Thursday, September 26, 2013

MNR Winding Down Operations

Operations at Ministry of Natural Resources forest fire bases are winding down.

The lack of fires has prompted the move.

Information Officer Heather Pridham says they still have the resources in place in case a fire does flare up.

There are no active blazes at this time.

Prescibed Burns Planned

MNR File photo
The Ministry of Natural Resources is planning to light today a couple of fires on purpose at the southern end of Lake of the Woods.

Prescribed burns are planned for Blaze and Queen Islands, both in the area of the Aulneau Peninsula.

The MNR says the goal to study how fire occurs and impacts the island's ecosystems.

Liberal MPP Wants Expanded Bear Hunt

A northwestern Ontario Liberal is looking to provide help to municipalities dealing with nuisance bears.

Thunder Bay's Bill Mauro has introduced a private members bill in the legislature calling for an expansion of the bear hunt in northern Ontario, even it means resurrecting the spring bear hunt.

Mauro believes since the spring hunt was cancelled, the number of human and bear interactions has gone up.

Northwest Conference In Thunder Bay

file photo
The annual Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference is underway in Thunder Bay.

It draws municipal leaders from across the region.

President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Dave Canfield says the conference will bring them up to speed on several issues.

Energy, mining and forestry are also top of mind.

Federal Minister of Science and Technology Greg Rickford and Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle are also scheduled to speak.

Power Project Discussed Today

Residents of Koochiching County will get an update today on a proposed new transmission line through Minnesota that will connect to Manitoba.

Minnesota Power is in the planning stages of a 500 kiloVolt line with potential routes identified through the County.

Power officials will talk about the projectduring a luncheon hosted by the International Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Changes To Liqour Laws Suggested

Some changes to Ontario's liquors laws may be on the horizon.

In an interview with CTV news, Premier Kathleen Wynne says any changes would be made to support the province's wine industry in particular.

She says it could include small wineries being allowed to sell at farmer's markets.

The Premier, though, rules out any changes allowing
beer and wine being sold in corner stores.

Former Fort Frances In Reality Contest

A new reality show set to air next March includes a former Fort Frances resident.

"The Search" features Marc McNay, now living in Dryden, along with hunting partner Denise Dubois, in a challenge to secure their own program.

McNay says it's been an amazing opportunity.

McNay says a Facebook site has been developed to follow their progress and to vote to help send them through.

Link here

North Left Out Of Travel Guide

The Liberal government is again being accused of ignoring northern Ontario when it comes to tourism.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is taking issue with the government latest marketing scheme.

Campbell says a new travel guide completely ignores the north.

Campbell says it also suggests contact local tourism information centres for more information, noting that the Liberals closed down the centres in her riding two years ago.

Natural Resources Minister David Oriazetti says government is committed to providing positive experiences and opportunities for everyone across the province.

Little Choice For County Residents

It appears resident of Koochiching County won't have much choice when it comes to searching for a health insurance provider through MNSure, the state’s new health insurance marketplace.

Only UCare Minnesota will be available when area residents begin registering October 1.

The County's Community Services Director Terry Murray says had some research been done, the State would have found UCare wouldn't have been preferred by most residents or health providers.

Commissioner Wade Pavleck feels they're being discriminated against given that other parts of the State will have up to five providers to select.

The County intends to voice its concerns in a letter to State officials and the Governor

Roof Repairs Approved

Koochiching County will go ahead replacing the roof at a former military complex, now owned by the County, this year.

County commissioners agreed at their meeting Tuesday to award a $64-thousand contract for the work at the former Koochiching Army Reserve Training Centre.

They were told last week the condition of the roof was becoming a safety concern.

The County uses the building primarily for storage.

MPP Resigns

A Liberal MPP has resigned.

Kim Craitor, who represented the Niagara Falls area, announced his decision to quit immediately to the Premier Tuesday.

It leaves the Liberals with 49 seats, compared with the Conservatives 37 and NDP 20

A by-election will likely be held in March.