Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
Ward 3 councillor nearly kicked out of at times tense core services review session:
Tuesday's council meeting started with fireworks, but ultimately fizzled as council voted not to proceed past 10 p.m. in their deliberations over the final report of their core services review. Council directed staff in 2019 (based on a May 14 motion from Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer) to undertake a review of the primary services city government provides to residents with an eye to finding more efficient ways of delivering those services. The $250,000 review was funded through the province's Audit and Accountability Fund, which directs municipalities to find four per cent in savings in their budgets, focusing on efficiencies to absorb provincial funding cuts as an alternative to cutting services or raising taxes. Tuesday's meeting got off to a tense start. Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier didn't mince words when councillors took their turns to weigh in on the report. Calling the report "shameful," the councillor said the review disrespected the citizens of Sudbury and was little more than a deceitful way of cutting services. He was nearly thrown out of the meeting by his fellow councillors for his criticisms, particularly his criticism of CAO Ed Archer. "Accepting this report would truly be Sudbury's lowest and darkest moment. Who would seriously consider living or investing in a city that knowingly chooses to destroy itself?" said Montpellier. Mayor Brian Bigger called for a point of order when Montpellier called for Archer, the city's chief administrative officer, to resign. Montpellier said he refused to apologize for what he believed, prompting Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer to ask that a vote be taken to have Montpellier removed from the meeting. After some deliberations, and what Bigger interpreted as an insincere apology from Montpellier, the Ward 3 councillor finally relented and gave a more formal apology and the meeting continued. Councillors spent three hours discussing three of the five recommendations in the report. Full story here.
City upping security downtown with more bylaw officers:
The city will kick off a seven-month pilot project sometime in early April with the goal of increasing safety and providing an added level of service in the downtown core. Six new bylaw enforcement officers (three full-time and three part-time) will be added to the ranks, as the city will have two of the officers on duty at all times for 16 hours a day during the pilot. Applications for the positions are now open and the city hopes to have the positions filled this week and begin training the new officers. The seven-month pilot project will cost $275,000, and will be funded by using $225,000 from the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund. The remainder will come from the downtown Sudbury BIA. The downtown transit terminal will be a focal point for these new bylaw officers, but Greater Sudbury manager of security and bylaw services Brendan Adair says that this pilot is aimed at the downtown as a whole. Find the full story here.
Salty drinking water: Ramsey Lake salt levels up to 30x higher than in Wanapitei:
Ramsey Lake, the drinking water source for some 40,000 Sudburians, is salty, upwards of 30 times higher than the city’s other primary drinking water source, Lake Wanapitei. These are the results of a study released Feb. 19 by the Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance. In September and October 2019, volunteers with the Minnow Lake Restoration group collected water samples from a dozen public and private locations fed by drinking water from Ramsey Lake (eight locations) and Wanapitei River (four locations). The samples were analyzed by Testmark Laboratories, the alliance said in a news release. You can see the results of those tests here.
Sudbury-shot Letterkenny grabs 10 nominations at Canadian Screen Awards:
The Sudbury-shot hit comedy series Letterkenny received 10 nominations for the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Comedy Series. Lead actor Jared Keeso, who plays Wayne on the show, was nominated for best lead actor, comedy, while Michelle Mylett, who plays Katie, was nominated for best lead actress, comedy. Mark Forward, who plays Coach, was nominated for best supporting actor, comedy. The team behind the scenes also received a number of nominations, including best direction, best writing, best photography, best picture editing - all in the comedy genre, along with best stunt co-ordination. The wildly popular Crave TV series just finished its eighth season in December and took home five Canadian Screen Awards in 2019 out of seven nominations. This year's awards will be handed out on March 29.
Man charged with 2018 murder makes brief court appearance:
A 21-year-old man charged in the 2018 stabbing death of Charles St. Jean made a brief court appearance Tuesday, to set a date for pretrial. Tyler Sels is facing one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of assault with a weapon, four counts of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and one count of breach of probation. In January, Ontario Court Justice John Keast committed Sels to trial. It is alleged he stabbed St. Jean at a house party on Levesque Street off The Kingsway Sept. 14, 2018. St. Jean died from the wounds. Two others were also stabbed in the incident.
LU celebrates women in science:
Laurentian University welcomed 85 Grade 6 girls and boys from Greater Sudbury-area schools earlier this month in recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The students experienced a packed day of demonstrations and presentations that highlighted amazing women in science and trades. The activities also emphasized the importance of inclusivity in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine). Women scientists and post-secondary researchers from many Sudbury institutions, including Laurentian University, Cambrian College, SNOLAB, the Go ENG Girl program, and more, led the activities. They shared their own experiences, challenges and successes in pursuing careers in STEMM while leading hands-on demonstrations for attendees.
Ontario probing licence plate defect weeks after new models were released:
Premier Doug Ford's government said Tuesday it is standing by its redesigned licence plates despite reports from some police officers that the new models are difficult to read in low light. Consumer Services Minister Lisa Thompson said the province is looking into complaints about the new plates, which were just introduced weeks ago, but stressed they passed government testing ahead of their release. "I can assure you that we have been exhaustive with our testing," Thompson said. "We have tested in terms of readability, reflectivity and durability on a whole host of weather conditions and they passed." The problem was first raised publicly over the weekend by an off-duty Kingston police officer who posted a picture on social media of a plate in what he called a "relatively well-lit parking lot." "Did anyone consult with police before designing and manufacturing the new Ontario licence plates?" Sgt. Steve Koopman wrote. "They're virtually unreadable at night." A spokesman for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police said Tuesday that the group has been hearing from front-line officers and concerned citizens about the possible defect. More on this story here.
Wolves partner with CMHA for mental health awareness game:
The Sudbury Wolves have partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association Sudbury/Manitoulin (CMHA-S/M) for a mental health awareness game Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., when the Wolves take on the Ottawa 67's at the Sudbury Arena. The game day experience will have several features to promote the importance of mental health, including: A CMHA-run kiosk on the concourse where fans can learn more about mental health and the organization's community-based services (lower lobby, behind souvenir shop), a ceremonial puck drop and photo opportunity with CMHA-S/M, videos featuring Sudbury Wolves players talking about the importance of mental health, public service announcements about mental health and CMHA-S/M, a chance to win a Sudbury Wolves Team autographed stick, giveaway of stress pucks compliments of CMHA-S/M, for the first 1,000 fans. This mental health awareness game is part of the Sudbury Wolves' ongoing partnership with CMHA-S/M and its Talk Today program, presented by Teachers Life.
Mainly sunny for Thursday with some brisk temperatures on tap. Today's high will be -10, feeling like -27 with the wind chill this morning. Partly cloudy into the evenign with a a 40 per cent chance of flurries. Low will get down to around -12 overnight, feeling like -19 with the wind chill. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit Sudbury.com's weather page at www.sudbury.com/weather.