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Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day

Happy Tuesday
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Sudbury.com reader Linda Derkacz shared this image on a section of the Moonlight Trail. Sudbury.com welcomes submissions of local photography for publication with our morning greeting. Send yours to editor@sudbury.com.

Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started on this Tuesday morning.

Laurentian has already spent more than $9.8M on restructuring costs

Laurentian University president Robert Haché said the university’s insolvency restructuring efforts have already cost the university just over $9.8 million. He spoke about the costs at the Sept. 28 meeting of the Laurentian University senate. “It is an expensive process,” he said. “It comprises many components — the court-appointed monitor and insolvency counsel, counsel to the monitor, actually, chief redevelopment officer, as senators know.” He said going through the monitor’s reports, “the total costs of restructuring for all of those components and more that I haven’t mentioned adds up to just over $9.8 million. “It indeed is an expensive process, but it happens to be measured as well against the alternative, which would be that the university, of course, would have had to cease its operations back at the end of January.” Haché said he also wanted to highlight that Laurentian has freed up funds as a result of the restructuring — reducing the operating base of the university by $40 million a year, or 25 per cent.“ The other thing to highlight is that the restructuring costs are one-time costs, whereas that reduction in operating costs is expected to be something that the university will benefit from over the longer term, as it completes the restructuring of its operations and exits from the CCAA process.”

Read the full story here.

Apartment fire on Frood near Bloor deemed suspicious

Greater Sudbury Fire Services has deemed an apartment fire on Frood Road near Bloor Street this morning as suspicious, said the deputy fire chief. Furthermore, a canine perished in the fire, however, two felines were rescued, administered oxygen and reunited with their families, said Jesse Oshell. The building is old, Oshell said. It was a home converted into apartments. Currently, the building houses three apartments. “The fire is out at this time, and seven people are displaced,” Oshell said. “The cause is under investigation, but it is suspicious, and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and Greater Sudbury Police are being called to investigate.” Firefighters responded to the call at 8:50 a.m. Four fire stations were on scene to fight the fire, said Oshell.

Read the full story here.

Greater Sudbury retains AA credit rating even as debt load grows

The City of Greater Sudbury reaffirmed its AA credit rating, which Standards & Poor’s Global Ratings has awarded the municipality every year since 2018. “I’m proud to see that we are consistently presented with a AA credit rating,” Mayor Brian Bigger said in a press release issued Oct. 1. “This is an important indication that we are on the right track, making the best use of our resources, and are well-positioned to make sound investments that contribute to the future of our community and to economic growth.” The rating serves as an assessment of the municipality’s financial health based on historic financial performance, policies, economic growth and long-term plans. The badge of honour isn’t just symbolic and helps influence the interest rate paid on any debt the city takes on, such as the $200-million loan the city decided to take on in 2019 to fund major projects such as the Kingsway Entertainment District, The Junction and Municipal Road 35. At the time, it was reported that the low interest rate the city was able to secure was a key factor in city council’s decision to take out the loan early. When the interest paid is paired against the interest earned while the money is in a holding account it was estimated the loan would cost the city approximately $60,000 per year. Earlier this week, in response to an inquiry from Sudbury.com regarding debt, finance chair and Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo said he understands the general aversion to debt, “but there are enough financially versed individuals around the table to know when it is a good idea and when it is not, and we have only made smart debt decisions thus far.” “Now is a good time to take on debt because we can get more work done sooner and at historically low interest rates which we have the ability to lock in for 25-30 years,” he said. 

Read the full story here.

Police searching for missing man Justin Kilgour, 28, last heard from Sept. 24

The OPP are asking for the public's assistance to locate 28-year-old Justin Kilgour. The last contact he made with family was on Sept. 24. He may be in the Toronto area, but is known to frequent Sudbury, the OPP said in a tweet overnight. Kilgour is 5-11 to 6-0 in height, 140 pounds, ginger/brown hair and beard and a tattoo of a skull and roses on his right forearm. If you have any information, please contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Ontario introduces tougher new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the long-term care sector

Ontario is cracking down again on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements. This time it is the Long-Term Care (LTC) sector as the province has unveiled a new list of mandatory vaccination rules that will apply to in-home staff, support workers, students, and volunteers by Nov. 15, 2021. This will apply to all long-term home workers unless a staff member has a valid medical exemption. Rod Phillips, the Minister of Long-Term Care, announced Friday this will also mean expanded inspections of LTC homes and redirecting provincial resources to enhance and audit existing testing in homes. The crackdown has brought statements of approval from two of the largest associations representing the long-term care sector in Ontario; one being the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) and the other being AdvantAge Ontario, which is the organization that represents not-for-profit homes across the province. “We are extremely relieved that government is taking this action to mandate vaccines for all LTC staff. Our Association has been urgently calling for this as the most critical step in protecting residents, especially with the rise of the Delta Variant," said Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. Levin said LTC members have been working extremely hard to increase their staff vaccination rates, but this mandatory requirement was the missing piece to support their efforts. 

Read the full story here.

Northern health units imposing mandatory vaccination rules for indoor sports facilities

Medical officers of health in Northern Ontario are clamping down on COVID-19 restrictions. Beginning Oct. 14, all individuals aged 12 and older will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination if they visit indoor sports and recreation facilities. A news release from Public Health Sudbury and Districts said all seven health units across Northern Ontario, covering all the major cities and towns, have issued instructions to facility operators under the Reopening Ontario Act requiring anyone aged 12 and older who are coaching, officiating or volunteering at indoor organized sports to provide proof of vaccination unless a medical exemption applies. "Activities related to organized sports have the potential to increase COVID-19 transmission. Specifically, close contact, heavy breathing, long exposure times, crowded indoor spaces, and masks removed during physical activity, all contribute to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission," said the news release. PHSD said the intent is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID while maintaining the opportunities for sports. 

Read the full story here.

Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night blister packs recalled due to labelling error

Two lots of Advil's Cold and Sinus Day/Night Convenience Pack are being recalled due to a labelling error. The problem involves one lot of 18 caplet boxes and one of 36 caplet boxes. The foil backing on the blister pack is upside down and misaligned — so the nighttime caplets are labelled as daytime, and some daytime caplets are labelled as nighttime. There are concerns consumers may get the medications mixed up. Health Canada says mistakenly taking a nighttime caplet could result in serious health consequences for those who need to remain alert, such as when driving, or who have taken other sedatives, consumed alcohol, or are elderly. The affected products were distributed in Canada starting last July.

Nice fall day in store today

It looks like a gorgeous autumn day in store for Tuesday. Expect a high of 19 under sunny skies, the UV index will be four, or moderate. Fog patches will dissipate over the morning. Tonight, the skies will stay clear and the mercury will drop to eight.