Data released from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests that housing starts in Thunder Bay were lower than usual during the month of February. Only one single-detached unit was built throughout the month which was slightly below the ten year average for the month.
Operations for the homeless at the Salvation Army Centre on North Cumberland are back to normal after a Monday fire. Executive Director Merv Halvorsen says the blaze broke out in the laundry room of the basement in a dryer. Halvorsen says half the food supply at the centre was lost as a result of the smoke damage. He says the laundry is now being contracted out every day. No one was hurt.
A Police Service Act hearing for Sgt.Jim Mauro is set to take place in the fall. He has been charged in connection with allegations that in October of 2009, during an arbitration hearing, he provided the arbitrator with a letter of support which appeared to be signed by Keith Hobbs. At the time Hobbs was the president of the Thunder Bay Police Association. The misconduct charges allege that Hobbs did not sign the letter. The hearing will take place starting October 13th at a location yet to be decided. Mauro is suspended from the city police service until then.
The North Superior Workforce Planning Board is taking some credit for the announcement of a Northern Policy Institute. Now that it's been included in the province's new Northern Growth Plan Executive Director Marg Scott couldn't be happier. Scott says the non- profit group has been working on the concept of a policy institute for about 5 years.
The Catholic School Board is pondering changing the name of the Selkirk Auditorium at St. Patrick's High School. One suggestion is to re-name it after long time trustee Phil Colosimo. The idea is meeting with some resistance. Trustees have not made a final decision.
There's praise for health care facilities in Northwestern Ontario from a top provincial official. Dr. Ben Chan, CEO of the Ontario Health Quality Council notes that institutions in Kenora, Dryden and Red Lake have reduced patient falls by half in the past year. Chan says that frees up beds in Thunder Bay since patients don't have to come here for surgery. Chan is in Thunder Bay to talk to health care providers.
Thunder Bay police are gearing up for a new business plan. Deputy Chief JP Levesque says the plan will outline the focus for the next three years as directed by the Police Services Board. Mayor Keith Hobbs sits on the board and says he will be pushing for a shift towards community policing. A survey was conducted of both the public and members of Thunder Bay police to get feedback.
MP absences are in the spot light in Ottawa after Michael Ignatieff took heat for missing 135 votes during this Parliament. Our local MP's are near the middle of the pack with Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty missing 33 and 26 votes respectively. Rafferty says he believes Mr Ignatieff is taking unfair criticism because being a leader he could have had other important duties to attend to. In comparison NDP leader Jack Layton missed 17 votes, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe missed 20 and Stephen Harper missed 74 votes.