Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New ROF Agreement Signed

Another step is being taken in making sure First Nations concerns are heard in the Ring of Fire negotiations.   Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says the province and Matawa First Nations have signed an agreement to move forward with a negotiating process on a regional approach in the development of the giant mining project.

Mauro Bill Dies With Appointment

The appointment of Bill Mauro to the provincial cabinet effectively kills his private members bill on new Canadian content rules for mass transit vehicles.   In answering his first question in the legislature as municipal affairs minister, Mauro said someone else will have bring it forward because ministers aren't allowed to introduce Private Members Bills.  The NDP believe Mauro's answer amounts to the Wynne government refusing to make a commitment to Canadian content.

Canfield Happy With Mauro Appointment

The appointment of Bill Mauro as the new Ontario minister of municipal affairs is getting a thumbs up from the president of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.   Dave Canfield believes with Michael Gravelle also in cabinet it gives our region a leg up at Queen's Park. Canfield says he's had a long political relationship with Mauro and believes they will work well together.

Still Frozen Pipes In The City

There are still close to 70 homes in Thunder Bay waiting to have frozen pipes thawed out by city workers.  Spokesperson Tony Santos says that they are getting to the houses at quick as they can, but the wait could still be a couple of weeks.   Santos says that so far this year there have been about 670 frozen pipe complaints to the city.   He says it's becoming more manageable with the rising temperatures.

Hobbs Livid Over Salary Comments

Mayor Keith Hobbs is taking exception to statements made to our newsroom by Councillor Ken Boshcoff.   Boshcoff commented on what he sees as the gap between the mayor's 90 thousand dollar salary  last year and what councillors make,  saying they both have essentially have the same hours.  Hobb calls it political grandstanding claiming he makes less than other mayors in similar size cities.   The mayor says he's also cut his travel budget for the fourth straight year.

Nurses Get Deal

Thunder Bay's Public Health Nurses are announcing they've reached a deal with their employer the health unit.  The 58 nurses reached the tentative agreement yesterday with the assistance of a conciliator.  Details of the agreement are confidential until ratified by both parties.  The nurses union is currently making arrangements for its members to meet to hear details of the agreement and to hold a ratification vote.

New Group Supports City

A new group is being formed to support the city's stand on the proposed events centre.  It's being organized by city resident Jason Susin who says that over 1 thousand residents have recently joined the rapidly growing online group Citizens For A Waterfront Event Centre. Susin is hoping to hold a recruitment rally in the near future.

Energy East Meeting Tonight

Thunder Bay is one of several stops on a cross province tour by the Ontario Energy Board which is holding community consultations on the proposed Energy East Pipeline project.  They'll be at the Airlane Hotel for a community discussion forum starting at 6:30 tonight. The Energy East Project would use the existing natural gas pipeline to ship crude oil from Alberta to eastern Canada.

NDP Call For Cheaper ATM Fees

The NDP is pushing for limits to the fees Canadians pay to use their credit card and debit cards. Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty says fees now in place are impacting both consumers and businesses. Rafferty says it includes capping the fees paid to use debit cards at competing ATMs and banks at 50 cents a transaction.

Snow Storm On The Way

Brace yourself for more snow.  There's a snow storm moving into Northwestern Ontario.  Environment Canada Meteorologist Mark Schuster says the snowfall will start tonight and continue into Thursday.  The worst case scenario sees us getting about 15 to 20 cm of snow and the best case scenario 10 cm.  The storm is coming in from the Central US and is slow moving.