December 2018

New Year, New Rules

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2018 10:07 AM

New distracted driving penalties for a new year.

January 1 marks the day that Ontario's distracted driving laws become stricter and harsher.

New rules include raising the minimum fine from $490 to $615.

For first time convictions, drivers will face a three day license suspension, three demerit points and a $615 fine.

If you're caught a second time you can expect a fine up to $2000, a week-long suspension and six demerits, while third time offenders or more will have their license suspended for a month, six demerits and a hefty fine.

Support System Coming to Kenora

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 12:05 PM

Yet another program being launched in Kenora to help people transition out of the justice system.

The Canadian Mental Health Association is launching a Safe Beds initiative.

Executive Director of the Kenora Branch, Sarah Dias, says they plan to purchase a building in a residential area to house the program.

"The recipients of the program will not be suitable for hospital admission by medical professionals. They won't be appropriate for arrest and detention for police but they will be in need of supportive short term mental health residential placement."

Southern Tourism Bonus for Ontario

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 12:02 PM

A strong American economy is boosting the tourist industry in northwestern Ontario.

That's the feeling of the Sunset Country Travel Association.

Executive Director, Gerry Cariou says the weak Canadian Dollar also helps the tourist sector in the region.

"Say your rate per person is $1000 per week in US Dollars, well that's about $720 [Canadian] right now so that's significant savings and a good incentive to travel."

City Mum on Tax Hike

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:48 AM

Still no indication how big a tax hike Kenora property owners can expect next  year.

The city has already started the budget process.

Mayor Dan Reynard says while they've passed the capital budget, they still haven't taken a close look yet at their operating budget.

"Our base goal is we don't want to reduce services. So the pressure is where do we find those savings or where do we find the money without making a really significant tax increase."

Continued Freeze on Tourism Signs

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:42 AM

Right in line with the current temperatures, the PC's have frozen a planned hike to tourist signs.

The price to keep the blue signs that dot the highways throughout the province were about to be doubled, causing tourism operators to complain.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo says he heard those complaints loud and clear and is looking forward to working with businesses to mitigate any future increases.

New Partner To Battle Carbon Tax

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:40 AM

Another province has joined forces with Ontario in their legal battle with the federal government.

According to a release, in addition to Saskatchewan's support, New Brunswick has now officially signed on to fight the carbon tax.

Conservative leaders such as Andrew Scheer and Doug Ford have long called the tax "unconstitutional" and "a job-killing tax."

Ontario's legal case is that they believe each province should be in charge of how they regulate carbon emissions, not the federal government,

Ontario Open for Sport

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:37 AM

Ontario is now accepting applications to host national and international sporting programs.

Ontario's Sport Hosting Program provides funding to amateur sporting events and has hosted 34 national events since it's inception in 2015.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo says hosting an event is a "win-win" because it shows off the quality of athletes in our province and boosts the communities' economies.

Nault Excited for 2019

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 11:32 AM

Bob Nault has a lot to be happy about.

In his year-end letter, the federal member of parliament says he is proud to see funding go to the Environmental Lakes Area and Grand Council Treaty #3 to continue efforts to enhance and protect water quality.

Nault touted the success of the Kenora airport re-opening with new federal funding and a 10-million dollar investment with the Red Lake Municipal Airport.

In terms of  transportation, Nault says twinning the highway is top of mind for him and building all-weather roads for hard to reach communities.

Air Mass Brings Deep Chill

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 09:00 AM

A drastic change to our weather today.

After a huge dump of snow yesterday, temperatures are now plummeting.

Environment Canada's Desjanelle Matthews tells us a cold pocket of air is on the move.

"There is a very cold Arctic air mass coming into the area and temperatures will be dropping today with that air mass."

Matthews says the cold weather will likely persist for a few days

Conservative Cuts Sending Wrong Message

Posted on Friday, December 28, 2018 08:55 AM

The Ford Government is being called out for it's decision to scrap the office of Ontario's Environmental Commissioner.

Richard Lindgren is a lawyer for the Canadian Environmental Law Association and says removing the position sends a negative message.

"The government's proposal to abolish the Environmental Commissioner's office is an unjusitifed rollback of existing legal requirements that will result in far less transparency and far less accountability for environmental decision making in Ontario."