Monday, April 28, 2014

More Wanted In Export Business

FEDNOR wants to see more companies in northwestern Ontario get into the export business.

The regional economic development agency provides assistance to firms wanting to expand.

Director Aime Dimatteo says of the 67-hundred business now in northern Ontario, only six per cent are now exporting products or services elsewhere.

Provincially, just 18 per cent of companies are in the exporting business.

NOHFC Money Doled Out

Several communities will share in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.

Emo is receiving one million dollars to install water services to service commercial lots in its east end.

Seine River First Nation is receiving one-million to building a  multi-purpose centre.

Mitaanjigaming First Nation is receiving $569-thousand to upgrade a road for a quarry development project.

It's also getting $280-thousand to build a multi-use centre.

Lake of the Woods township will use $125-thousand to install a geothermal heating system at the Bergland Hall.

Saulteaux Consulting in Fort Frances will get $44-thousand to expand its engineering business, creating three jobs.

Progress Report Released

Ontario is releasing its Jobs and Economy Progress Report, which outlines economic development across the province.

According to the report, the province has invested almost $900-million helping to create nearly 23-thousand jobs through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund since 2003.

In addition, the province says it created just over 95-thousand jobs last year.

NDP AND Greens Confirm Candidates

File photo
If a provincial election takes place this spring, the ballot is pretty much set in the Kenora-Rainy River Riding.

Sarah Campbell was acclaimed by the NDP at a nomination meeting in Dryden.

Meanwhile, the Green Party will have a candidate in the next provincial election.

Pickle Lake's Tim McKillop has been selected to carry the green colours.

McKillop is a High School teacher with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.

He joins Campbell, Randy Nickle of the Progressive Conservatives and Anthony Leek of the Liberal party on the ballot in the next election.

National Day Of Mourning

Flags at all government buildings are flying at half-staff today as part of the National Day of Mourning.

The days is held to remember the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

Atikokan Chamber Awards

A number of Atikokan businesses and individuals are being honoured by the Atikokan Chamber of Commerce.

It handed out its annual awards last week.

Johnson's Esso won the Business Excellence Award.

Dr. Sara Van Der Loo won the Customer Service Award.

Brad Sampson took the Ambassador Award.

Atikokan Youth Initiatives won the not-for-profit excellence award for its teen centre.

Atikokan Hydro earned the health and safety award.

Ontario Power Generation's Atikokan station was handed the Widening Our World Award.

Skills Development Trainin For Native Women

The Federal Government is providing 200-thousand dollars to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation to provide training and skills development for First Nations women.

NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says they want to reach out to as many communities as they can.

The 200-thousand will be provided over two years, and  Fiddler hopes they can  expand it once funding runs out.

New Fire Chief

International Falls has a new fire chief.

Adam Mannausau takes over the from the retiring Jerry Jensen.

Jensen has been with the International Falls department for more than 30 years the last 16 as chief.

Border Numbers Down

The Canada Border Services Agency says border travel at Fort Frances and Rainy River was down last month.

Just over 55-thousand travelers crossed into Canada at Fort Frances in March, down 2 per cent over the same period in 2012.

A similar decrease was seen at Rainy River where 21-thousand travelers crossed the border last month.

Premier Challenges Opposition To Debate

Ontario's Premier is issuing a challenge to the provincial opposition leaders.

Kathleen Wynne used her visit to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association last Thursday night to challenge PC leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath to a debate in northern Ontario if they force a spring election.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath was quick to respond saying the Liberals have ignored the needs of northern Ontario for too long and she'd be happy to debate Wynne anywhere, anytime.

MPAC Concerns Discussed

Some hope from municipal reps after hearing from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

MPAC officials outlined at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association conference in Fort Frances last week where they're improving.

Fort Frances Administrator Mark McCaig is hoping it makes a difference.

Some municipalities complain of drastic changes to property values without reason.

Ring Of Fire Framework Agreement

A major hurdle is now cleared in the Ring of Fire process.

A framework agreement has been signed between the provincial government and the nine Mattawa First Nations.

While in Thunder Bay, Premier Kathleen Wynne says she doesn't believe it will add to any delays in getting the giant mining project off the ground.

The First Nations say the agreement allows them to have a say about mining development on their lands.

