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What's Your Opinion?
Do you think an electronic billboard is a good idea on the harbourfront?

No, it will cause too many accidents
No, there is a bylaw prohibiting it
No, it's bright and ugly
No, they belong in Las Vegas
No, CP should have to take all the old signs down
Rules are rules...variances are for hypocrites.
Yes, I think it would benefit Kenora
Yes, I enjoy watching people hit head on
Yes, Kenora needs to look more like a brothel


Votes: 790
Comments: 11
News & Current Events
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Kenora Online News
Kenora resident cleans up Lakeview Drive
LindaDelamereLinda Delamere cleans Lakeview Drive almost everyday from Cameron Bay to Casey's.

With the snow quickly melting away one Kenora resident is traveling up and down Lakeview Drive picking up garbage. Linda Delamere spoke about why she thinks its important to keep the city clean.

"It just was too messy. There was too much litter and we're a tourist town so we need to be pretty. So I started doing it several years ago and I've adopted this stretch, it's mine and I am still doing it," she said.

For roughly 9 years Delamere has been traveling up and down Lakeview Drive picking up the litter. Delamere walks from Cameron Bay to Casey's almost daily. She spoke about whether or not shes seen a change in the amount of garbage in the last few years.

"There's been a decrease. I know it looks really awful right now there's a lot of litter around but in general it's better. People are being more responsible," she said.

After a few years of simply volunteering her own supplies Delamere signed up with the city's Adopt-a-Block program. They supplied her with a garbage picker and bags. She said the businesses along her stretch have been extremely supportive and let her use their dumpsters. She added that if they see she has a full bag they take that one and offer her a new one.

Delamere said this spring is going to be a tough cleanup.

"The snow covered up a lot of sins, which are beginning to show now. It was impossible to keep up with it because it was covered over all the time. So kind of gave up in the winter so now it's big time clean up," she said.

For more information:
City launches Green Leaf Campaign
Clean up, clean up

Dingwall Ford parking lot flooded
Ford FloodDingwall Ford's parking lot was completely flooded this morning. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON METAIL)

It's a sure sign of spring when parking lots turn into lakes. Dingwall Ford's parking lot is now completely under water. Sales Manager Cam Dingwall spoke about what they had to do after they woke up to the flood this morning.

"We moved our whole lot to the other side. About 40 to 50 vehicles we had to move," he said.

Dingwall said the flood must have happened overnight or early in the morning. He added that a service adviser sent him a text this morning with a photo of the flood. Unfortunately, he said it happens every year.

"Every spring just depending on if the ditch is plugged up at the back or everything's frozen and then thaws. Just happens every year it seems like," he said. "We have to wait till the city gets the water flowing again. So as soon as we got into work we gave them a call and they're all over the place now."

For more information:
Business owner deals with flood
Seagulls are back in Kenora

Walk for Wildlife on Earth Day
BurrowingOwlThe burrowing owl is this year's highlighted endangered species for the Walk for Wildlife (PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION)

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is encouraging people across Canada to get involved this Earth Day. Next Tuesday they are hosting a Walk for Wildlife which can be done in any community across the country.

Whether it's an organized event or just a walk with your dog, the Wildlife Federation wants to see your photos. They are encouraging people to use the hashtag #giveahoot while uploading their photos to Twitter or Instagram.

"We want Canadians to show they #giveahoot about conserving wildlife," said CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President Wade Luzny. "Our country is blessed with amazing wildlife. Regrettably, too many of these species are at risk because of human and environmental pressures. By joining in CWF’s Walk for Wildlife, you will be supporting our work to help species at risk, like the burrowing owl and exploring the natural world right in your own backyard. What a great way to celebrate Earth Day."

Schools, businesses and anyone in the community can register their walk at They are hoping to raise awareness for endangered species including this year's mascot the burrowing owl.

For more information:
Canadian Wildlife Federation
Walk for Wildlife - CWF

Simple explanation for extra $1 million in Catholic Board budget
poirier - april 15The Kenora Catholic District School Board met on Tuesday.

The Kenora Catholic District School Board released its Grants for Students Needs budget at their board meeting this week. The funding for the next school year is up by almost a million dollars. However, Director of Education, Phyllis Eikre says it's simply a shuffling of funding and not an increase.

