Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Changes To Falls Council Approved

The new Mayor of International Falls is bringing in several changes to how his council will do business in the future.

Bob Anderson, in his first meeting, managed to receive necessary support to increase the number of council meetings a month from two to three, reduce most council committees to just two members and provide additional opportunities for the public to speak at meetings.

Anderson says its to improve transparency.

Councillor Cynthia Jaksa worries the changes will lead longer meetings and less transparency.

Honourary Councillor Appointments Held Off

The brakes have been put on honourary councillors being added to International Falls City Council.

The idea that would have allowed individuals to participate, but not vote on council decisions, was previously passed.

But Mayor Bob Anderson says he'd limit their involvement.

Councillor Cynthia Jaksa, who supported the idea initially, says it would be a pointless appointment if the individuals couldn't participated fully.

Policing Costs Pondered In Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls

2013 is starting off in the Town of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls with some uncertainty about policing.

The municipality was prepared to cancel its contract with the OPP and opt for a call for service.

Mayor Bill Thompson says the OPP have since come back with a lower contract figure, but council is holding off on making a decision in light of an Ontario Auditor's report that raised questions about the increasing cost of OPP service, while crime rates have fallen.

Thunder Bay MP Has Cancer

Another Thunder Bay politician has announced his has cancer.

MP Bruce Hyer says he has a tumour on his tongue and will have it removed this week in Ottawa.

Hyer says the prognosis is good and expects to be back to work as soon as possible.

Ontario's Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle announced last fall that he'd been diagnosed with a treatable form lymphoma.

Leek To Participate In Leadership Vote

The president of the Kenora-Rainy River Liberal Riding Association is excited about the upcoming leadership convention.

Anthony Leek will be among thousands of Liberals gathering in Toronto at the end of this month to select Premier Dalton McGuinty's replacement as leader of the Ontario Liberals.

Leek says the number of candidates is great for finding solutions to the problems facing Ontario.

The Association will hold a meeting Saturday in Dryden to discuss who'll represent it at the leadership convention.

Court Ruling Impacting Off-Reserve Natives Today

A federal court is expected to rule today on the federal rights and benefits for more than 600-thousand aboriginal people who live off-reserve.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and several Metis and non-status Indians took the federal government to court in 1999 alleging discrimination.

They argue they're entitled to some or all of the same rights and benefits as Ottawa gives to on-reserve First Nations members.