Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fort Frances Home To Evacuees

Fort Frances is now a temporary home to about 140 residents of Attiwapiskat First Nation.

They are among the one thousand who were evacuated from their community on the weekend because of high water levels on the Attawapiskat River.

Others were airlifted to communities in northeastern Ontario and Quebec.

Their stay, though, may be short.

Emergency Management Ontario says flood risks have diminished and residents evacuated will start heading back home as early as today.

Northern Ontario Leaders Debate Set

2011 NOMA debate
Two of three provincial leaders are confirming their intentions to attend a debate focusing on northern issues.

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association will host the May 26 event in Thunder Bay.

Premier Kathleen Wynne committed during NOMA's conference in Fort Frances to attending the debate.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she's also excited about the opportunity to engage with the Liberals.

It is still unsure if PC leader Tim Hudak will be attending.

Horwath Wants More Debates

NDP leader Andrea Horwath is calling for more debates.

Along with the northern Ontario debate, a televised debate will take place June 3.

Horwath is asking for another focusing solely on jobs and the economy.

Hudak Promises To Cut Red Tape

File photo
PC Leader Tim Hudak is out with plans to reduce red tape, he says will create 84-thousand new jobs.

The measures include removing rules that prohibit competitive bids on government construction projects, streamlining apprenticeship rules and ending a government monopoly on workplace insurance to employers.

Leaders Tuesday

Today, the leaders are campaigning in southwestern Ontario.

Premier Kathleen Wynne visits a farm in Paris, before traveling to London and Windsor.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath makes a campaign announcement at Queen Park before traveling to London.

PC leader Tim Hudak starts his day in Scarborough before visiting a Woodstock farm and a factory in Nebringville.

Greens Well Represented In Northwestern Ontario

The Green Party now has candidates in all three northwestern Ontario ridings.

John Northey is the candidate in Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

Joseph LeBlanc is challenging Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle in Superior North.

As previously reported, Tim McKillop is running in Kenora-Rainy River.

Policy Institute Coming Together

The pieces of a new Northern Policy Institute are slowly coming into focus.

President Charles Cirtwill says six people have been selected for the advisory committee and is looking for some more candidates.

Cirtwell says some of the invites have been sent to people in Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Fort Frances.

Cirtwill says the recent selections were based on their experience, knowledge and connections in key sectors across the northern Ontario.

The Institute is being created to provide input into the decisions at Queen's Park impacting Northern Ontario

Public Input Expected On Water Plan

A chance to raise concerns of water issues in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Basin.

A team working on a Water Quality Plan of Study will soon be looking for public input.

Member Kelli Saunders says the goal is to find out where they can improve water quality.

A draft report for public review should be complete in July.

Medicinal Marijuana Approved In Minnesota

Credit: Mark/Flickr
The 2014 Legislature in Minnesota ended with a flurry over the weekend with several bills passed now awaiting the Governor's signature.

One is to legalize medicinal marijuana use.

Starting next summer, approved patients could get marijuana in liquid or pill form at up to eight distribution facilities to open in the state.

Heather Azzi with Minnesotans for Compassionate Care says it won't allow for the sale of plant leaves for smoking, so the fight is not over.

The aims to have rules and manufacturers in place by next winter.

Governor Mark DAyton, who supports the bill, must still attach his signature.