"The reasoning behind that is because the funding for full-day kindergarten was in a grant separate from the GSN and now it has been rolled into the GSN. So for that it means between $900,000 and $1 million that would be added into our operating budget," she said. "As well they have put the funding for our Mental Health Lead position into the GSN and previously it had been in a different grant. So that's why it appears that our funding is so much higher for 2014 and 2015."

Eikre added that there will be no changes under the transition as both programs have been running for numerous years.

"The full-day kindergarten program has been in place for four years already so it won't make any changes it's just funded in a different place. The Mental Health Lead has also been in place for years it was again just funded from a different place," she said.

The board released the Grants for Student Needs budget at their last board meeting.

For more information:
School Board considers energy plan
Board agrees with school after labour day

OPP reminding people to be cautious on ice
Ice meltingWith warmer temperatures during the day, Lake of the Woods and other lakes in the area are starting to open up.

The OPP are reminding people to be careful on the ice. Constable Ronni Grosenick spoke about why this time of year can be dangerous for people traveling out on the ice.

"The biggest thing to remember about ice conditions at this time of year is that they can change rapidly. They can change hour to hour especially if you go out in the morning and you're coming back in the afternoon. The landing that you left from may not be there when you come back," she said.

Some ice fishers are still eagerly getting in the last fishing of the season. Grosenick gave a few pointers to help ensure they stay safe.

"Have a plan before you go, carry safety equipment and let somebody know where you're going and when you expect to be back," she said.

For more information:
Lifesaving Society - Ice tips
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Ice thickness tips

City launches Green Leaf Campaign
GarbageCollectorsFrom left, Arlene Wilcox, Mayor Dave Canfield and Michelle Livingston, owner of Island Girl, help clean up the city.

With Earth Day taking place next Tuesday the City of Kenora is hoping to clean up the downtown area. Adopt-a-Block organizer Arlene Wilcox has teamed up with Lisa Lyle at Harbourtown Biz to get businesses into the Green Leaf Campaign.

"What the Green Leaf Campaign is, is we're encouraging downtown businesses to look after their storefront area in front and behind their store. For any businesses that do that we've got a little green leaf to put in their door or window. That will also remind people downtown not to throw their garbage on the sidewalk or on the street but to use the garbage cans or the blue boxes," said Wilcox.

Businesses who sign up will also receive a garbage picker as well as garbage bags to use to collect any litter. Wilcox spoke about why it's important to have a clean city.

"It's important to keep the city clean because it's a reflection of who we are. My husband and I travel a lot and one of the first things we notice when we got to a town is 'look how clean it is' or 'oh my goodness look how dirty it is,'" she said. "I think this time of year is important because the tourists aren't here yet, it's our town and I think it's important that we respect our city and then hopefully other people will respect it too."

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield thinks the campaign is an excellent idea. He said he gets extremely annoyed when he sees people littering.

"We started a real aggressive cleaning the city program in 2000 when we amalgamated. We've come along way but we still have a long way to go because there are still litterbugs. I just say to the public if you see someone littering embarrass them. Catch them and embarrass them and make them clean it up because there is no need for it," he said.

Lyle and Wilcox are hoping to have as many businesses as possible sign up in time to get out and cleaning for Earth Day next week.

For more information:
Clean Up, Clean Up
Harbourtown Biz

Kindergarten games night at Evergreen
GamesNightKindergarten students and their parents enjoyed games night last night at Evergreen Public School.

Parents were invited to the classroom yesterday to join in a games night with their children at Evergreen Public School. Kindergarten teacher and organizer Shelley Penner spoke about how she thought the night was going.

"Great actually we had to go and grab some games from the Grade 1 room because we had more parents than we expected. I think the parents are really excited. They've all played numerous games, I think I see a little girl on her fourth game right now. They're also bringing home a game they've prepared ahead of time. They're bringing home their dice and their counters and they've practiced beforehand so they're excited to show their parents," she said.

This is the first time Evergreen has organized a games night for the kindergarten students. Penner said it's all about combining the home life and the school life.

