Friday, February 8, 2013

Mayors Planning To Fight MPAC Decisions

A united front is forming in opposition to how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation is assessing mill properties.

MPAC has substantially lowered the assessment rates on some facilities, including in Dryden, which means lower tax dollars for municipalities.

Dryden Mayor Craig Nuttall is now enlisting the mayors of Thunder Bay, Espanola and Fort Frances in hopes of discussing the issue with the premier.

Northwest LHIN Release New Health Care Plan

The Northwest Local Health Integration Network has a new three-year plan it says will advance health care in the region.

It focuses on four key areas.

CEO Laura Kokocinski says it will be accomplished with an expectation of new money coming from the province, instead looking at the existing pot of $600-million and determining whether they're using it in most effective way.

The plan includes creating a more integrated health care system across the region, increasing the use of electronic medical record, improving access to care and enhancing services to assist with chronic care patients in their own home.

E.I. Complaints Mounting

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty believes too many people are being denied employment insurance benefits.

Rafferty says complaints to his office have been more frequent since the federal government made changes to the E.I. system.

Rafferty says many of the complaints have come from workers employed on a seasonal basis.

He believes the federal government purposely wanting to see a number of denials to help save money.

New Role for MP

A new role for our MP.

John Raffery is part of a new all-party Entrepreneur caucus in Ottawa.

Its aim is to support and foster discussion on entrepreneurship in Canada.

It held its inaugural meeting yesterday.

Border Crossing Numbers Up

A rise in the number of people crossing the border at Fort Frances.

The Canada Border Services Agency says almost 60-thousand travelers were processed at the Fort Frances port of entry in December .

That's a three per cent increase from the number in November and almost two per cent higher from the number of people crossing in December 2011.

New Northern Development Minister Expected

There's going to be a new Minister responsible for Northern Development next week.

Rick Bartolucci says he won't be in Wynne's new cabinet when it's sworn in Monday.

Bartolucci made that confirmation after announcing he would not be seeking re-election in Sudbury in the next provincial election.

City Police Doing Its Job To Nab Speeders

International Falls City Police are being applauded for their efforts towards reducing the number of deaths on Minnesota highways.

The State wants the number brought to Zero.

Frank Scherf, a liaison with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, says local authorities are doing their part.

City Police have also acquired a new radar unit that help pinpoint speeders more accurately.

Scherf says police are being encouraged to take a "no excuses" approach to speeders in helping the State reach its goal.

State Employees Getting Pay Hike

Thousands of Minnesota state employees may soon get a raise.

State Senators approved a new contract that includes a 2 percent pay hike.

The House is expected to vote on the contract sometime next week.