Man Sought in Emo Incident

OPP are looking in an incident in Emo in which a man may have been trying to pick up a young girl.

Police says the driver of a pickup truck had pulled up to the girl walking on Roy Street April 15 and began asking her some questions.

At one point, the man appeared to unbuckle his seat belt before the girl left and told her parents who called police.

Police are now looking for the man who is described as being native, in his late 40's of 50's, with messy hair and one eye that squinted.

He was also wearing a chain bracelet with a skull and had a heart tattoo on his left arm.

Nurses Uniforms To Be Uniform

If you travel to Thunder Bay for medical reasons, you're going to see a new look at the Regional hospital next year.

Nurse there will be required to wear standard uniform.

Spokesperson Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott says it's to help patients know who's a nurse and who's not.

Crocker Ellacott says it was staff who originally came up with the idea about five years ago.

More Funding For Festival

More funding for the new music festival planned for Fort Frances this summer.

The Harmony of Nations festival is receiving just over $8,500 from the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

The money is for marketing and advertising purposes.

Area Lakes Get DNR Review

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking the public's comment on new fisheries management plans for 9 lakes and one stream in northern St. Louis and Koochiching Counties.

Area fisheries supervisor Kevin Peterson says the plans identify goals and objectives for the lakes' fish populations and specific management activities for the next 10 to 20 years.

Copies of the draft plans are available at the International Falls Area Fisheries office with comment being accepted until May 2.

Forestry Investments Prime

Investment bank Dundee Capital Markets says it might be worth investing in the forestry sector.

A research report cites increasing housing starts in the U.S. and a lower Canadian dollar to the American greenback as being favourable to Canadian producers.

It names Domtar and Resolute Forest Products as preferred investments because both stocks are inexpensive and there's forecast for growth in earnings.

Furnace Source Of CO Poisoning

Provincial Police are pointing to the furnace as the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning that claimed two lives in Nipigon.

60-year old Ivan Gaujean  and his wife 45- year old Claire Gaujean were found dead in the home last Monday.

The couple's 8-year old son survived.

Man Arrest On Child Pron Charges

Police are charging a 52 year old Thunder Bay man with possessing child pornography.

It comes after a tip advised police that a local man was uploading improper images to Twitter.

Jeffrey Miro will appear in court on May 16.

Few Need Koochiching's Help

A relief fund set up by Koochiching County for residents struggling to pay their heating costs this winter has received very little use.

A total of $790 was provided to just one person to offset their hydro costs caused by using space heaters as a source of heat during the cold winter.

Community Services manager Terry Murray says additional State funding given to other agencies such as KOOTASCA and the Salvation Army for their programs likely limited the need for the County's program.

The County set up the program as a last resort for residents coping with high heating costs.

Former Mayor Back On PSB

The Fort Frances Police Services Board is back to full complement.

Glen Witherspoon returns to the board after being reappointed for another three years by the province.

The five-person board had operated with one less since last summer when Witherspoon's previous term expired.

The former mayor has been on the board for nearly 20 years.

New Court House Opens

Thunder Bay's new consolidated court house is officially open.

A ribbon cutting took place last week.

Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says she's proud her government made the new building happen.

The new $250-million building has 15 court rooms and an Aboriginal Settlement Suite, the first of its kind in Ontario.

Man Earns Bravery Award

The man who played a role in saving a Fort Frances area woman from a bear attack is receiving one of Canada's top bravery awards.

The governor general is presenting Dan Morrison with the Star of Courage for his part in the October 2011 incident.

Morrison says he's honoured, but doesn't consider himself a hero

Morrison received the medal during a ceremony in Ottawa.

Tourism Industry Worried About Moose Tag Cuts

More concerned being express over the province's decision to reduce the number of moose hunting tags this fall.

Sunset Country Travel Association's Gerry Cariou sees it having a negative impact on the tourism industry.

The Ministry of Natural Resources sites declines in the moose population as the reason for making fewer tags available to hunters.

Liberals Plan Removal Of Debt Retirement Charge

A long-standing complaint with hydro bills may finally get resolved.

The provincial Liberals say they're planning to remove the Debt Retirement Charge off residential electricity bills, beginning next year.

The move would save homeowners about $5.60 a month.