Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Urban Legend Denied

A blanket denial by the developer of the new waterfront condo's and hotel.   Gisele MacDonald of the Resolve Group says there is absolutely no truth to an urban legend making the rounds that the hotel will not be built until the proposed north side events centre is a done deal. She says neither the completion of hotel or the condos are tied to another other project adding that 3 million dollars has already been sunk into the hotel development.

Cab Companies Address Concerns

It appears city officials and taxi company owners in Thunder Bay have many of the same concerns.   Councillor Brian McKinnon is heading up the committee looking to make changes to the taxi by-law,  and says a meeting between the two sides today was very productive with  both sides appearing to be on "the same page".   Under the new plan,  the Police Services Board will hand the regulation of taxis to the city.  McKinnon says don't expect cab fares to go down as a result of the change unless the companies can get some of their major concerns addressed,  like eliminating the red tape for hiring new drivers.

North Side Fire Cause "Undetermined"

A  city fire investigator says that Monday's inferno at 230 Fitzgerald Street will go into the books as undetermined.   The blaze totally destroyed the 2 storey house, which was vacant at the time.   Inspector Bob Vander Ploeg says that the damage is too severe and that it would be too dangerous for inspectors to examine properly. No one was hurt in the fire.

UAS Asking For City Funding

Among the many presentations being made at tonight's budget meeting at city hall will be one by the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.  Spokesperson Frances Wesley says organizers will ask for funding so they can continue the efforts, she believes, are making a difference in the community.  According to their website, the UAS helps to meet the needs facing Aboriginal people living in the city.   Wesley says they will be requesting 75 thousand dollars.

Hyer Gets Critic Role

A new responsibility for Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer.   He is now the Green Party's critic for democratic reform.  Party leader Elizabeth May cites Hyer's  personal commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in our democratic institutions as a reason for the appointment.

PSWs In Dryden Have Deal

A tentative contract has been reached between Unifor's personal support workers and Revera Home Health in Dryden. The deal impacts 35-employees. Unifor National Representative Stephen Boon says the new deal contains improvements along with increased mileage pay and annual wage increases retroactive to last June. Details won't be released until workers review the full document and vote on it later next week.

Paintings At Centre Of Lawsuit

Two famous Canadians are going to court claiming they bought fake Norval Morrisseau paintings from a Toronto art dealer.   Lawyer Jonathan Sommer represents musicians Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies and John McDermott and  who plans to prove the paintings were not done by the famous Northwestern Ontario First Nations artist.   The lawyer for the art dealer Brian Shiller says the claims are false and the paintings are authentic.  None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Terry Fox Artifacts Requested

City staff are looking into relocating a number of Terry Fox artifacts to Thunder Bay. Councillor Ken Boshcoff introduced the idea to the floor last night. Staff will contact the family and see if they have any items they want to show in an exhibit. A report will also come back to Council with a price tag on how much relocating the memorabilia will cost.

Council Hears Waste Plan

The consultants behind the City's proposed waste strategy plan feel residents want to see a different approach to garbage and recycling.  Stantec Spokesperson Cathy Smith says residents are for a clear plastic garbage bag program. Smith says they also received positive feedback on doing away with recycling bags and moving towards a recycle box. Council will vote on the plan at a future meeting in the spring.