Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chiarelli Promotes Plan

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli is busy promoting the government's Long Term Energy Plan and deflecting criticism over the high cost of electricity in the North. In a media teleconference, Chiarelli deflected a question asking if the Province would entertain a seperate electricity rate for Northerners since generating electricity in the region is done fairly cheaply. Chiarelli said no that there will continue to be only one rate for the whole of the province. We face a 33 percent hike in our electricity rates over the next three years according to the new plan. Other issues discussed included the local power plant which Chiarelli feels will provide the region's electricity needs.

Charges Laid In Ambrose St. Fire

Thunder Bay's Fire Service is fining an Ambrose Street property owner for failing to maintain smoke alarms. The total cost of the three tickets is over 700 dollars. Spokesperson Anthony Stokaluk says the home's occupant was hurt in last week's fire. The Fire Service is again stressing the importance of having working smoke alarms on each floor of a residence.

First Nations Education Act Rally

A rally was held at the Fort William First Nation today against the Federal Governments proposed First Nations Education Act. Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic says he hopes that today's protest will show the government that their proposed act is opposed by all members in the community and not just elders. Kakegamic adds that one of the main areas of concern is a lack of attention given to preschool and post-secondary education. Rallies were also held in Toronto, Ottawa and Sudbury.

Home Care Workers Could Strike

Personal Support Workers with Red Cross Home Care could be soon be carrying pickets.  Members of the Service Employees International Union, including 21 in Thunder Bay, rejected a tentative contract on the weekend. Union president Sharleen Stewart says they are in a legal strike position to back demands.  Stewart says a desire for better wages and benefits are at the heart of the dispute for workers now earning 15-dollars an hour.

Numerous Camp Break In & Thefts

Members of the OPP are warning area camp owners about numerous break, enter and thefts that occurred to cottages located on Max Lake, Decourcey Lake and others in the Boreal Road area. All of the incidents occurred sometime during the week of November 24 to November 30th. Some of the items reported stolen include, firearms, generators, chainsaws, and alcohol.

Angus Pans Plan

The Co-chair of the Northwest Energy Task Force is putting some reality to the long term energy plan.  Ian Angus says although the cost wont be as high as initially projected, it's still not going to be cheap.  Angus also disagrees with plans to conserve energy in the Northwest.  Something he says will have little impact once the proposed mines for the region begin operation.

Snowfall Warning Still In Effect

The Thunder Bay area is bracing for its first major snowfall of the season. A large low pressure system from Colorado is tracking northeast and Meteorologist Dayshanelle Matthews with Environment Canada says snowfall amounts will be significant. Calendar parking also takes effect throughout the City today.

Chiefs Support 60s Scoop Lawsuit

A landmark lawsuit against the Federal Government is taking place today. A hearing is scheduled for today and will see Beaver House Chief Marcia Brown Martel take on Canada over the system in the 1960s that saw First Nation children apprehended by the government and placed with non-first nation families. The Chiefs of Ontario are supporting the lawsuit calling the government's actions cultural genocide.

New Canadian Citizens Sworn In

Over thirty people in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario are now Canadian citizens. They took the oath this morning at a special ceremony at Confederation College. Long time Thunder Bay resident Heli Putkuri says she decided to apply for her citizenship because she thought it was time. The 32 new Canadians originally hailed from over 18 different countries.

No Change At The Public School Board

It's status quo at the Lakehead District School Board with trustee Deborah Massaro being acclaimed for a seventh consecutive term as Board Chair.  Trustee Karen Wilson was also acclaimed for a fifth term as Vice Chair.

Kettle Campaign Suffering

The Salvation Army is saying a lack of volunteers is the reason its Christmas kettle fundraiser in Thunder Bay is running behind this year.  Major Rob Kerr says they haven't been able to find enough people who want to staff the kettles.  Kerr says they are down about 13 thousand dollars from the same time last year.

White Cedar Clinic Gets New Deal

The First Nation White Cedar Health Care Centre is teaming up with the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres.  The two will offer services out of the Thunder Bay South Clinic starting in January 2014.  According to the two agencies the new agreement will enhance the current model of service and care for clients.

Company Fined

D & L Estates Limited is being forced to pay 25-thousand dollars after being sentenced in Ontario Provincial Court in Thunder Bay for an offence under the Environmental Protection Act. The offence involving PCBs took place at the former NORAD radar station in Armstrong, Ontario near the North Shore of Lake Nipigon. The company has since removed all of the PCB contaminated equipment from the property and had the PCBs destroyed.