Tuesday, December 4, 2012

High School Teachers Ramp Up Bill 115 Protest

High School teachers across the province intend to step up their protest against Bill 115 by withdrawing from extra curricular and sports activities starting next Monday.

President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation Ken Coran says teachers have always been willing to accept a pay freeze, but want Bill 115 repealed because it infringes on their right to collective bargaining.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is planning rotating one-day walk outs at public schools, giving 72 hours notice before its members take action.

Meantime, Education Minister Laurel Broten says she will use the powers under the legislation to stop any strike actions once the threats turn into reality.

Residential School Commission Holds Hearings In Thunder Bay

The survivors of the residential school system in northwestern Ontario get to tell their stories today.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins two days of hearing in Thunder Bay.

Chair Justice Murray Sinclair expects a number of the victims will be there to tell their moving stories.

As many as eight residential schools operated in northwestern Ontario, including the former St. Margaret's School in Fort Frances.

Fort Frances Trustee Returns As Chair

A Fort Frances trustee is back as chair of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.

Anne-Marie Fitzgerald was acclaimed for a fifth straight year at the Board's annual meeting held on the weekend.

She been with on the board for the past 19 years.

Cathy Bowen from Sioux Lookout was acclaimed as the vice chair for a four consecutive term.

Highway Open

A large section of the Trans-Canada Highway is back open this morning.

OPP were forced to close the highway between Vemilion Bay to the Manitoba border overnight due to poor weather and icy road conditions.

RIDE Stats

Just a little over a week into the OPP's Festive RIDE campaign and police have been busy taking impaired drivers off our roads.

Nine drivers in northwestern Ontario are now facing impaired driving charges while another three had their licenses immediately suspended for having a blood alcohol level of between 0.05 and 0.08.

Across the province, 151 drivers have been charged while another 152 were handed suspensions.

Travel Numbers Encouraging

A bit of good news for the region's tourism sector this year.

Ontario Sunset Country Travel Association says American visits to northwestern Ontario were up slightly over last year.

Executive Director Gerry Cariou says it's still far off some of the peak years.

Cariou says a rebound in the U.S. economy will aid in future travel numbers.

Rainy River Closes Public Offering

Rainy River Resources has closed a public offering aimed at bringing some capital dollars to its gold project north of Barwick.

The deal involving a syndicate of underwriters is expected to raise over $57-million for exploration and development work.

President Raymond Threlkeld says the financing ensures the company's well positioned to move its project forward.

Resolute To Protect Pensions

A commitment from the president of Resolute Forest Products to maintain workers pensions.

It came during Richard Garneau's meeting with MP John Rafferty and MPP Sarah Campbell in Toronto last week.

Rafferty says Garneau told him that unlike some of its competitors, Resolute has no plans to end its commitment to pensions.

Rafferty says Garneau told him a hike in interest rates by two per cent would go along to strengthening those pensions.