Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
Property tax hike sits at 3.2% as council extends budget talks:
One of the more difficult budgets in recent memory inched forward Thursday evening, as city councillors managed to wrestle the 2020 budget increase down to 3.2 per cent, but with big decisions still ahead. The biggest single move yesterday evening at Tom Davies Square was a decision to delay setting aside some of the money earmarked to repay the costs of the big projects: the art gallery, library and convention centre downtown, and the arena on The Kingsway. Mayor Brian Bigger introduced the plan, which is similar to his proposal to ask Greater Sudbury Police to take $500,000 out of their budget, money being set aside to pay the mortgage on a new headquarters. In this case, Bigger said delays in getting the projects off the ground due to legal challenges means the arena is no longer scheduled to open in 2021, but 2023. Full story here.
Sudbury doctor suspended for three months for misconduct:
The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons has suspended a Greater Sudbury family physician starting Dec. 16 for three months following a Nov. 29 disciplinary hearing in Toronto. A disciplinary panel of the college found Dr. Paul Malette, 63, “committed an act of professional misconduct” for acting in a way with a patient that would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. Malette practices at the City of Lakes Family Health Team in Val Caron. Malette must pay $10,370 to the college, complete a program in ethics and boundaries, be monitored when conducting pelvic, genital or rectal exams. In addition, signage must be prominently posted in all waiting, exam and consultation rooms regarding the limits placed on Malette’s practice. As well, he must inform all patients regarding those limits, and document in patient charts that he has done so. Get the full story here.
Fifteen snowblowers worth $30K stolen in North Bay heist:
A North Bay independently owned small business has taken a big theft hit for the second time in two years. Arnstein Equipment on Highway 17 East discovered the theft of 15 snowblowers Wednesday. "We have struggled greatly with this post, but we feel it is something we need to address," the company posted on social media. "Sadly, when we arrived at work yesterday morning, we were met with cut open gates and the reality that we had been robbed overnight. When you experience a robbery, you go through a wave of emotions. We felt them all yesterday - sadness, anger, frustration, disbelief and yes, defeat. As the day unfolded and we checked what inventory we had left, we were shocked to realize that 15 snowblowers had been taken. For a small business like ours, this is a big financial hit but as we have come to realize in life and business...the show must go on." More on this story here.
Rainbow board, CUPE local reach tentative agreement:
The Rainbow District School Board announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing cleaners, custodians and tradespeople. Details of the deal with CUPE Local 895 won't be released until it is ratified by union members and approved by by board trustees. Local 895 represents cleaners, custodians and trades employees in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island. If accepted by the board and the union members, The new deal will be in effect from Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2022. This would aling the contract with the provincial settlement for this employee group at the central bargaining table. “We commend the bargaining team from the Board and the Union for working diligently to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar.
Sudbury school boards not impacted by OSSTF's second one-day strike Dec. 11:
The union representing Ontario's public high school teachers says it will hold another one-day strike on Dec. 11. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation says the job action will impact only schools in Toronto and several other regions. According to information provided by the OSSTF, no school boards in Greater Sudbury will be impacted. Earlier this week, the union held a one-day strike that closed most high schools — and some elementary schools — across the province. High school teachers are pushing back against government plans to increase class sizes and introduce mandatory e-learning courses. But the Progressive Conservative government says the key issue at the bargaining table is compensation The province has offered a one-per-cent annual wage increase, but the union is seeking around two per cent.
More tweaks to GOVA bus schedules take effect Saturday:
Effective this Saturday, Dec. 7, GOVA Transit will make further adjustments to arrival and departure times in what it says are its ongoing efforts to improve Greater Sudbury's transit network. The changes mean buses will arrive and depart one or two minutes earlier or later than current schedules, and riders are encouraged to get to their bus stops at least five minutes earlier than they normally would just to be sure they don't miss their bus. You can find the new GOVA Transit schedules online at GreaterSudbury.ca/Transit or by calling 705-675-3333. Remember, you can always get real-time bus arrival and departure times by visiting MyBus.GreaterSudbury.ca. The changes taking effect Dec. 7 do not impact schedules at any of the transit hubs. Buses serving the hubs — the Downtown Transit Centre, New Sudbury Centre and South End Walmart — are not affected,and current arrival and departure times remain unchanged. Find out what additional adjustments are being made here.
SAMSSA looks to expand, bids DeStefano farewell:
A Sudbury-based mining supply industry group has its eyes on pan-Northern and global expansion. The Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) held their annual general meeting on Dec. 4 at Dynamic Earth. In welcoming members from North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay, the association reaffirmed its intention to support Northern Ontario businesses on a global scale and to generate leads for their member companies. SAMSSA is currently working to increase their visibility both in the North and around the world. They've recently initiated an in-coming and outgoing export program and completed a trade mission to Nevada. From Jan. 12 to 17, 2020, SAMSSA is planning another trade mission to Santiago, Chile. Members are being encouraged to register to explore the market towards establishing a footprint on the ground. More on this story here.