"We really want our parents to feel comfortable in our classroom. We have an open door policy and our parents are encouraged to come for lunchtime. They don't need an appointment beforehand they can drop in and work with their children throughout the day, any day that works for them. We do think it's important and we want to encourage them so then they know what they are learning and what they're interested in and they can continue it at home," she said.

Penner said the homemade games were specific to each child's math skills. Parents could play that game with their child before moving on to numerous other games. Penner said she thinks this is something they'll definitely do again.

For more information:
Evergreen wraps up magazine fundraiser

Red Light Green Light playing tonight at Seven Gens

Canadian filmmakers Jay and Michelle Brock will present their newest documentary Red Light Green Light, tonight at Seven Generations in Kenora. The Kenora Sexual Assault Centre partnered with Women's Place Kenora, the Ontario Native Women's Association, the L.O.W. Sexual Assault/Partner Abuse & SafeKids Programs, WNHAC, Seven Generations and the Kenora Substance Abuse and Mental Health Task Force to bring the film to the community.

The documentary delves into the world of human trafficking and looks at prevention methods. After the screening there will be a discussion about the issue.

"As you know, human trafficking is an issue in many Canadian cities, including the corridor between Winnipeg, MB and Thunder Bay, ON.  This film helps address some of the biggest questions that Canadians are asking today," said Centre Director of the Kenora Sexual Assault Centre, Mercedes Alarcon.

The documentary will start at 7 o'clock in the gymnasium. Anyone is welcome to attend.

For more information:
Kenora Sexual Assault Centre
Focus on human trafficking in Kenora

SMB students sells bracelets for fundraiser
BraceletsFrom left, Leah Robertson, Stephanie Pedersen, Caelyn Taylor, Halle Tyrrell, Abby Dent and Lauren Robertson sold bracelets to raise money for the Winnipeg Children's Hospital.

A group of students from Ecole Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys sold bracelets yesterday to raise money for the Winnipeg Children's Hospital. Stephanie Pedersen explained what kind of bracelets they were selling.

"There really simple you just make them out of elastic bands and they're really fashionable too. You can make charms with them, bracelets, necklaces, they're easy to wear and really comfortable," she said.

Pedersen, Leah Robertson, Caelyn Taylor, Halle Tyrrell, Abby Dent and Lauren Robertson all volunteered their time to make the bracelets and set up a booth in the school's hallway to sell them. Pedersen explained why they wanted to sell the bracelets in the first place.

"Me and my friend Abby have been talking about doing stuff for a long time but we've never gotten to. But then we actually got to have this fundraiser and I'm really happy about that," she said.

At $1.50 each the girls guessed they had sold over 100 by mid-afternoon. Leah Robertson spoke about how she thinks they did.

"I think we did a really good job on them because we made lots of different types and lost have different colours. We sold quite a few and when we started selling them we actually sold out so we had to make more," she said.

The bracelet fundraiser also coincided with funky hat day.

For more information:
Students at SMB discuss PALS program
Beach Day a hit at SMB

Dryden residents can register to vote online
ballot box - drydenthe City of Dryden is encouraging its residents to register to vote online.

The City of Dryden is encouraging residents to sign up online for the upcoming municipal and school board elections. Dryden has switched to from the old Municipal Enumeration Form mail-in system in order to increase efficiency.

The organization responsible for compiling the Preliminary List of Electors used by municipalities to create the final Voters' List recently upgraded to the online system. The city assured that is a secure online service which residents can use to confirm their information is accurate and up-to-date.

"An accurate, up-to-date list of electors helps the City of Dryden administer smooth elections, and it also ensures that your Vote by Mail package is delivered right to you to vote this fall," said City of Dryden Acting Clerk Debra Kincaid.

The city is also hoping the new system will increase the return rate which was only 40% under the mailing system. Electors only need their basic information such as name, address, city and date of birth to confirm their eligibility for the upcoming elections. The information is only shared with municipalities for the purpose of creating the final Voters' List.

"At the end of the day is about improving electoral information delivery to municipalities. This means a more efficient and cost effective election taxpayers and that means a better services for all electors," said Kincaid.

