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Good morning, Nickel City! Here are stories to start your day

Happy Thursday!
240522_Emily Petingola paddling ramsey reader Emily Petingola shared this image with us of a lovely day on Ramsey Lake. welcomes submissions of local photography for publication with our morning greeting. Send yours to

Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Thursday morning.

Sudbury candidate named in $306M Freedom Convoy lawsuit

As one of the leading figures in this year’s so-called Freedom Convoy to Ottawa, Sudbury’s Jason LaFace has been targeted in a class-action lawsuit that seeks $306 million in restitution. He is one of 17 people named in the initial round of legal documents in a class-action lawsuit, though lawyer Paul Champ said more defendants are to come, with the licence plates of more than 400 semi-trucks jotted down, of which they have names for approximately 300 thus far. Other notable defendants listed thus far include fellow organizers Chris Barber (Swift Current, Sask.), Patrick King (Red Deer, Alta.) and Tamara Lich (Medicine Hat, Alta.). LaFace is also currently seeking public office as the Ontario Party’s candidate for Sudbury in the June 2 provincial election. During this year’s convoy of truckers and their supporters opposed to COVID-related mandates, he was identified as a “road captain” for Northern Ontario.

Read the full story here.

YES, STC still legally separate, but co-producing ‘pilot’ season

Although they are still legally two separate entities — at least for now — YES Theatre and Sudbury Theatre Centre will work together with combined resources and staffing to put on a joint 2022-2023 “pilot season.” That pilot season is expected to include three mainstage plays, eight mainstage musicals, three or more concerts and three new works. A visual presented in a Powerpoint presentation during a May 25 press conference espouses a vision for a “Stratford North,” including STC’s building and YES Theatre’s new Refettorio (outdoor theatre), which is to be built on Durham Street. “Before we move into any notion of official merger, we are entering into a pilot season,” said STC board co-chair John Dow, speaking at the Tuesday press conference in which the two theatre companies announced their new relationship. “This is our feasibility stage that we're going through this year, and there'll be a concerted effort to maximize overhead cost savings through a new business model that will create and increase opportunities for artists and audiences.”

Read the full story here.

Public Health Sudbury outlines its key election issues

Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has published a 16-page "provincial election primer" that outlines what it says are key issues to be considered in the upcoming June 2 provincial election. The document cover page urges readers to "Get Informed. Get Involved. Go Vote." The pages after that outline issues such as mental health, food insecurity, paid sick days, affordable housing, Indigenous health and well being, anti-racism, opioids and substance abuse, infection control in congregate homes and climate change. Along with a description of why each issue needs to be considered, public health offered key recommendations that should be acted on to help resolve the issue. PHSD said copies of the primer have been sent to all local candidates. The document does not endorse any single political party, but the issues and positions taken in the election health primer can be found in some of the various Ontario party platforms.

Read the full story here.

Ontario Mine Rescue prepares to test the best teams in Ontario

The sense of urgency that swept through Sudbury last September when 39 miners were forced to spend several hours underground at the Totten Mine was not unlike the urgency felt so many years earlier in Timmins involving another 39 miners at the iconic Hollinger Consolidated Gold Mine. At the time it was the largest gold mine in North America. In Sudbury, the miners at Totten had to sit in refuge stations after the shaft was damaged during an equipment hoisting incident. The happy news was that the miners at the Totten Mine were able to return to surface a couple of days later thanks to a series of ladders and manways. This was done with assistance from mine rescuers, specially trained volunteers who are on duty in every mine in Ontario. It was a different time and a different group of 39 miners back in February of 1928. That's when fire broke out on the 550 level at the Hollinger mine in Timmins. The mining community back then never expected a fire could occur in a hardrock mine. As it turned out, the fire was fueled by an underground trash dump, old lumber, powder boxes, paraffin paper and sawdust. Smoke and poison gas spread throughout the mine. The inquest held into that tragic event determined that mining experts never anticipated any sort of an underground fire at any hardrock mine in Ontario. Nor was Ontario equipped to deal with it. There was no Ontario Mine Rescue back then. 

Read the full story here.

Health unit warns that a spring influenza wave is on its way

You may not have noticed yet, but the flu season is about to hit Sudbury and the rest of Ontario this spring. That's the expectation from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD). Sutcliffe was commenting at the recent board of health meeting about the recent increase in Influenza A across Canada, as outlined in Health Canada surveillance reports. Sutcliffe said this unusually late outbreak is something public health has not faced before and so it is difficult to predict how it will pan out. She said the flu season usually hits in the fall and tapers off in the spring. She said with so many people taking pandemic precautions, such as masking and diligent handwashing, the flu did not hit Canadians in the fall as was expected. Sutcliffe said with all the public health restrictions being lifted, the flu is making a comeback. "In the last week or two, Canada and North America are reaching numbers that we will see the beginning of the influenza season. And this, of course, is not because of anything else, except for all of the public health measures that were protecting us from COVID  were also protecting us from other respiratory infections, such as influenza," Sutcliffe said.

Read the full story here.

Grotto religious statues vandalized in 2020 have been replaced

The replacements for eight bronze religious statues damaged at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in May 2020 have finally been installed. The statues, which are in the care of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, depict the Stations of the Cross (the walk of Jesus to the cross and his crucifixion) and were originally installed in 1953. Vandals broke heads and limbs off of eight of the statues. The Grotto is considered to be one of Sudbury’s hidden gems. With its panoramic view of the city and 16-foot fountain, many people visit the downtown property to reflect as they walk the peaceful paths. David Sirois, assistant financial administrator with the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, said the reason behind the vandalism is unknown, but “we think it's probably a financial issue more than anything else,” given the value of the bronze the statues are made from. Replicas of the bronze statues were crafted by artist Timothy P. Schmalz (of Sculpture by Timothy P. Schmalz Inc.).

Read the full story here.

Showers and risk of thunderstorm today

Expect a high of 18 today with a 60-per-cent chance of showers this morning and the risk of a thunderstorm. Up to 10 mm of rain is possible. Fog patches will dissipate over the morning. The wind will be out of the south at 20 km/h, but will lighten in the afternoon. The UV index today is four, or moderate. Tonight, there is a 60-per-cent chance of showers and a low of 13.