Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Thursday morning.
Health unit, police on the lookout for fake vaccine passports
Some unvaccinated residents of the Sudbury district might be against getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but they're not against being dishonest. That's because there have been suggestions that some residents think it is easy to produce a fake vaccine receipt and police have learned of at least one case where a person offered to provide a fake document. Under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act, which is in fact a law, Ontario residents must provide proof of vaccination to gain access to certain businesses and venues. Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn said there are no reports of anyone actually being caught trying to use a fake document, but a Sudbury resident did inform police when someone tried to provide the person with a fake proof-of-vaccination passport. "The individual declined and reported it to police,” Dunn said. “The incident is being investigated by our Police Community Response Centre." She added that using a forged document could result in a criminal charge of Uttering a Forged Document and producing/distributing a forged document could result in a criminal charge of Forgery. If convicted, both of these offences hold a potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison, she said.
Horwath says NDP backs turning University of Sudbury into a Francophone institution
Asked if she’d transfer all of Laurentian University’s French-language programs to the University of Sudbury if her party were elected and she becomes premier in 2022, the leader of Ontario’s New Democrats said “we will absolutely do that.” This is a demand made by the University of Sudbury as it attempts to transform itself into a Francophone university after Laurentian declared insolvency earlier this year and cut ties with federated universities operating on campus, including the U of S. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath made the comments during a visit to Laurentian University’s campus Wednesday morning. She was joined at the press briefing at the university’s student centre by local NDP MPPs Jamie West and France Gélinas and Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin, along with Jean-Charles Cachon, the former secretary-treasurer of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA). Horwath said the Ontario NDP’s caucus has already made the decision to support the University of Sudbury’s plans. She said having a university “for Francophones, by Francophones” in Sudbury, as well as an Anglophone university “is something that we are very clearly supportive of.”
Hanmer’s newest millionaires have big plans for their lottery windfall
Hanmer couple Francine and Laurent Chenier are the newest millionaires in Greater Sudbury. The couple won $1 million by matching all seven Encore numbers in the exact order on the Sept. 17 Lotto Max draw. They also won $5 on another Encore on the same ticket, bringing their total winnings to $1,000,005. The retired couple said they are regular lottery players. Francine said she gasped after scanning her ticket. “I thought we won $1,000 at first and called over Laurent,” she said. “I said, ‘No, I think you won much more than that!’” said Laurent. The pair plan to travel, purchase a new car, complete some home renovations, and donate to the Sudbury hospice. “It’s humbling – it still doesn’t feel real,” Francine said. The winning ticket was purchased at Paquette’s Your Independent Grocer on Highway 69 in Hanmer.
Police search in north Cobalt related to Melanie Ethier investigation
Police are warning the public to expect a high police presence in the north Cobalt area for a search related to the Melanie Ethier investigation. Temiskaming OPP said police are expected to be at the scene for two days. There is no concern for public safety and people are asked to avoid the area. Ethier was a teenager when she went missing in New Liskeard in 1996. There has been renewed interest in the case recently due to CBC's podcast The Next Call that looked into her disappearance. As a result of recent information, the north Cobalt search includes members of the Temiskaming OPP Crime Unit, the Northeast Emergency Response Team, the OPP Canine Unit and a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System. Anyone with information on the Ethier investigation should contact Temiskaming OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
After 19 months, U.S. land border to reopen to vaccinated Canadians in November
Fully vaccinated Canadian vacationers and day-trippers will be allowed to drive into the United States beginning in early November, the Biden administration said Tuesday, the first glimmer of hope in nearly 20 months for the families and businesses that depend on two-way traffic across the Canada-U.S. border. Senior government officials delivered the news in a conference call with reporters on condition they hold their reports until early Wednesday — a plan that quickly went out the window when New York congressman Brian Higgins all but shouted the news from the rooftops. "At long last, there is action by the United States to open the doors and welcome back our Canadian neighbours," Higgins said in a statement. "Border communities await further details from the administration with great expectation, and I will continue to advocate for a more fully and freely open border to both governments, sooner rather than later." Those details remained few and far between Tuesday, but the plan is designed to dovetail with the administration's existing plan to allow international travellers from further afield to resume travelling to the U.S. on the same timeline, provided they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
COVID outbreak declared at Memorial Park
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak and advising the public of a potential exposure to COVID-19 for anyone who spent time in Memorial Park located downtown in Greater Sudbury as of Monday, Sept. 27. The potential risk of exposure is ongoing at this time. This exposure notice does not apply to individuals who just passed through the park. As of Oct. 12, this outbreak includes three cases of COVID-19. Public Health Sudbury & Districts and the City of Greater Sudbury are working with community service providers to identify additional cases or high-risk close contacts, limit any further spread, and to support the needs of affected individuals.
STC’s back and the new season opens tonight
Look who's talking. Bunny Bevington-Smythe, grande dame of Muskoka, is telling her story in the Sudbury Theatre Centre's first production of the 2021-22 season. The play, “Quiet! I’m Talking” by Vince Grittani, opens Thursday, Oct. 14 and runs to Oct. 30. The two-act play opens as Bunny, played by veteran actress Mary Pitt, holds court with the media at the launch of her book of memoirs. She is a wealthy American from Pittsburgh who has been coming to Muskoka every summer since she was born. At 99, Bunny still enjoys martinis, cigarettes, golf and gardening. Although changes were announced recently that allow 100-per-cent capacity in theatres, McHenry said he plans to keep capacity at 50 per cent for this season. Patrons will be asked to show proof of double vaccination to enter the theatre and must wear masks until seated. Tickets for one mainstage performance are $50. Season subscriptions are on sale now for $150 for adults and $50 for students. Visit the STC website for more information. The 2021-22 Face to Face season includes: "Dickens’ A Christmas Carol," (Dec. 2-18); "Ever Falling Flight" (Feb. 18 - March 5, 2022); and "This One,"(opening April 21, 2022.
Read the full story on the Sudbury.com homepage.
More showers today, but temperature will be nice
There’s another cloudy in store for the region with a good chance of showers. Fog patches will dissipate over the morning. There’s a 40-per-cent chance of showers in the morning and in the early afternoon. High of 18 today with a UV index of two, or low. Tonight, the clouds will stick around with a 60-per-cent chance of showers, and an overnight low of eight.