP Bill Mauro is trying to expand the province's northern bear hunt.    Mauro says his private members bill at Queens Park is designed to help reduce the nuisance bear population.  He says there has been an increased concern about nuisance bears and the dangers that poses.  Mauro hopes other parties support his proposal so it can pass into law.

NAN Releases Residential School Curriculum

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is out with its school history curriculum which focuses on the residential school experience in Canada.  Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says they hope that the local school boards decide to teach it to their students.    NAN also hopes to touch base with the Ministry of Education in an effort to have the curriculum taught across the province. Fiddler adds when you teach students the full history of residential schools, you can't go wrong.

Licence Renewal Now Available Online

Motorists in Northwestern Ontario will now be able to renew their drivers licences on the Internet. Now by going to, you can use your existing photos on your licence for an additional 5-years. Drivers can also get licence plate stickers, driver abstracts and other products in the same transaction. Ontario becomes the first province in Canada to offer the online-service.

Manhunt In Westfort

We have a developing story to report ...Police are searching for a man in the Westfort area following a short car chase this morning.  They say that a driver wanted for questioning about an earlier accident sped off when police spotted his vehicle in westfort.   That resulted in the vehicle crashing at the corner of Mountdale and Gore.   Police are still looking for a suspect.

Students To Sample Local Food

Public high schools students in Thunder Bay will be getting local food in their cafeterias.  It's a pilot project to allow students the chance to sample the food that is grown and produced at local farms.  The experiment runs four times at each public high school until November 7th.   After that the results will be assessed.

Stabbing In Dryden

A Dryden man has been treated for multiple stab wounds following an attack last night in that city. Police were called to deal with a domestic dispute around 10:15.  They say the 21-year-old woman stabbed her partner four times.  She is being held in custody and no names have been released.

Local Students Score Well On Literacy

Thunder Bay's high school students can hold their own compared to their provincial peers when it comes to reading skills.  The latest literacy test results from the province's Education Accountability Office show the catholic school board students who successfully completed testing scored an average of 88 per cent compared to the province wide standard of 82 per cent.  Public board students scored an average of 80 per cent on testing.

EQAO Math Results Favour Catholic Board

Grade nine students in the catholic school system in Thunder Bay are operating ahead of their public school counterparts in mathematics.  The latest results from the province's Education, Quality and Accountability Office show that in academic math students in the catholic board scored an average of 85 per cent compared to 80 per cent in the public system.    For applied math the catholic students scored an average 52 per cent compared to 38 per cent for the public board.

Tough Night for Police Officers

A 47-year old Thunder Bay man is facing charges of resisting arrest and breach of recognizance following an incident last night that sent a City police officer to hospital with a leg injury.  The arrest took place on May Street just before midnight.  In a second incident, an officer was sent to hospital suffering from facial injuries that required stitches.  He was issuing a ticket to a 30-year old male on Algoma Street just after midnight.  The officer was able to return to duty after being released from hospital.    

Visitor Restrictions On At Roseview

There are visitor restrictions on at Roseview Manor.   Health officials say it's because of a respiratory illness at the seniors care home.  They say that 6 staff and 6 residents are affected.  It's not known how long the visitor sanctions will be in effect.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TCP Consults T.Bay Residents

Mixed reaction to the TransCanada Pipeline's Energy East project. The last stop on their consultation tour of Northwestern Ontario was held Tuesday night at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.  Eugene Lefrancois took in the public information session and says he's in favour of the project as long as they do it right and protect the environment.  Several residents who were concerned about the project rallied outside the auditorium.  If approved the project will see Alberta oil sent to the East Coast.