Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thunder Bay Has #1 Murder Rate

Thunder Bay once again has the dubious honour of being the murder capital of Canada.  Statistics Canada says the 7 homicides we had in 2012 helped push our per capita rate to 5.8 murders for every 100 thousand people.    Police Chief J-P Levesque did not want to comment on the figures.

Expanded Dental Services For Needy Kids

The province says it's trying to make it easier for needy families to send their children to the dentist.    The eligibility for free dental care has now been expanded to include  70 thousand more low income children and youth.  The government says the expansion is part of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Campbell Outraged Over Highway Maintenance

It has been another tragic week on area highways and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell has seen enough. She's calling for immediate action to winter road maintenance in northwestern Ontario. Campbell points to a recent decision by Iron Range Bus Lines to cancel service on a major route. Campbell says police are even indicating that most recent collisions have been caused by poor road conditions.

Records Judgement Reserved

Former residential school students in Fort Albany will have to wait a bit longer to see if they get access to records that could help support their claims of abuse. Two days of hearings into the matter wrapped up Wednesday night in Toronto.  The justice reserved his decision on whether the federal government and the OPP should hand over the documents, and whether they should be used in the complex process for claiming compensation. Former St. Anne’s Residential School student Andrew Wesley said he hopes a ruling is made soon.

PCs Have Plan For Skilled Trades

Tim Hudak, Jane McKenna
The Progressive Conservatives in Ontario are proposing to give high school students hands on experience.  PC economic critic Jane McKenna says as part of the party platform on big cities, they would make sure skills training was included in the curriculum for at risk youth.  The plan would see local high schools would be partnered with provincially funded construction projects.    The PCs believe their idea would ease the current high demand for skilled trades.

Savings Bond Rate Unchanged

The province is keeping the Interest Rate on Ontario Savings Bonds the same. The rate of  1.3 per cent applies to Variable-Rate Bonds dated 2007 and 2008. Finance Minister Charles Sousa says keeping the rate competitive encourages the people of Ontario to invest their money at home where they help create jobs and build infrastructure.

Olivia And Liam Remain Top Baby Names

Young parents in Ontario aren't changing their ways when it comes to naming their children.   The government says Olivia and Liam are the most popular names for girls and boys born in the province for the second year in a row.   Emma, Sophia and Ava are right behind Olivia for popular girls names.   For boys Ethan, Jacob and Lucas filled in the top four.

Meeting To Discuss Youth Centre

It should be an interesting evening  at the Moose Hall on Fort William Road.   Opponents of a proposed Indian Friendship Youth Centre at the former Prosvita Hall on High Street are gathering to explain the strategy for next month's city hall meeting.  Organizer Michael Lemesani says he's coming with new information.   The meeting starts at 6:30.

Kettle Campaign Running Short

The Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Campaign is hopeful Thunder Bay residents can dig a little deeper to reach its fundraising goal.  This year's local effort has raised just over 112-thousand dollars, but is still 12-thousand dollars short of the 2012 total with less than a week to go.