Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bus Drivers Closer To Striking

The City's bus drivers are one step closer to striking.  The Amalgamated Transit Union held a strike vote and 99 percent were in favour of taking job action.  ATU President Sheila Kivisto says they'll be heading into mediated talks Wednesday.   Kivisto says a stumbling point includes wages and notes they are the second lowest paid transit members in Ontario.  No strike date has been set.

St. Joe's Hospice Care Beds Open

St. Joseph's Care Group's 10 bed Hospice Palliative care Program is now complete.  Clients will move in starting tomorrow.   CEO Tracey Buckler says it took several months and 800 thousand dollars to complete the renovations.  Upgrades include new family day beds, a room refrigerator, new ceilings, lighting, night tables and window coverings.

Rickford $pends The Most Of NWO MPs

Northwestern Ontario Members of Parliament are not the most thrifty in the country. The three M.P.'s spent a little more than average to run their constituency offices and to travel to and from Ottawa last year. Kenora M.P. Greg Rickford had the highest expense total at 480 thousand dollars. The average M.P. spent 399 thousand dollars for the fiscal year ending March 31st. Rickford's expenses were slightly higher than Thunder Bay-Atikokan M.P. John Rafferty, who spent 459 thousand, and Thunder Bay-Superior North M.P. Bruce Hyer who came in at 428 thousand.

Thunder Bay Drivers Still Text And Drive

It appears Thunder Bay drivers still aren't getting it.    Allstate Canada asked teens from St. Patrick's High School to stake out the intersection of Arthur and Selkirk Streets for one hour today.  Company spokesperson Tony Bossio  says out of the 185 distracted drivers spotted 7 were talking on their cell phones and over 25 were texting.  Bossio calls the results astounding.

Shooting In Greenstone

OPP are probing a shooting in the community of Caramat last night.  They say that a man was shot in the leg on his Highway 625 property last night by a man with a long gun after a confrontation.  Police say the suspect was wearing a black ski mask and ran off towards a bush road.   Police say they are still trying to locate the gunman.

NWO Innovation Offers Accelerator Program

Calling all entrepreneurs.   The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre is teaming up with a variety of investors to help kick start five businesses.  Spokesperson Terry Smith says applications for the accelorator program open today.  15-thousand dollars will be provided to each business. The three month program starts in January.

Smoke Free Grounds Approved

The City is giving the hospital the go ahead to ban smoking on their property.  An amendment to City smoking by-laws will allow hospital security staff and Health Unit officers to ticket anyone found smoking on the hospital grounds. City Councillor Andrew Foulds was uncomfortable with the outright ban and asked hospital officials why they didn't create a designed smoking area on the grounds.  Health Sciences Centre Spokesperson Tracie Smith says they consulted the public and heard loud and clear that having a 100 percent smoke free grounds was the way to go.  City staff will be coming back to Council in six months time with hospital data on how many tickets were issued and if people have been going to Oliver Road to smoke.

Women's History Month Celebrated

The City is celebrating Women's History Month by launching a web exhibit of the contributions of women in Thunder Bay.  Included in the City Archive website will be librarian Mary J. L. Black, hockey player Hilda Donati, Fur trader Marguerite McLoughlin and former Mayor Dusty Miller.  A link to the web exhibit can be found here.

Infrastructure Priorities Meeting Called

City Council will take their infrastructure priorities to the public.  Council heard from City Manager Tim Commisso about the 175 million dollars in infrastructure upgrades that are needed over the next four years.  A public meeting on future infrastructure projects will be held within the next three weeks.  Meanwhile, the City has heard from it's staff about their budget priorities for the next year and will vote on it at it's October 28th meeting.

CLE Bar Up For Further Discussion

The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Board of Directors will meet again Tuesday night.  Councillor Ken Boshcoff sits on the board and says up for discussion is getting a review of the CLE's bar operations. Boshcoff says the board understands that the public wants a review and doesn't expect anyone to object.

Biker Injured After Deer Collision

A Monday evening collision involving a deer and a motorcycle has landed a 44-year-old Vermilion Bay man in hospital with serious injuries.Provincial Police say a west bound Harley Davidson struck the animal on Highway 17 near Dryden around 7 o'clock. The man is listed in stable condition and his motorcycle suffered extensive damage.

Topatigh Named Tbatel Prez/CEO

There's a new boss at Tbaytel.  The board at the city run phone company has named  Dan Topatigh as the new president and CEO.  Topatigh has been running operations for nine months as the interim president following the retirement of Don Campbell.

Boaters Fined

Two men are paying the price for their behaviour on the waters in Dryden.  Andrew Weiers of Dryden and Matthew Weiers of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, both pleaded guilty and were fined a total of $2500.00 after the MNR received complaints about boaters harassing a swimming moose. The boat used was seized and will be returned once the fines are paid.  MNR officials used evidence from several witnesses, including video of the boat circling the moose.  One man evened jumped on the animal's back during the incident which took place in Outlet Bay of Eagle Lake in late July.