Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mauro Slams Mayor's Comment

 Mayor Keith Hobbs is taking a broadside at Thunder Bay's two MPPs, but one of them has issued a stinging reply.    Hobbs says he's concerned they haven't taken a stronger stand against scrapping the natural gas conversion of the Thunder Bay generating station.  He says Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro have remained silent on the issue.  Mauro calls the mayor's comment absurd adding if he, Bill Mauro, is successful in saving the plant conversion it will be inspite of the City of Thunder Bay, not because of it. 

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Police Nab Speeder

City police are  reporting yet another stunt driving incident.  This person, they say, was clocked at 5:30 this morning travelling at 150 kilometres an hour on the Thunder Bay Expressway between Highway 61 and Arthur Street.   The driver says he was late for work and did not want to miss his ride.  His pickup truck has been taken away from him for seven days and his licence is suspended.

Converting TBGS Cheapest Option: Report

Efforts continue to try to convince the province to resume conversion of the Thunder Bay Generating Station to natural gas.  A new report from the lobby group Common Voice Northwest indicates that the conversion is the cheapest option to provide power to the northwest.  The Energy Task Force report says the cost to operate it would be cheaper than paying for wind and solar power projects.

Hobbs Talks Energy With Wynne

Mayor Keith Hobbs says he's confident Premier Kathleen Wynne gets it.   After speaking to the premier,  Hobbs says she understands our belief that scrapping the natural gas conversion of the Mission Island generating station will have dire consequences.  In a half hour phone conversation,  Hobbs says he asked the premier to make our energy concerns a top priority.   He explained closing the plant would increase the potential for future rolling blackouts and brownouts.

Gravelle Responds To Cliffs Decision

Cliffs Natural Resources decision to temporarily suspend its environmental assessment activities in the Ring of Fire doesn't appear to be troubling Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.  Gravelle says talks will continue between the mining company and the Ontario government.  He notes delays happen in major mining projects like this one.  The mining company cited delays and uncertainty affecting both the provincial and federal environmental assessments as reasons why they made their decision.

Hyer Doesn't Give Up On Via Rail

Thunder Bay Independent MP Bruce Hyer isn't giving up his fight to restore Via Rail service to the North Shore area.  Hyer commissioned a 90 page report on the issue and will be unveilling it in Toronto, Ottawa and Thunder Bay today.  Hyer hopes he can pursuade the Federal Government to invest in Via Rail.  Hyer feels Via Rail service is feasible in the Northwest.

Inquest Hearing Wraps Up

It could take several weeks to make a decision on who will be able to legally take part in an inquest into the deaths of seven aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay.  North Region Coroner Dr. Micahel Wilson says his boss Dr. David Eden will be reviewing each party's reasons for wanting to be involved in the process.  The hearing to see who will take part wrapped up yesterday.

Hustle For The Heart In T.Bay

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is the latest charity to be on the receiving end of a fundraising bike ride.  Brian Cameron left Vancouver on May 10th and is spending some downtime in Thunder Bay while on his Hustle For The Heart ride.  Cameron says he got involved in the ride after losing both his Father and Grandfather to heart disease.  Cameron will be repairing his bike in the City today before he resumes his journey through Northern Ontario.

OPP Charge Man In Fatal Crash

Provincial Police have charged a man who was found responsible for a fatal car crash in Ignace.  Police say 80-year-old Albert Pautsch of Hawkstone, Ontario was driving a F350 Ford back in December, which hit the vehicle 32-year-old Blake Cheslock of Thunder Bay was driving.  Police say Pautsch will appear in court on July 10th and is facing a charge of careless driving.

Ontario Budget Passes, No Summer Election

The New Democrats kept their promise and voted to support the Liberal government's budget, averting a summer election. That's something Thunder Bay MPP Michael Gravelle is happy to hear since several initiatives in the fiscal document will help northerners. Gravelle cites infrastructure funding, and money for the Northern Heritage Fund. The budget passed by a vote of 64 to 36 yesterday.

Cliffs Suspends EA Work

Cliffs Natural Resources is temporarily suspending its environmental assessment activities for its Ring of Fire project.  The reasons for the move include delays and uncertainty affecting both the provincial and federal E.A. assessments.  They also cite unresolved issues related to land surface rights and unfinished agreements with the Ontario Government.  Cliffs also says they'll continue to work with the government to restart the work.