Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mauro Named To Municipal Affairs

A surprise out of Queens Park.   Bill Mauro is the new provincial minister for municipal affairs and housing.  He was named to the post by Premier Kathleen Wynne as part of a wider cabinet shuffle triggered by the resignation of Linda Jeffrey from municipal affairs.   Mauro says the appointment was a surprise to him but he is excited to take on the challenge and that he knows he has a steep learning curve.

Man Pleads Guilty To Child Luring

A 27 year old Thunder Bay man is pleading guilty to charges stemming from a police sting operation last month.   Matthew Lovering was charged with child luring and failing to comply with a court order after undercover detectives responded to an on-line ad on Kijiji.   The ad asked for young boys between the ages of 6 and 13 to model for photographs.    An original charge of Invitation to Sexual Touching was dropped by the Crown.    He is back in court on May 6th.   According to the prosecution, Lovering faces a mandatory minimum 1 year in jail for the offences.

Mask Making Nurses

Lakehead University's nursing students are learning about caring for others by making masks. Students partnered up recently and poured plaster on each others faces to create masks. It helped the students since they had to trust their partner to cover their mouth and nose for a brief moment.

Gambee Back To Court In May

The former chair of the Christmas Cheer fund is coming back to court May 13th on charges that Linda Gambee defrauded the fund of about 22 thousand dollars.  In court,  her lawyer Gil Labine said he still needs to receive some of the paperwork on what he calls a complex matter. He also alluded to his client's mental health.   Gambee herself did not appear in court.

Physiotherapy Money Handed Out

The Provincial Government is providing 588-thousand dollars to two new publicly funded physiotherapy clinics in Thunder Bay.  Closing the Gap Healthcare Group and the Fairway Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic will share the cash.  The money will provide expanded access to physiotherapy services for 472 individuals this year and more than 1,400 people in 2014/15.

Youth Center Project Fails

The Youth Centre partnership between the City and the Indian Friendship Center is being scrapped.  The project won't move forward because they were unable to secure capital funding before the purchase deadline of March 14th. Administration will report back on April 7 to seek further direction from Council to explore other options related to developing City Youth Centre.

Minister Visiting T.Bay

The provincial Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment Eric Hoskins is in Thunder Bay today.  He's speaking at the Da Vinci about the government's plan to help create jobs and grow the economy.

Hobbs Makes 90k Last Year

There was a close focus on the city's current financial situation at council last night, the same day it came out that Mayor Keith Hobbs made 90-thousand dollars last year.  Councillor Ken Boshcoff says its something the public may take note of.  The next highest paid member of council is Joe Virdiramo at a little over 44-thousand dollars.

Council Supports Taxi Change

A move that would see the regulation of the city's taxi's switched from the police to by-law is receiving support from city council.  Mayor Keith Hobbs says police officers should be focused elsewhere. Council is expected to hear further details on the issue in the fall.

City's Debt To Reach 184 Million

The city's debt will reach 184-million dollars this year. This comes after the city approved its debt management strategy at council last night. The strategy includes borrowing a little over 8-million dollars for phase two of the Golf Links-Junot Corridor and a 10-million dollar loan to Tbaytel.

Snow Budget Over

Council is looking at all options to keep costs under control following consecutive extreme winters. Due to the weather the 2014 winter budget has been completely spent. The city will review all hiring and look to put an end to all corporate spending including travel considered non-essential.

TBRRI Maps Out Direction

The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is mapping out the direction they are taking to councillors. Gary Polanski is Chair of the Board of Governor's and says research efforts are getting noticed. Currently the hospital has over thirty physician researchers.

LU President Gives State Of The University

Lakehead University President Brian Stevenson says that the school is among the best in Canada. Stevenson made his state of the university address to council Monday night and says the school continues to adapt to changing times. He adds that the university has reached 22.5-million dollars in research grants.

Load Restrictions Coming

The Ministry of Transportation’s Provincial Reduced Load Regulations are expected to come into effect shortly. Heavy load restrictions will apply within City limits beginning Wednesday morning.  The Reduced Load Restrictions also apply to all streets within the City with some exemptions.

Raise The Rent Today

VIP's are coming together to call friends and family to Raise the Rent. It's the annual fundraiser in support of the city's homeless shelter. Several VIP's from the community will come together and attempt to raise their goal of a thousand dollars. The yearly fundraising goal of the shelter house is approximately 500 thousand dollars.

Poll Pondered For Events Centre

The city is pondering the possibility of hiring a polling firm to get feedback from the public on the proposed events centre.  City Manager Tim Commisso says  the idea has been talked about behind the scenes.  He say it would be a community attitudes survey done over the phone by Ipsos-Reid.   Commisso says it's far from a done deal.  He says the idea is still in the planning stages and will be brought back to council in the near future.