Monday, October 28, 2013

Ward Councillor Issue Coming Up

City Councillor Ken Boshcoff is asking Council to consider putting a question to the voting public in the next municipal election.  Boshcoff  is requesting a question be crafted that asks the public if they would support all Councillors being elected at large.  The issue will come up at next week's Council meeting.

Council Round Up

The City is applying for 2 million dollars in provincial government funds for the Court Street Bridge.  They've sent in an application for the small, rural, and northern municipal infrastructure fund.  The application says the bridge that was built in 1906 is in bad shape and doesn't meet certain design codes.  Meanwhile, City Councillor Joe Virdiramo wants to see the Provincial Government bring back the spring bear hunt.  Virdiramo asked his fellow members to support Thunder Bay MPP Bill Mauro's private member's bill that looks at reinstating the hunt.  Council will send a letter of support to the Minister of Natural Resources.  City Council is also approving its staff's budget directions for 2014.  Councillor Rebecca Johnson says they have a lot of things to consider

Walk A Mile Gibbon's Property

The City is ensuring the intellectual property of former Aboriginal Liaison Officer Anna Gibbon is preserved. Gibbon created an education board game that trained staff about aboriginal culture.  The City wants to expand the use of the game and is ensuring Gibbon's rights our protected and that she receive a small sum for her work in creating the game.  Gibbon won't receive money for the game while she's still a sitting Justice of the Peace.

Some City Departments In The Red

A number of City departments are reporting cost over runs.  At the end of September, the City was a million dollars over its 2013 budget projections.  The Golf Division was over 200-thousand dollars in the red because of a late start to the golf season and poor weather.  Meanwhile, Municipal Child Care is also over 200-thousand dollars because some of their kids are taking part in the Provincial Government's new full day kindergarten program. The City is putting off filling vacant positions until 2014 and staff are vowing to keep an eye on their budget targets.

Infrastructure Priorities Approved

City Council is approving its staff infrastructure priorities plan for the next three years.  It was approved at Monday night's meeting as was a three year contract for a Corporate Project Manager.  Councillor Ken Boshcoff feels it's a good move and says the position will pay for itself. The City is hoping to have someone in the position by January 1st.

Historic Sunken Tug Found

There's a newly discovered shipwreck in Lake Superior for divers to explore.   Thunder Bay's David Shepherd says he and a fellow diver found the tug Mary Ann located just passed the Welcome Islands in 70 feet of water  Shepherd says the ship was discovered as a way to promote scuba diving in the region.

Glow Sticks For Trick Or Treaters

Much of northwestern Ontario will be a glow on Halloween. Some 6-thousand glow sticks have been distributed to schools and child care centres around the region.
OPP Constable Anne McCoy says they will help young trick or treaters be seen. The campaign, expanded to the Kenora and Dryden districts last year, is also being extended to the Thunder Bay region this Halloween.

More Tough Financial Decisions In Dryden

Dryden Police Service is staring down more possible cuts including night guard services.
The Police Services Board is currently staring at a 62-thousand dollar shortfall in that area. Chief Rob Davis says they have been taking a close look at the financial situation.  Davis says the decision to close the Communications Centre in 2014 played a factor in their decision.

Cause Of Kenora Fire Still A Mystery

The cause of a fire on Railway Street last week is still not known. The Ontario Fire Marshall's office wrapped up it's investigation of the burned ruins of the home yesterday. Fire Chief Warren Brinkman says there was so much destruction and fire loss, that it could take weeks before they can determine what caused the blaze. In the meantime, a woman taken from the home last Thursday is still being
treated in Winnipeg Hospital for her injuries.

Coroner's Inquest Underway

The Coroner’s inquest into the death of 27 year old Bruce Moonias is back on today.  In his opening statement to the jury the lawyer for the coroner, Leonard Kim, says that evidence is expected to show that Moonias died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen after being brought to Thunder Bay following an incident in Neskantaga First Nation in which he was holed up in a home alone for several hours.   Moonias died in December of 2006 at the regional hospital after his involvement with the police

Minivan Crash

City Police continue to investigate an accident between two minivans at the corner of Bay and Court Street last night.  The crash took place around 6 o'clock and one woman was taken to hospital with unknown injuries. A child, riding in one of the vans, was not injured.