Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are stories to start your day on this Thursday morning (which also happens to be the first day of fall 2022).
Departing Laurentian admins subject of ‘no confidence’ motion
Harshly referred to as leaving a “cigarette burn in the carpet of higher education,” two senior Laurentian University’s leaders were subject to a “no confidence” vote this week. Senate member David Leeson levied the criticism at university president Robert Haché and vice-president, academic and provost, Marie-Josée Berger, during the Sept. 20 Laurentian senate meeting. “Our senior managers have made Laurentian University a byword for mismanagement,” he said. The no confidence vote was held despite the senior administrators’ impending retirement from the institution as part of the terms of the university's plan to pay off its debts - known as the plan of arrangement - approved in a vote by creditors last week. Laurentian has been undergoing court-supervised restructuring since declaring insolvency in February 2021, and filing for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (or CCAA). The university now expects to go back to court Oct. 5 to seek a “sanction order motion” to finally exit CCAA creditor protection. The no confidence motion targeting Haché and Berger approved by the Laurentian senate this week was put forward by Leeson, a professor in the university’s history department. Read the full story.
OPP investigate death north of Greater Sudbury
A deceased person was found north of Greater Sudbury at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Nipissing West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police investigated the scene, a location on Metagama Road, which stretches west from Ontario Highway 144 north of Greater Sudbury. Although the cause of death cannot yet be confirmed, a media release by the OPP notes investigators believe there is no imminent threat to public safety. At the same time, they also note, “the OPP reminds all members of the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times.” OPP units involved in the investigation include the Nipissing West Crime Unit, North Bay Forensic Identification Services and USAR CBRNE Response Team. The investigation is in its early stages and no further details are being released at this time. Area residents have been told to expect to see a large police presence.
Preparation work begins at the Junction East site
Work on the Junction East Cultural Hub site has begun, with a crew on site this week relocating an Enbridge gas line from the proposed downtown site next to the Sudbury Theatre Centre. “This is required to move the line out of the Junction East building footprint so the construction can proceed next year,” a city spokesperson clarified. “Through the summer, the architectural team and all partners have continued work to create a detailed design that will form the basis of the construction documents for the tender,” they added. “Exact details on materials, finishes, electrical and plumbing systems, structural engineering requirements, and more, will all form part of the detailed design.” City council approved a conceptual design of the Junction East Cultural Hub building for the $98.5-million project during the June 28 city council meeting, after first seeing it during a presentation at the May 3 special city council meeting. The building is anticipated to house a new central library, Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association. Still conceptual, the work taking place now at the direction of city council is intended to bring the design to a stage where the project is able to be brought to tender. This process is expected to continue until mid-November, at which time the city team behind the effort will develop a tender package for release early in the new year. Read more here.
Hear directly from mayoral candidates at upcoming events
With the municipal election just over one month away, it’s becoming increasingly important for the electorate to hear from the city’s slate of mayoral candidates. At least three public mayoral debates/forums are scheduled to help fill in the gaps in public understanding of candidates’ platforms, beginning with a “Meet the Mayoral Candidates” event on Oct. 1 at The ParkSide Older Adult Centre (140 Durham Street) beginning at 1 p.m. The event is being hosted by the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) Sudbury Chapter and the Sudbury Arts Council. All nine mayoral candidates have been invited to participate, CARP president John Lindsay said, clarifying that this includes convicted purveyor of hate speech David Popescu. Read the full story.
City looks at dusting off the Downtown Master Plan
Now a decade old, enough has changed that the city’s Downtown Master Plan is due for an update. This, according to a report by city planner Ed Landry the city’s planning committee is anticipated to discuss at their Sept. 26 meeting, at which they’ll vote on whether city administration should draft a business case for consideration during 2023 budget deliberations. The Downtown Master Plan was adopted in April 2012, and received an honourable mention at that year’s Canadian Institute of Planners annual Awards Gala. Following this initial praise, Greater Sudbury city council received criticism for going against the plan by voting in favour of a property on The Kingsway for a new arena instead of a downtown location or to renovate the existing 70-year-old Sudbury Community Arena. The 10-2 vote in favour of The Kingsway location came in 2017 and was consistently reinforced by a narrow majority of city council. That was, until they voted to back down from the project in July of this year due to its budget more than doubling to $215 million. The Downtown Master Plan proposes “an upgraded arena in combination with the construction of a new multi-use facility south of Brady Street with a four-star hotel overlooking Memorial Park.” Learn more here.
Vietnam war survivor to speak in Sudbury Sept. 24
Kim Phuc Phan Thi is known around the world as “The Girl in the Picture.” In 1972, at the age of nine, she was immortalized in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph that shows her screaming and running naked down a road in Trang Bang, Vietnam, after having her clothing burned off by napalm. Phan Thi is set to speak in Sudbury at 11:15 a.m. Sept. 24 as part of the Rotary District 7010 Conference 2022, which takes place at the Holiday Inn Sept. 24-25. A living symbol of the atrocity of war, Phan Thi is the founder of The KIM Foundation International, a non-profit dedicated to providing funds to support the work of international organizations that provide free medical assistance to children who are victims of war and terrorism. If you’d like to attend Phan Thi’s presentation, tickets are available at the door for $20 each (cash only). There is limited seating. More information is available online at www.district7010conference.com. Learn more here.
Helpers: Meet Sudbury ‘flower couple’ Linda and Wayne Hugli
As members of the Sudbury Horticultural Society (SHS), retired educators Linda and Wayne Hugli play key roles as members of the club's executive. Some people may call them a "power couple," but they might be just as happy to be known as the "flower couple." Wayne is the current president of SHS and has filled this leadership role numerous times. Linda has served as president for three terms in the past and is the current membership committee chair, a volunteer job which required her to polish her social media skills. Over the years, they have volunteered their time and talents to SHS projects such as the John Street Park, the Garden Festival, the summer garden tour, and VITAC's Ugliest Schoolyard Contest. There are monthly board meetings and hours of preparation for the membership meetings at the Parkside Centre. The couple's tireless dedication to SHS, or as it is affectionately called by members "the Hort Society," is truly admirable. SHS is one of the oldest clubs in the city. It was established in 1911 and has more than 250 members and 3,500 Facebook followers. This year, 2022, is Year of the Garden. Read the full story.
Thursday (officially the first day of fall!) will be cloudy with a 40 per cent chance of showers. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High of 9 C. UV index 2 or low. Thursday night there will be cloudy periods with a low of 1 C.