$50,723 for Every Breakfast Counts

A team effort and tremendous support from our community has secured the operation of Every Breakfast Counts for the summer of 2018 and the summer of 2019. In just three weeks, we raised $50,723, far exceeding our target of $25,000.

This would not have been possible without contributions from businesses, organizations and citizens, along with help from our partners: Algoma Family Services, Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services and the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District.

This spring, staff in my office approached me with a question: what happens to the local students who depend on breakfast programming provided at school for a meal to begin the day?

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A busy June; local volunteers and our caring community making a difference

There are a lot of great things happening in our community and I want to recognize the efforts of the people behind the scenes working hard to make these things happen.

In the past few days alone events taking place locally have included: the Queen Street Cruise, Relay for Life, a World Refugee Day celebration, National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Anishinaabe Day celebrations, the ARCH Summer Solstice Garden Party and the Bellevue Park Splash Pad groundbreaking. It takes a lot of hard work from dedicated volunteers to put on these events, events that offer fun activities and raise support for important local causes.

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Highlighting a positive trend that bodes well for our community

I have noticed a trend developing in our community, and I want to draw attention to this trend in the hope of encouraging support and fostering future growth. There is a cool cluster of local businesses in our community, and many of the new businesses contributing to this cluster are owned and operated by local woman.

Just to name a few examples (my apologies if I am missing any businesses) from the past year plus: BRIEMAKESSPACES (Brie Gallagher), Canadian Shield Ceramics (Donna Michelle Mercier), Creative Nest Studio (Diane Petainen), Discover the Canvas (Katrina Thibodeau), Feeding Your Soul Cafe (Mary Greenwood), Golden Child Kitchen (Angela Caputo), J.Caroline’s (Jane McGoldrick), Lavish Salon (Olivia Braido), Powder Room Beauty Bar (Elise Millard), InSPAration Float Centre (Stacey Lampe), Rasoi – The Indian Kitchen (Neeta Marwah), Ivory Lane Collective (Amanda Carchidi), Scott Coffee Co. (Sarah Huckson), Shabby Motley (Ashleigh Sauve), The Healing Loft (Anne-Marie Caicco, Sarah Fratesi and Sheila Paluzzi) and Vibe Eatery & Juice Co. (Kristy Rachowski).

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Silver Ribbon Gala in support of the Sault Ste. Marie and Area Drug Committee

It was good to see a strong turnout at last night’s Silver Ribbon Gala. The gala was the first ever fundraising event for the Sault Ste. Marie and Area Drug Committee. The work of committee members in support of front line staff is important, and in turn it is important for the community to show support for the staff who are offering help and hope to people who need it most.

The gala was also a chance for attendees to wear a silver ribbon in an effort to combat the stigma unfortunately still associated with mental health and addictions, which is something that touches all of us. No matter our job, or social circle, or personal means, we have all dealt with, or we all deal with, mental health and addiction challenges; whether they are our own, or those of people that we love, or people that are in proximity to us on a day-to-day basis, these challenges are present in each of our lives and each of us contends with them to varying degrees.

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Ontario utility costs, a comparison

I have been serving on the PUC Boards (PUC Inc., PUC Services and PUC Distribution) and the water commission (PUC) since shortly after I was elected in 2014.  I want to recognize the hard work of rest of the directors who sit on the Boards with me, along the management team and staff at the PUC group of companies.

We have done a lot of good work over the past few years and we have been mindful of and focused on the cost of water and power to our consumers.  We recognize that with the rising cost of electricity, it is becoming more and more difficult to pay your PUC bill.  We have, where we can and with the help of City Council, tried to reduce the burden as best we can.

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A Smart Cities strategy focused on Sault Ste. Marie’s youth

The City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Smart Cities challenge application has been submitted and it is focused on youth.

This competition is an exciting opportunity to address some challenging socio-demographic issues. The City believes we are the best suited to develop and implement a smart cities strategy to address them. Sault Ste. Marie has a history of being a maker-community; we are a trailhead community at the heart of the Great Lakes and we have some important community assets that we are ready to build upon.

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Humboldt Strong

I want to take a moment to recognize the incredible kindness and generosity our community has demonstrated all week, but really emphasized at Friday night’s Soo Greyhounds game in response to the Humboldt Bronco tragedy.

City staff and Arthur Funeral Home organized a condolence book that Saultites from across our community have signed and we will be sending that to Humboldt next week.

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Addressing Ontario’s immigration imbalance

An important Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) meeting was held in Sault Ste. Marie this week.

NOLUM is calling for remedial action from the Federal and Provincial Governments to address Ontario’s immigration imbalance

Provincial population projections released by the Ontario Ministry of Finance in 2017 indicate Ontario’s population is expected to grow during the period of 2016 to 2041, but Northern Ontario is projected to see an overall decrease from 797,000 to 782,000. In terms of provincial population share, the Northeast is expected to drop from 4.3% to 3% and Northwest from 1.8% to 1.3%.

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W5 Documentary – Opioid Epidemic

I have received a number of Facebook messages, emails and telephone calls since last night’s airing on W5 of the Vice Media production “Steel Town Down”.  Some have been concerned with how the documentary portrayed our community, some with what the City is/is not doing to address the issues raised in the documentary and some with what I did/did not know about opioid abuse in our community.  To put it simply, the responses that I have received have been very mixed but consistently concerned.  I thought it would be helpful to offer my perspective.  

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