Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your day on this Wednesday morning.
Feds announce $2M to fund battery-electric R&D in Sudbury
The federal government stepped up its commitment to battery electric vehicle (BEV) research and development in Sudbury when it was announced July 5 that more than $2 million is being invested into two BEV projects, one at NORCAT and one at Cambrian College. The announcement was made by FedNor Minister Patty Hajdu, alongside Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, during a media event at the college. Hajdu said the announcement for Sudbury comes at the right time just as the federal government is launching its critical minerals strategy to promote the exploration and mining of minerals of particular importance — such as lithium, cobalt, copper, molybdenum and nickel, all of which are critical for battery electric vehicles and for building the long-storage batteries required in the automotive and mining industries. "Really, it is incredible the investments that FedNor has been making in Northern Ontario over the last year and this extra $2 million in two battery electric vehicle (projects) is a really fantastic example of the speed at which FedNor can work at and the and the vision that the agency has in investing in important projects, not just in Northern Ontario, but to Canada as a whole," Hajdu said. She added that the money will be spent upgrading NORCAT's infrastructure as it transitions to a green operation and the grant for Cambrian College will establish a BEV laboratory within the Centre for Smart Mining.
Charge laid in fatal June 4 crash near Webbwood
Manitoulin OPP have arrested and charged a Mindemoya man for a June 4 crash that claimed the life of an Espanola man. On June 4 just after 9 p.m., the OPP, the North East Region Emergency Response Team and Manitoulin-Sudbury Paramedic Services responded to a motor vehicle crash on Highway 17 near Webbwood. “Investigation revealed that the vehicle had rolled and a passenger of the vehicle was ejected,” OPP reported. “The passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene.” The passenger was 24-year-old Jordan Antsey of Espanola. On July 5, Manitoulin OPP said a 25-year-old Mindemoya man was arrested and charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Espanola on Sept. 12.
Blue-green algae warning issued for Ramsey Lake
A public warning has been issued about a possible occurrence of blue-green algae at Moonlight Beach on Ramsey Lake in Sudbury. Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) along with the Ministry of the Environment, and Conservation Sudbury are currently investigating the possibility of the algal bloom and are warning the public to avoid the situation. Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and a foul smell, and can produce toxins, said the health unit. Also, public health said blue-green algal blooms could also appear in other parts of affected lakes. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. PHSD said new blooms can also form in other local water bodies. All residents on lakes or rivers should look for blooms in their area.
With mental health calls up by 180%, police are in a dilemma
Police are responding to more calls related to mental health, with 1,290 recorded between Jan. 1 and June 21 — a 180-per-cent increase over the 461 seen during the same period last year. Although Chief Paul Pedersen said this is at least partly due to certain well-being checks now being classified as mental health calls, he added it’s a complicated issue they’re working on. It’s also an issue at the heart of an ongoing debate as to whether police should be responding to these calls to begin with, which Pedersen highlighted in a recent report to the police board. “Do we actually need frontline officers, do we actually need guns, tasers and pepper spray responding to that, or are there some other agencies or other ways of de-escalating that or moving that business elsewhere?” he asked, reiterating a common question posed to police. The flipside, he said, is when there’s an unknown or potential for violence associated with a call, “every outside agency expects us to attend.”
CN strike ends after union agrees to binding arbitration
A two-week strike at Canadian National Railway Co. is ending after the union representing 750 signals and communications workers agreed to binding arbitration. Employees will return to their roles this morning, the company said in a news release. The IBEW initially rejected the railway's proposal to resolve remaining differences, on wages and benefits, through binding arbitration, saying the concessions didn't go far enough. In addition to wages, arbitration will decide on a lifetime cap on some health benefits. In Sudbury, the striking workers, who maintain train crossings, signals and inspection equipment for CN Rail maintained rotating picket lines around the city each day with the union’s 72 local members holding signs beside rail crossings in places like Barrydowne Road in New Sudbury. On June 23, Sudbury Local 2052 representative, Jamie Taylor, told Sudbury.com the strike action was based on the need for fair wages in the face of rising inflation.
Società Caruso prepares for a weekend of Italian fun
The Società Caruso Italian Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend with four days jam-packed with fun – and especially food. The 50th anniversary event takes place from July 7 to July 10 at the Caruso Club and the festival all starts with a live pro-wrestling match. “So on Thursday night, we're going to have a wrestling match. It's put on by Rock Solid Wrestling,” Angela Corsi-Raso told Sudbury.com in an interview. Corsi-Raso is the entertainment chair with the board of directors for the Caruso Club. She’s been with the club almost all her life, she said, but it’s her first year as a member with the board of directors this year. While the festivities start on Thursday, the opening ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. “The mayor and different local dignitaries, [including] the Italian Vice Consulate, they will all be here for the opening ceremonies.” After the ceremony, people can head to the food fair that will showcase foods from different regions of Italy. Each day from July 8-10, foods from different regions of Italy, representing the various regions Italian-Sudburians emigrated from, will be featured from 5-7 p.m. The full schedule is on the club’s Facebook page.
Cloudy and a high of 21 today
Expect a cloudy day for much of Wednesday with a 30-per-cent chance of showers in the morning, before clearing late in the morning. The wind will be out of the northeast at 20 km/h, gusting to 40, before becoming light in the morning. Today’s high is 21 with a UV index of eight, or very high. Tonight, expect a few clouds and a low of 11.