Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day.
Greater Sudbury isn't commenting on a settlement reached between the city and a former staffer in the mayor's office who claimed she was harassed. The case centres on Alicia Lachance, who alleges she was harassed by Mayor Brian Bigger's chief of staff, Melissa Zanette, while Lachance was a public relations assistant after Bigger's election victory in October 2014. Lachance sought $150,000 for being wrongfully dismissed, another $150,000 in aggravated and punitive damages, her legal costs and any other award “the court deems just.” The case was scheduled to go to trial this week, but in an email Tuesday, city communications manager Marie Litalien said the parties involved have “reached a resolution." “Because the case involves confidential employment matters, we are not in a position to offer further comment,” Litalien said in the email.
Councillors approve BIA budget despite fact some funding will be used to fight entertainment district
The issue that keeps haunting this term of city council reared its head again Tuesday, as councillors debated whether to approve the budget of the downtown Sudbury business improvement area. After a lengthy and convoluted debate -- which saw motions defeated and then reconsidered -- councillors approved the BIA's full budget, as presented, by a vote of 8-3. At issue was $20,000 the BIA approved to fund its appeal of the rezoning needed for the Kingsway Entertainment District. While only the 400 members of the BIA fund the group's $534,000 budget, the city collects the money on behalf of the BIA and has the power to reject budget items. The BIA opposes moving Sudbury Arena out of downtown, and has joined in the appeals with groups fighting the casino that's also planned on the Kingsway. A staff report recommended the city pass the BIA budget, minus the $20,000. CAO Ed Archer said the BIA is a creation of council, with a mandate to improve downtown buildings and promote the area as a shopping and business area. In his opinion, it's “outside the mandate” of the group to sue city council, Archer told members of the finance committee Tuesday. Councillors Bob Kirwan, Mike Jakubo and Lynne Reynolds voted against the motion.
John McHenry admits there's a lot riding on the 2018-19 Sudbury Theatre Centre season lineup he announced May 16. The local professional theatre company's financial problems were so severe this past year that it asked for, and received, a $200,000 bailout from the City of Greater Sudbury. McHenry, who became STC's new artistic director in November 2017, gave a shout-out to Mayor Brian Bigger and Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh, who were on hand for the lineup announcement. At one point this past year, STC was at risk of not being able to keep its lights on. Thanks to the city bailout, STC will end its current season with a small surplus, McHenry said. The shows on offer include two comedies and three musicals, opening Sept. 27 with The Ballad of Stompin' Tom, featuring tunes by the late Canadian musician with a special place in Sudburians' hearts. Click the link to see the full lineup.
The RCMP is out with a warning regarding fraudulent telephone calls that appear to be coming from them. The callers impersonate a police officer and tell the victims that there is a large amount of money owning on their personal taxes and that an arrest warrant has been issued in their name. The callers then demand that money be paid via a money transfer. The fraudsters are using Caller ID spoofing, that makes it appear that the calls are coming from the RCMP. The RCMP wants you to know that they do not contact people via email or telephone regarding fines or taxes.
Another link in the Junction Creek Waterway Park is in place after members of the operations committee voted this week to put a pedestrian crossing on Regent Street near Greater Sudbury Utilities. The group aims to create a linear, walkable park along the full 18-kilometre length of Junction Creek, from Maley Drive in the northeast section of Greater Sudbury to Kelly Lake in the southwest. The crosswalk would also become part of the Trans Canada Trail, a project that aims to create a 22,000 kilometre trail across the country, that would be the longest in the world. First approved in December 2016, the $250,000 cost to put in the full red-yellow-green light crossing, with the GSU contributing $50,000. Employees at the utility will benefit because they have to cross that section of Regent to go from the parking lot to the GSU building.
North Bay was rattled by a small earthquake yesterday morning. David McGuire of Science North told BayToday.com that a 2.2-magnitude quake was centred about two kilometres southeast of the Gateway City, in the Callander-East Ferris area. The quake occurred at 9:05 a.m. at latitude 46.3 north and longitude 79.45 west at a depth of two kilometres according to Earthquakes Canada. There has been no damage reported so far from today's quake. The seismic event was located in close proximity to one that shook the Powassan area in October 2016.
Sunny and a high of 18 C Thursday
Thursday will be mainly sunny. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light in the morning. High of 18 C. Thursday night there will be cloudy periods with a low of 4 C.