For more information:
Dryden Mayor optimistic about 2014

New firehall complete in Sioux Lookout
forest fire - MNRA new fire hall was built in Sioux Lookout to help the Aviation, Forest Fires and Emergency Services branch at the Ministry of Natural Resources fight forest fires in the area. (FILE PHOTO)

Fire crews in Sioux Lookout will be working out of a new fire hall for the 2014 forest fire season.  Fire Management Supervisor with the Aviation, Forest Fires and Emergency Services branch at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Jack Welch, spoke about why they needed a new hall.

"We were operating out of a 50 year old facility. There was a number of different buildings where training would take place in one building, fire response was in a different building, we just weren't realizing our full potential," he said. "So everything is under one roof now, state of the art technology which allows to be become much more efficient and provide a better service to the people of Ontario."

Welch said construction on the building began a few years ago and now that the building is complete they are moved in and ready to go. He added that they still have to hire a few more staff but are not in any rush because of the prolonged spring.

"We will have 12 four person fire crews as well as approximately 20-25 overhead and support staff," said Welch.

He said from the building they will be coordinating fire suppression efforts for forest fires around the Sioux Lookout area as well as the neighbouring First Nations. The building is in the same location as the former building but just a couple hundred yards away. Overall Welch is very happy with the construction.

"It's nice. It's built to Silver Lead Certification so there's solar panels for hot water heating. It's a very modern efficient building and I'm looking forward to operating here for the fire season," he said.

For more information:
Aviation, Forest Fires and Emergency Services - MNR
MNR on forest fires, fire hazard, hunting safety

Last gavel for Kenora's city clerk
mcmillin - canfield april 15City clerk Joanne McMillin receives gifts and tributes from Mayor Dave Canfield.

Kenora councillors paid tribute to their clerk yesterday. It was Joanne McMillin's last council meeting after 37 years of service. Mayor Canfield led yesterday's tributes.

"She's been our ombudsman since the new city," he said, referring to amalgamation 14 years ago. "She keeps us on the straight and narrow. It's a great learning experience for new councillors and mayors, because she won't let you get away with anything. It's all by the strict letter of the law."

McMillin joined the city right out of high school, stopping in every department along the way. She's also earned professional accreditations through a provincial association for clerks and treasurers.

Coun. Louis Roussin acknowledged the loss of McMillin's depth of knowledge and expertise, adding he'd worked with her since 1977.

mcmillin - canfield 2 april 15Coun. Sharon Smith paid tribute to McMillin's character, noting employees simply don't stay with the same employer for 37 years anymore.

Coun. Charito Gallivan echoed the compliments, saying the city's clerk and chief administrative officer have helped keep council on track for many years.

Coun. Ron Lunny said he looked forward to reading an unedited memoir, since McMillin had worked with so many strong and colourful personalities over the years. He also noted there was still time for McMillin to register for the fall municipal elections.

In her retirement, McMillin is hoping to spend lots of time at the lake, as well as travel to warmer destinations.

For more information:
Association Municipal Clerk Treasurers of Ontario

Pope John Paul delegation visits trustees
pjp - april 15A delegation from Pope John Paul II visit with trustees Tuesday night.

Furniture isn't the first thing that comes to mind, when talk about Grade Five. However, students from Pope John Paul in Kenora had good things to say about their new furnishings.

"It's really nice, because when we made the change, I felt more comfortable and I work better," she said.

Her classmate agrees.

"It's still pretty cool to have more flexible space and new stuff in our classroom," he said, referring to the movable tables.

Staff are also working with merchants at the new addition for Ecole Sainte-Marguerite Bourgeoys. Together, they've set up a demo classroom, where teachers and students can test out furnishings first, to make sure they're the right fit.

For more information:
Students help choose new furniture
Update on SMB expansion

School board considers energy plan
poirier - april 15Manager of operational services, Andrew Poirier, presents ideas for his five-year plan to trustees.

Trustees may have to spend, in order to save on their energy bills. Andrew Poirier manages building on behalf of the Kenora Catholic District School Board, and he says an investment of $1.8 million over five years could save them 35 per cent on their utility bills. He's hoping to give his plan to trustees, before they break for the summer.

