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Good morning, Sudbury! Here are seven stories to start your day

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

French teachers' president says province 'just looking for cuts':

The president of the union representing 12,000 French-language public and Catholic teachers said the government is “just looking for cuts at the bottom line.” “I have to say that the government does not really want to address issues that would make the system better,” said Association des Enseignantes et des Enseignants Franco-Ontariens (AEFO) provincial president Rémi Sabourin. AEFO members across Ontario hit the picket lines Feb. 13 in a provincewide, one-day strike, including hundreds of teachers here in Greater Sudbury, who braved the weather on a bitterly cold day. All four teachers' unions in the province are now engaging in rotating strikes, but this is the first for AEFO. The unions have been without a contract since August. On Friday, Feb. 21, all four teachers' unions will strike together, meaning no school that day for all Ontario elementary and secondary students. Find the full story here.

Sudbury autism parents headed to Queen's Park Tuesday to protest dealys to autism program:

Autism families from across the provinces will be heading to Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 18 to demand that the Ford government provide needs-based funding to children and youth with autism. Despite widespread public opposition, the Ford government is continuing to roll out its childgood budgets. Members of the Northern Ontario Autism Alliance and Sudbury autism parents Sean and Julia Staddon will be attending Tuesday's rally, and Sean will be speaking on behalf of the NOAA. Check back with later today for the full story.

Vale exec 'obsessed' with ensuring Sudbury's billion tonnes of tailings stay right where they're supposed to:

The thrust of Dino Otranto's presentation was on the transformational challenges ahead for base metal mining giant Vale to create a business that's sustainable in the Sudbury basin for generations to come. But the opening image he flashed to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd on Feb. 11 was of the Brumadinho tailings dam break at Vale's Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brazil on Jan. 25, 2019. It was the company's second major dam breach in that country in four years. The man-made environmental catastrophe at Brumadinho produced a toxic mudflow that swept away the company's offices, and houses, farms and roads in a nearby village, and contaminated a major river system. Otranto then reminded his audience that they live in the "inundation zone" of one of the world's biggest tailings dams. "There's a billion tonnes of the same material sitting in this community." Otranto assured them that Vale is working with government and various partners to ensure safeguards are firmly in place. But the comfortable mindset, he said, has to change from thinking it can't happen here toward guaranteeing that it doesn't happen. More on this story here.

West: Ford government 'continues to let Ontarians down' on opioid crisis:

Sudbury MPP Jamie West sounded off in a guest column posted on this week with regard to the province's opioid crisis. "Sudbury is in crisis, and our community needs help, not cuts," wrote West. "This is the message I want to share with MPP Michael Tibollo, the Ford government’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, who last week heard from local and provincial leaders about issues Greater Sudbury is facing regarding mental health, addictions and opioids at roundtable meetings held by the mayor. Unfortunately, the Ford government continues to let Ontarians down when it comes to taking action, cutting millions from mental health funding and placing an arbitrary cap on the number of supervised consumption sites that can operate in the province." Full story here.

Maison McCulloch Hospice names new executive director:

Maison McCulloch Hospice has a new permanent executive director. The palliative care centre’s board of directors approved the appointment of Gaston Lavigne as the new ED on Jan. 13 and Lavigne officially moved into his new role on Jan. 27. “Gaston has been a senior executive in the health care field for numerous years in Northern Ontario. His leadership, education and direct patient care in both hospitals and long-term care facilities will be of great benefit to Maison McCulloch Hospice,” said board chair David Farrow. The bilingual Lavigne, a Greater Sudbury resident, served most recently as president and CEO of the North Shore Health Network (NSHN) in Blind River. He also served as associate dean of nursing at Cambrian College. Over his career, Lavigne also served as chief nursing executive and director of clinical services for Blind River District Health Centre and as professor in the health sciences programs at Collège Boréal’s Sudbury campus.

Family Day city service schedule: Reduced rates at ski hills, pools and arenas:

The City of Greater Sudbury has released information about city services over the Family Day long weekend. Municipal ski hills, pools, arenas and outdoor rinks will offer reduced rates and free recreation opportunities for Family Day on Monday, Feb. 17. Visit for hours, or phone 311. GOVA Transit buses will follow a holiday service schedule on Family Day. Visit for the holiday transit schedule or phone 705-675-3333. Garbage, recycling and green cart collection will follow regular operating hours on Family Day, as will landfills and the recylcing centre. Tom Davies Square will be closed, along with citizen service centres and libraries and Greater Sudbury youth centres.

Sudbury's $5.3M Catalyst Fund gives entrepreneurs a leg up:

Some local business start-ups will get a leg up through a new pool of money called the Sudbury Catalyst Fund. The fund, a five-year pilot project, is being administered by the Nickel Basin Development Corporation and its community partners, which include the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and NORCAT. Funding for the project comes from FedNor ($3.3 million) the Nickel Basin Development Corporation ($1 million) and the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation ($1 million). The fund is designed to help “businesses that want to either start up in Sudbury or expand in the Sudbury area,” said Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre at the Feb. 12 launch of the fund. These aspiring businesspeople have great ideas, but sometimes they need access to capital, and sometimes the bank will not give it to them, he said. Full story here.

Friday Weather:

We will break out of the deep freeze that hit Sudbury on Thursday, but it's still going to be chilly. Sunny to start the day, becoming a mix of sun and cloud later in the morning. Thursday's high will be around -14, feeling like -20 with the wind chill. Partly cloudy tonight with a 60 per cent chance of flurries. Temperature rising to -11 by morning. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at