January 2018

Minimum Wage Changes Hurt Benefits: Advocate

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 15:09 PM

The minimum wage going up in Ontario has had an unexpected impact on injured workers. 

Advocate Steve Mantis told a pre-budget committee that the government should be forward thinking of how changes impact everyone. 

"Most of them are deemed to at least be able to work a minimum wage. If you're unemployed, you're seeing your benefits reduced even further, because of the changes in minimum wage." 

Mantis says he's in favour of the increase in wages, but notes more needs to be done for injured workers who rely on benefits. 

Rusnak Goes To Bat For Fort Frances Mill

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 15:04 PM

Politicial efforts are still taking place to find some kind of use for the idled Resolute Forest Products Mill in Fort Frances. 

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak intended to make the mill a topic of discussion with the company's CAO at a recent announcement. 

Rusnak says he's not pleased to see nothing has happened since the mill's 2014 closure. 

"It's a very disappointing situation to see, essentially, a couple-million-dollar asset sitting there not doing anything," Rusnak admits. 

Hajdu Seeking Labour Law Feedback

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 13:41 PM

Employment Minister Patty Hajdu wants to hear from you on how labour laws should change. 

An online survey has been launched that asks questions about federal labour standards around hours of work, wages, leaves and holidays. 

Hajdu says it's time for an update, since the labour code was primarily written in the 60s. 

You can give your two cents up until the end of the month at this link. (File Photo)

Dental Clinics Tackle High Tooth Decay Rate

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 13:27 PM

Our Health Unit wants to improve kids' dental hygiene this year through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. 

It offers dental screenings and fluoride treatment for children at local daycares and schools, along with a clinic at the Health Unit. 

Dental Health Educator Megan Puksa says we have a tooth decay rate double that of the rest of the province, and hopes they can reach out to parents through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. 

Bus Service To Kenora Added

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 09:45 AM

Kasper Transportation is now providing bus services from Thunder Bay to Kenora and the Rainy River area. 

The first run eastbound along Highway 11 and 71 took place last week.

Service will run four days a week for now with eastbound service on Mondays and Thursdays, with westbound routes going Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Chief Executive Officer Kasper Wabinski says if there's enough interest in the route, he hopes to expand it to six days per week with two-way service. 

Make Road Clearing Public Again: OPSEU

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 06:35 AM

OPSEU is calling on the provincial government to put an end to privatized road clearing.

It's in light of UK based Carillion announcing it will be liquidating its business. 

Union President Warren Smokey Thomas says privatization is ineffective, overpriced and unreliable. 

Thomas wants to see road maintenance back in the hands of the public sector. 

It seems locals feel the same as OPSEU voting in our online poll, saying they want the job of winter road maintenance handed back to the province. (File Photo)

Invest In Social Assistance: Anti-Poverty Group

Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2018 14:09 PM

Poverty Free Thunder Bay wants to see more money set aside for low-income residents in the 2018 provincial budget. 

Sarah Williamson spoke at a pre-budget hearing earlier this week.

"There's just not enough money for people to manage," she argues. 

The group is calling for an increase to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability benefits. 

Spokesperson Ann McGuire says officials will see that in the long run, officials will see that Thunder Bay is facing serious homelessness issues. 

Testing Continues For Potential Nuclear Waste Site

Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2018 13:42 PM

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has completed drilling its first borehole west of Ignace. 

The drilling started on November 6th in a rock formation located south of Highway 17, between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation. 

Spokesperson Patrick Dolcetti stresses this is just the first step to determine if the site is suitable for an underground repository for Canada's used nuclear fuel. 

Dolcetti says the results of the drilling won't be known for about a year. (File Photo)

Youth Service Offers Grants

Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2018 13:40 PM

Canada is launching a new national youth service.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu provided details about it alongside Lakehead University and Confederation College students. 

Hajdu notes those she spoke to seem interested in the program's micro grants, ranging from $250 to $1,500. 

"One participant talked about an anti-racism project that she's working on, and a march that they'll be holding, and talked about how usefull a micro grant of $1,500 might be to get that project off the ground."

Women's March To Push For Progress

Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:45 AM

Thunder Bay's feminist community is gathering for a women's march today. 

It begins at noon from the Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Centre on Dease Street. 

Organizer Nancy Johnson is hoping it will help to keep the current struggle of women in the forefront. 

She believes it's important to tell everyone that progress is not being made for women on a great many fronts. 

"We still have a lot to go when it comes to being involved in political activity," Johnson points out. 

Johnson thinks there should be a good turnout based on social media responses. (File Photo)