Three years ago, the trustees worked with Honeywell towards a plan to save more than $35,000 a year through energy efficiencies. The company also offered savings to other school boards, as part of an overall program to help conserve energy and reduce the impact on the environment.

Since the province's schools spend more than $500 million a year on energy bills, there are programs that offer grants to help buildings become more energy efficient.

For more information:
Capital investments - Improving Ontario

Keewatin resident at 8 weeks without water
JoelleGreenJoelle Green has been without water for eight and a half weeks.

Joelle Green is one of only 15 residences left on Kenora's no-water list. She's been without water for eight and a half weeks now.

"It's been quite an adjustment for our family for sure. It's become very time consuming, the traveling to haul water and bathe the children has gotten to be a bit much. I think I spend more time hauling water than I do quality family time. I'm starting to miss my children a lot and I think my children miss me a lot," she said. "It has it's ups and downs and I have had a couple of mini-breakdowns."

Green and her partner have a six year old boy and an eight year old girl. She said not having water is taking its toll on everyone.

"I believe my eight year old had a small meltdown the other day. I've been having to say no to her friends coming over because that means extra hauling of water and flushing of the toilet. So she's quite upset in that aspect but my little guy is pretty easy going, so he's ok," said Green.

She said city crews visited her house once to try and thaw out the frozen pipes but unfortunately it didn't work. Since then she said it's only been her contacting them to ask when she'll get her water back.

"I didn't think it would be this long. We figured it would be maybe a week. In my opinion the city was not equipped to handle this type of winter. Hopefully we won't have the same kind of winter next year," she said. "I know they're doing the best they can with what they have but I'd like a little bit more to be done quicker."

As for the hardest part, Green had no hesitation when coming up with an answer.

"The toilet. It's the flushing of the toilet. If it's not done regularly our pipes smell and it smells like sewer. It's definitely the toilet, keeping it flushed and smelling good," she said.

For more information:
Only 15 buildings remain on no-water list
Frozen pipes still a problem

Students at SMB disucss PALS program
PALSJudi Underwood talks to students at Ecole Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys about PALS.

Children from Ecole Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys met with Health Educator Judi Underwood to discuss the PALS program yesterday. Student Mackenzie Butts explained a bit about the program.

"PALS is a program for little kids so we can play inside or outside. You play activities with them," she said.

The program is an initiative by the Northwestern Health Unit to encourage younger children to be active during their nutrition breaks, while also encouraging leadership from the older students who lead the activities.

"PALS stands for Playground Activities Leaders for Schools. We target students in Grade 5 and 6 and train them to be peer leaders," said Underwood.

The Health Unit has been running the program for five years and is running it this year at SMB and King Louis.

"I think it's really important for two reasons. One is that it gives an opportunity for students to be engaged in their school community, to take on a leadership role and learn skills that will help them throughout their life. It also provides an opportunity to increase physical activity in schools," said Underwood.

Mackenzie spoke about why she decided to volunteer.

"Because I like little kids and I like playing with them. They are really cute," she said.

For more information:
SMB celebrates Festival du Voyageur
Beach Day at hit at SMB

Seagulls are back in Kenora
SeagullsSeagulls have finally returned to the harbourfront.

The seagulls have returned to the harbourfront bringing with them the promise of spring. Kenora resident Rebecca Fair spoke about the seagulls finally returning.

"It's alright I guess. It's a sign that spring is coming back and it's getting warmer everyday," said Fair.

Despite the sun shining down yesterday, temperatures only reached a high of -3. However, the mercury is expected to rise above zero towards the end of the week for the Easter long weekend.

Sioux Narrows resident, Karen McNanney, said she's happy to see the birds back in Kenora as Sioux Narrows has no signs of spring yet.

"Thank goodness, at least it's the beginning sign of spring. I live in Sioux Narrows and I haven't seen any open water in Sioux Narrows yet but here there's a little bit of open water so that's sort  of nice," she said.

After a long and cold winter many residents are hoping for a quick and warm spring. Cory Johansen spoke about what she's looking forward to the most.

"The lake opening up. Let's get some water going here, some nice waves, let's get the boats out. Then everybody will be happier," she said.

