Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
GSPS reviewing processes after bad warrants led to charges being dropped against accused doctor:
Greater Sudbury Police said it is examining its internal processes after nine child porn-related charges against a Sudbury nephrologist were withdrawn by the Crown attorney’s office on Oct. 7. Dr. Ian MacDonald was arrested and charged with seven counts of accessing child pornography and two counts of possession child pornography in May 2019 after Greater Sudbury Police had received a tip from the hospital about suspicious activity on a computer in the hospital. At the end of September, Ontario Court Justice Heather-Ann Mendes ruled search warrants issued following the seizure and subsequent search of MacDonald’s office computer were facially invalid. The warrants “exceeded the authority that was intended to be granted,” Mendes wrote in her ruling. As well, during pretrial motions held in July, the court heard after MacDonald was arrested, a detective with the Internet and Child Exploitation unit who was leading the investigation asked MacDonald for passwords to his computer before MacDonald had a chance to speak with a lawyer. Detective Constable Chris Kerr with the GSPS was the officer in question. MacDonald then hired Toronto-based lawyer Michael Lacy, who said in his pretrial motions his client's rights were violated when that happened, calling it “unconstitutional and unlawful practice,” as he was told the officer had been trained this way. Get the full story here.
Building pandemic resiliency: We can’t control COVID, but we can control our reactions:
People who are stressing out about the COVID-19 pandemic could consider building some mental resilience techniques to help them get through the ups and downs they might experience. That was part of the advice provided during a lunch hour video conference event on Wednesday. The webinar, Building Resiliency in Uncertain Times, was the sixth and final installment of the Feed Your Brain Lunch and Learn Series presented by Workplace Safety North (WSN) in Sudbury. WSN community engagement specialist Angele Poitras, who hosted the event, said resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty. Get the full story here.
Gentili: Reining in payday lenders and the Le Ledo nothingburger:
Sudbury.com managing editor Mark Gentili digs into council's decision to push back against payday lenders in his latest column. In addition, Gentili also touches on the proposed Le Ledo development in the downtown. "City council takes a lot of criticism, and rightly so, but when it comes to Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland’s member’s motion directing staff to find ways of reining in payday lenders in the city, they made the right move," writes Gentili. "Not only can financially vulnerable people get locked into a vicious cycle, but payday lenders are increasingly becoming a place of last resort for people struggling to stay solvent. Rather than providing the assistance a person needs, though, the payday loans provide a new hole for borrowers to fall into." Read the full column here.
No immediate solution to gaps in services and supports for city's vulnerable population says Bigger:
Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger met with the newly-established task team on Friday, in what he says was a very productive day. The task team was announced by mayor last week in the wake of a pair of violent incidents including a fatal stabbing on Elm Street on Oct. 14. "As a group we are learning from each other and our shared expertise will allow us to approach very difficult issues like housing, homelessness, systemic racism, the opioid crisis, as well as mental health and addictions supports as a unified and determined team," said Bigger in a statement issued on Friday. "However, there are gaps in service and support, and this is an area we are identifying and working to find solutions for - but it there is no immediate, easy or simple solution." You can read the mayor's full statement here.
Public Health Sudbury tells LTC Commission better preparedness would have saved lives:
Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) is the only Northern Ontario health unit to speak to Ontario's Long Term Care COVID-19 Commission, which has been holding public hearings since the first week of September. The Commission released its first interim report this month, calling for the hiring of more front-line staff in long-term care homes, enough to provide a minimum daily average of four hours of direct care per patient per day. The PHSD presentation was not made public until the Commission revealed a list of the presentations last week. Sudbury.com requested and received a copy of the presentation. It was on October 19 that PHSD told the commission that the North benefited from "being last" for the actual introduction of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) because it allowed for "heightened vigilance" as well as being able to forecast and learn from other jurisdictions. Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the PHSD Medical Officer of Health, spoke to the commission along with Stacey Laforest, the PHSD director of health protection. Find the full story here.
Dozens of vendors expected when Winter Market opens Oct. 31:
If you’re a big fan of the farmer’s market, here’s some good news — the local market will continue even though the cold weather is now here. The opening day for the Winter Market is this Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Southridge Mall. The Winter Market will operate 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays in the hallway and one of the units near the former Treasure Hunt store until at least Dec. 19 (2021 dates have yet to be announced). Because the opening day falls on Halloween, the market is planning a Trick-or-Treat at the Market event — many vendors will have candy, so don’t forget to dress up and bring a bag. There will also be a draw for market patrons. More on this story here.