Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your Tuesday!
City looks at installing more traffic-calming bollards
Faced with a backlog of more than 80 traffic-calming requests, the city is looking to make a traffic-calming bollard pilot program permanent to help fill the gap. These requests are in addition to the 31 roadways that have already qualified for traffic calming devices and a city budget that allows for the completion of just one project per year. “I kind of like the idea of being able to do more,” city operations committee chair and Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh told Sudbury.com after this week’s meeting, adding that the bollards offer a stop-gap solution until such time as more permanent traffic-calming devices can be installed. “It would be great, because there’s quite a long list of streets that qualify for traffic calming, and they have to wait because there’s only so much funding,” she said. “Apparently this has been very successful in other municipalities.” The bollards consist of a series of three flexible posts placed at the sides and centre of affected roads as a means of narrowing roads and thereby reducing the speed of vehicles. Each trio of posts are spaced 150 metres apart along the roadway and are installed once spring street sweeping and line painting wraps up and are removed by Oct. 31, weather permitting.
Flour Mill Community Farm campaign inches toward its $25K fundraiser goal
Those behind the Flour Mill Community Farm have set a $25,000 fundraising goal they hope to achieve by the end of March in order to maintain their programming throughout 2022. “2021 marked the fifth growing season at the farm and community support is needed more than ever so that the project can continue into the 2022 growing season,” farm co-ordinator Fionna Tough said in a media release issued by the organization. The organization has raised $13,756 to date, of which $5,000 is conditional on them reaching their $25,000 goal by the end of March. Donors thus far have included 21 individuals and two corporate sponsors – Desjardins and Sudbury Credit Union. The Local Poverty Reduction Fund funded the program’s initial three-year pilot program, which ended in 2020. With no long-term funding in place, the organization is looking to the community to keep it running until more stable funding can be found. Located behind Ryan Heights in the Flour Mill neighbourhood, the community farm provides jobs for youths during the growing season. It’s a community-driven project that was sparked by residents of the Flour Mill and Donovan area who wanted to make a positive change in their neighbourhood. To date, the farm has employed more than 40 youths through YMCA Employment Services and the Canada Summer Jobs program. The youths range in age from 15-25 and are often from what the organization referred to as “equity-deserving populations.”
Sudbury Women’s Centre launching ‘Feel Good Fest’ in March
Are you ready to feel good, while doing good? The Sudbury Women’s Centre (SWC) is launching a week-long celebration of women and wellness beginning March 8 to honour International Women’s Day (IWD). Along with regular IWD client events, the SWC will be presenting a Feel Good Fest, encouraging women to Feed their Mind, Body and Soul through fun take home kits and virtual learning sessions. These initiatives will not only raise awareness and money for the centre to continue its work, but also provide engaging wellness activities for women in the community, helping them feel nourished in every sense of the word. “We will be kicking off the celebration on Tuesday, March 8 with some special edition programming for our clients,” said Giulia Carpenter, SWC executive director. “We could not be more excited to welcome our clients back after so long. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that being immersed in our community is vital not only for our mental health, but for our overall wellbeing.”
Autism advocates have a day at the park before ramping up political engagement
An afternoon at the park on Sunday offered a bit of a reprieve for local autism advocates in advance of a few months of advocacy leading up to this year’s provincial election. “We wanted a more fun way to get together,” said Julia Ritchie of the organizing Northern Ontario Autism Alliance. “There’s a time and place, obviously, for rallies and protests, but it’s been such a long two years that we thought, why not have a fun event to kick off things? “A lot of our work centred around advocacy in relation to the Northern Ontario Autism Program, so things like rallies, petitions, that sort of thing, and we just felt like it’s been a really long two years and families have had it tough.” The day’s Sensory Fun Day in the Park at Westmount Playground in Sudbury was the first such event for the organization, at which several children were found playing on the equipment and painting in the snow with food colouring alongside parents and guardians. Although the event wasn’t political in nature, the organization behind it plans on continued advocacy, including supporting area NDP MPP candidates they cite as supporting their cause. The group is opposed to changes in the Ontario Autism Program, which they say have consistently missed the mark, even when the province expanded the effort early last year.
Health-care privatization an election issue: Ontario Health Coalition
Sounding alarms that Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government plans on ramping up the privatization of health-care services, an advocacy group is striving to make it an election issue. On Friday, the Ontario Health Coalition hosted a virtual media conference hoisting a comment Health Minister Christine Elliott made several days ago as a “bombshell.” During a speech in Ajax promoting the reopening of health-care services, Elliott said, “We’re opening up pediatric surgeries, cancer screenings, making sure that we can let independent health facilities operate, private hospitals, all of those things are possible because we do have the capacity.” Profit has a troubling role in health care, Ontario Health Coalition executive director Natalie Mehra said, citing various areas of privatization as creating an environment ill-equipped to handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular concern within the government’s “litany” of privatization, she said, has been the awarding of thousands of long-term care beds for for-profit chains. The coalition has expressed concern about private long-term care facilities even before the pandemic, and has reiterated their concern in the months that followed, particularly as the COVID-related death rate at for-profit facilities was proven higher than that at public facilities. The province’s recent mention of for-profit hospitals is of concern because legislation has prohibited the licensing of new private hospitals in Ontario since the early ’70s. Existing hospitals were grandfathered in, and their ranks have fallen from 19 in 1980 to four today.
Winter storm warning in effect today
A winter storm warning is in effect for today, with Environment Canada warning people in the Greater Sudbury area of snow and freezing rain. Today will see periods of snow mixed with ice pellets, with a risk of freezing rain early in the afternoon and local blowing snow in the morning. Snow and ice pellets are forecast to amount to 5 t0 10 cm. The northeast wind will gust from 20 km/h to 40 km/h. Today's high will be -24 C in the morning and -18 C in the afternoon, and the UV index will be one or lower.