Thursday, May 1, 2014

Local MPPs Pleased With Budget

The new provincial budget will benefit people in northwestern Ontario, according to a local MPP. The NDP need to support the budget in order for it to pass, something Mauro says he isn't getting into. Mauro says that he will continue to tell people in northwestern Ontario how great the budget really is. Mauro adds that funding into transportation infrastructure will greatly benefit the region. Meanwhile, Mines Minister Michael Gravelle is also content with the budget. He notes that the 1-billion dollar funding for the Ring of Fire, as well as projects to four lane the highway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon are perks for northerners.

May Is MS Month

This month the local MS Society is looking for your help to raise money for their programs. Spokesperson Margaret Jurcic says in addition to their Mother's Day carnation campaign and Walk for MS they'll have a new fundraiser at Beaux Daddy's restaurant called "one day in May".  A flag raising ceremony was held at City Hall this afternoon.

Innovation Award Winners

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre and RBC are paying tribute to those individuals who helped improve the business sector in 2014.  The 6th annual RBC Innovation Awards were handed out Thursday afternoon.  Auto Flex Air Ride Suspensions picked up company of the year, T.Bay's Nicole Reid of Yuleys Hex Armor is the hero of the year and the advisor award went to Marv Detweiler of Ambassadors Northwest.   Innovator of the year Catherine Leonard for her Eco-Bus.  Project of the year went to DST Engineering and Ecosuperior Environmental Programs.

Bike Lanes Open

The City's 27 kilometres of bike lanes are open starting today.  After a harsh winter Thunder Bay is holding a celebration at the Fort William Gardens for the start of the cycling season. Meanwhile, the City released a set of new education videos about the proper use of bike lanes. The videos can be seen on the City's youtube channel.

Hwy 527 Still Closed

The Ministry of Transportation says Highway 527 remains closed today because of a washout. Repairs are underway to replace the existing culvert at the site of the highway washout.  The highway is expected to reopen late Friday evening, depending on water levels and weather conditions.

Complex Adds New Safety Procedures

The Canada Games Complex is introducing a new safety protocol following an incident last Saturday. The building was evacuated April 26th after javex bleach had risen to the surface of the hot tub following a mechanical failure. Team Manager Franco Marchese says precautions have been made to prevent further problems. Marchese says additional safety devices have been installed as well.

Spring Up To Clean Up

The first day of May brings area businesses cleaning up litter around their offices today. It's part of Eco Superior's annual Spring Up to Clean Up program. Over 60 businesses and offices took part in Thunder Bay’s 7th annual  20-Minute Makeover event today at 10 am.

Long Way To Go For Health Care

A National Index of Wellbeing report shows that Ontario has a long way to go when it comes to improving the health of its residents. Wendy Talbot is the CEO of the Northwest Community Care Access Centre and says the report suggests we do things differently when it comes to health care. The report calls on the Ontario Government to expand its Community Health Centres Network.

Resolute Eliminates Shift Lays Off Workers

25 to 30 people are being temporarily laid off at the local Resolute Forest Products mill.  Mill Spokesperson Xavier Van Chau says they have too much lumber inventory.  One shift will be eliminated for a period of four months.   Van Chau adds no students will be hired at the sawmill this summer because of the layoffs.

NOMA Wants Highway Twinning

Five years and counting. That's how long ago the federal and provincial government's announced 100-million dollars to twin the Trans-Canada Highway between Kenora and the Manitoba boundary. Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association President Dave Canfield says they have passed a resolution urging the government to finally start construction on the project.

Man Charged For Illegal Moose Hunt

A southern Ontario man is being fined $3000  for illegally hunting moose. Wayne Riley pleaded guilty to firing his gun out of his truck and lying to a conservation officer. The incident happened near Hidden Lake, southeast of Upsala.

City Man Faces Weapons Charges

A Thunder Bay man is facing weapons charges relating to an incident from September of 2012. 53-year-old James Hinter was arrested after police seized 23 firearms from a North Edward Street home. Hinter was released and will appear in court on May 27th.

Inquest Taking More Time

The coroner's inquest into the tragic deaths of 7 First Nations teens is taking more time than officials originally expected.  Dr. Michael Wilson, Regional Supervising Coroner says they are having internal discussions between their stakeholders on timing and aboriginal representation on jury rolls.  Wilson says the recent decision to put Sheldon Wabason's murder trial on hold for a year could be potentially relevant to their inquest.  He adds the basis for their inquest is done but they need to deal with those issues before they can move forward.

Ontario Increases Cancer Coverage For Firefighters

The provincial government is extending the support for firefighters and their families.  Six cancers are now added to the list of those presumed to be related to their work. Breast cancer, multiple myeloma and testicular cancer will be added to the list immediately. Prostate cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer will be phased in by 2017.   Eric Nordlund, the local spokesperson for the Ontario Firefighters Association calls it great news and hopes it brings closure to some of the families of firefighters in the city who have died from these cancers.

Salvation Army Fundraiser Today

The Salvation Army is set to hold their fundraising dinner tonight.  The Shelter from the Storm dinner will feature Toronto's Gateway Shelter founder Dion Oxford. He says he wants to break down barriers. Oxford has worked with the shelter for over 24 years.

DSSAB Launches Website

The District Social Services Board is pretty excited about the launch of its new website.   Chair Bob Katajamaki says it will allow clients to apply online for services like housing, Ontario Works and child care.   He says it could also cut down on the frequency of office visits.   The board is hoping for user feedback on the new site.  The new DSSAB web page can be found by following this LINK