Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vets Fuming Mad At Fantino

Thunder Bay's Roy Lamore is joining other military veterans in calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs minister Julian Fantino.   They're upset  Fantino didn't hold a serious discussion with them about the closure of Veterans Affairs offices across the country...Fantino admits he handled the meeting badly and apologized in the House of Commons.  The offices, including the one in Thunder Bay,  are slated to close on Friday

"Lazylegz" Speaks At Con College

Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli is spreading his message of "No Excuses, No Limits" with students at Confederation College. Patuelli has a rare disorder called arthrogryposis that affects joint movement and muscle growth and through break dancing has been able to encourage others in achieving their goals. Patuelli has really appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show and will be touring the UK soon with his break-dancing crew ILL-Abilities.

Hyer Praises Trudeau Senate Move

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's surprising move to remove all Liberal senators from his caucus  is getting the thumbs up from Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer.   The senators will now sit as independants.  Hyer calls Trudeau's move intelligent and progressive adding, it's a step in the right direction.   He's calling on the Harper Conservatives to do the same thing in the interests of Senate reform.

Trudeau Flip Flopper

Thunder Bay's MP John Rafferty says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is a flip-flopper.  Rafferty is reacting to Trudeau's decision to order Liberal senators to sit as independents, even though Trudeau didn't vote in support of the NDP's anti-partisan senate motion.  Rafferty feels the Liberal leader is trying to distance himself from an upcoming report on senator expenses from the Auditor General.  In a news conference on Wednesday, Trudeau feels his decision will cut down on partisanship in the upper house.

Health Unit Looking At Options

Thunder Bay's Health Unit is going to take some time to come up with a new way of informing the public about local restaurant inspections. Right now if you want to know your favourite restaurant is doing you have to call the health inspector. Health Unit Spokesperson Lee Sieswerda says one option is to offer the results online but before they do that they'll undergo a feasibility study.

Director Retiring

The Lakehead Public School Board will be looking for a new Director of Education.  Cathi Siemieniuk has announced her intentions to retire effective this summer on August 31st.  Siemieniuk has been Director of Education since July of 2009 and has been an employee of the organization since 1978.

Bridge Gets Upgrades

The Swamp River Bridge just outside of the community of Shebandowan will be replaced in the Spring. The project is part of the province's Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and will create thirty-two new jobs.  The 3.2-million dollar contract has been awarded to LH North.

Forest Industry Rebound

The forest industry is expected to bounce back in a major way in 2014. That's according to the Ontario Forest Industry Association in its pre-budget forecast for the provincial government.  President Jamie Lim says with a little help from the province, thousands of good paying jobs could be created. Lim says the U.S. housing market is starting to recover, and there is an 8-trillion dollar global construction market that will be driving the forest sector over the next few years.

Walkers 900 Kilometers Away From Goal

A group of First Nation walkers are only 900 kilometers away from their journey to Ottawa.  They left at the beginning of January from Attawapiskat First Nation.  The three men are on foot and are hoping to encourage the Federal government to work on addressing several Aboriginal issues.  On Monday, the activists spent some time in Cochrane.

Unifor President In T.Bay

The Unifor "Rights at Work" campaign is in Thunder Bay today. Union President Jerry Dias spoke at the Hoito Restaurant about threats to basic labour rights and what unions can do about it.  Unifor is concerned about the Federal Government's Bill C525 which they feel will make it easier to decertify unions in the federal sector on the basis of biased voting rules.

Kenora Family Safe

For the second time this week, snowmobilers had to be rescued after being stranded in the bush in the Kenora area.  The latest incident took place north of Minaki after a family of four became stranded.  The OPP say the family, which included a 6 year old and a 10 year old had spent a week trapping in the Wingiskis Lake area.  On their way home over the weekend, one of their sleds broke down and another became stuck. Fortunately they had survival gear with them, and they managed to make a shelter, start a fire and had enough food for three days. Family members became concerned when they didn't return home, and contacted a local pilot. He managed to locate them safe and sound Monday morning.

Council Starts Budget Process

The City is kicking off a review of the 2014 budget.  A long term financial plan was presented to Council Tuesday night.  City Treasurer Carol Pollard says they had some unexpected challenges that have had a negative impact on the 2014 budget including increases in the emergency services budget, a decrease in child care revenues and a 25 percent increase in insurance premiums. Meanwhile, Pollard says in the future they hope to put 1.5 million dollars into the infrastructure fund in 2015, another 1.75 million in 2016, and 2.25 million in 2017.  Over the next five years the projected tax levy increases will range from 2.7 percent to 4.7 percent.