Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Minister Selling F.N. Education Act

The Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is trying hard to sell his government's plan for First Nation Education. Bernard Valcourt met with the Chief of the Fort William First Nation and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno this morning in Thunder Bay. Valcourt says he's heard their concerns and feels the plan will allow adequate funding and First Nation say in the education system. Valcourt was a guest speaker at a luncheon put on by the Chamber of Commerce.

Ski Races Are Set

One of the premier crossing country skiing races  in the area, the Sleeping Giant Loppet,  is set to go.    Organizer Marianne Stewart says they're hoping for a great turnout since there's so much snow this season they can guarantee a near perfect course.   She is hoping that there will be 800 to a thousand participants this year.  The loppet takes place at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park March first.

Potential Mining Jobs Explored

Members of Aboriginal communities in the region are in Thunder Bay this week to learn about what potential jobs are available in mining.  Francis Wesley of the city's Urban Aboriginal Strategy says about 150 delegates are here for the conference. She says it will help bridge the connections for Aboriginal people so they can find successful career paths in mining.  The two day event is taking place at the Victoria Inn.

New Computers On The Way

City Police are spending over 60 thousand dollars to upgrade their computers in preparation for next generation 911 service. The upgrade will include the leasing of four Dell PowerEdge servers that will replace old IT equipment. The new tech is scheduled to be delivered and installed by March 3rd.

Board Asking City To Take Back Taxis

The Police Services Board is officially asking City Council to take back the job of policing taxis.  Board Chair Joe Virdiramo says if Council takes back the responsibility it will free up officers time and allow them to get back to keeping the public safe. The board is now writing a report on the history of the taxi by-law and will deliver it to Council in the next six months.

Evidence Audit Findings Released

City Police are currently in charge of looking after almost 23-thousand items of evidence.  The results of an evidence audit were presented this morning at a Police Services Board meeting.  The police station is currently running out of space to hold the items but in the coming budget years money will be set aside to create more room.

Use of Force Report Released

City Police are reporting they used force in 110 cases in 2013.  Speaking at Tuesday morning's Police Service Board meeting, Deputy Chief Andy Hay says that's up slightly from the previous year with 97 reports. Use of force includes pointing a firearm at a civilian, drawing their handgun, using a taser, or their bare hands. Police pointed their firearms at a civilian 30 times last year and drew their handguns 62 times. A taser was used 7 times in 2013.

OPP Announce New Program Today

OPP and the National Crime Prevention Centre are unveiling a new program today to help the youth of Pikangikum First Nation. Sgt. Shelley Garr says the new initiative will run for five years. The young people taking part in the program range from 6 years old to 18. An announcement is being made here in Thunder Bay today at noon at the OPP Northwest Region Headquarters.

NOMA Readies For Roma/Ogra

Municipal Politicians are putting together their wish lists for the annual Ontario Good Roads Conference. President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Dave Canfield says improving infrastructure in the region will be their biggest issue. He says not only do road and bridges need upgrades, but so does our electrical infrastructure to feed the Ring of Fire.  Canfield will be a member of a panel discussing infrastructure at the Good Roads Conference, which gets underway next Sunday in Oakville.

Four Bodies Confirmed

The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Force are confirming that a house fire in the community of Mishkeegogamang is responsible for four deaths. The service along with several other agencies have located four bodies.  The investigation is ongoing with post mortem examinations taking place in Toronto later this week.

City Hosting Baseball Tournament

Thunder Bay will host the 2017 World U-18 Baseball Cup. Spokesperson Warren Philp is confirming the announcement that Baseball Canada made through Twitter. The city had made a push to host the tournament in 2015 but fell short to the Baseball Federation of Japan.

Driven To Quit

The deadline to enter the Driven to Quit Challenge is fast approaching.  It's the Canadian Cancer Society contest that encourages smokers to quit the habit for at least the month of March. Senior Coordinator at Smokers Helpline, Naomi McNeill says participants can win a new vehicle or cash prizes up for grabs. Deadline to enter is February 28 and is made through the contests website or by calling the Canadian Cancer Society's smokers helpline.