While almost everyone was happy about spring one man did say he wasn't looking forward to summer as it meant returning to work.

For more information:
Local greenhouse begins planting
Spring at last?
Bears, skunks return from winter slumber

Kenora council defends decision on taxes
canfield - april 15Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield defends council's decision to keep taxes low, rather than spend more on its water system. The city continues to struggle with frozen and broken water pipes.

The city of Kenora has a plan to put aside money to help pay for improvements to their water system. However, the city didn't do that last year. Mayor Dave Canfield explains why.

"It's a balancing act. We did put an extra half per cent away towards infrastructure and the rebuilding of it. I've said it many times, you can have the greatest infrastructure in the world, but if you can't pay your property taxes, you can't afford to live here," he said.

At budget time, council decided to lower their spending, in an effort to offset recent increases in property assessment. The city's spending estimates dropped by four per cent this spring, after property assessments jumped by about six per cent.

Canfield is also hoping upcoming federal and provincial elections will help to loosen the purse strings on government grant programs. Earlier this year, Ottawa announced its Building Canada project, while Toronto offered a program of their own earlier this week.

For more information:
Showers free for those without water
Kenora water rates set to increase

52nd Annual Cottage Show and AGM for Property Owners Association
cottage showThe Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association is hosting their 52 Annual AGM and Cottage Show next Monday.

The Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association is hosting their 52nd Annual AGM and Cottage Show next Monday. Executive Director of the Property Owners Association, Susan McLeod spoke about what is expected for the Cottage Show.

"First of all we have over 100 exhibitors of area businesses and services all related to lake living there for the day. You can go and make an appointment and buy things and do whatever that you think is going to help you have more fun when you are spending time in the area," she said.

Each year this event draws more than 2500 visitors.

"The AGM is a great opportunity for our members to catch up on our activities, and to visit with friends and neighbours from the lake. It's really the first sign of summer for them," said Robert Bulman, President of LOWDPOA. "We also hope non-members who are passionate about the sustainability of the watershed will take this opportunity to learn more about us, and then get involved in our organization."

The exhibit floor will be open from 2:30 until 8:30 and the Annual General Meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30. In addition to the business of the meeting, keynote speaker Dyke Van Etten Williams will talk about the importance of reconnecting ourselves and our children with the great outdoors. Sustainable Resources - Sustainable Kids is the title of his presentation and it will help launch LOWDPOA's newest education program LOWDKids in the Wild.

"We truly feel we've got to be reaching to the next generation. It's really a communication program that will help them understand the outdoors and the ecosystems that live there and hopefully instill in them a feeling of preservation for generations to come," said McLeod.

McLeod added that through targeted activities and outdoor education LOWDKids in the Wild aims to help young people and their families gain a sense of ownership in the woods and waters, which is a major factor in maintaining and preserving the wild and natural places for every generation.

The Cottage Show and AGM are being held at the Victoria Inn Winnipeg and admission is free.

For more information:
Property Owners Cottage Show gallery
Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association

Apply for summer jobs now, LEAP
LEAP winterLEAP is encouraging all students to submit resumes for summer jobs now.

Universities and Colleges across Canada are beginning exam season as the school year comes to a close. For those students returning to Kenora for the summer, the time to apply for a summer job is now.

Summer Programs coordinator at the Lake of the Woods Employment Action Project, Kari Coughlin, spoke about when students begin to return.

"We do see a big influx of students returning end of April beginning of May. Then once the high school students come out in June we've got them competing (for jobs) as well," she said.

Coughlin spoke about when students should start submitting resumes and contacting businesses in Kenora.

"Immediately. That is one of the other services we offer for those that may not qualify for our programs. Our Resource and Information Centre offers assistance with resume and cover letter development, job searching and preparing them for the interview if they need that prep," she said.

Many restaurants and businesses had trouble finding workers once students returned to school last fall. However, once everyone returns to Kenora competition for a summer job can be difficult, especially for the coveted 9 to 5 weekday jobs.

Coughlin encouraged students to begin preparing as soon as possible and if they have any questions or need help to contact the LEAP office in Kenora.

For more information:
Lake of the Woods Employment Action Plan
LEAP still seeing effects after job bank shut down

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