Regional unemployment rate on the decline

New jobs in service industry, cuts to manufacturing, utility sectors

The unemployment rate continued to decline for the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula economic region from 4.4 per cent in September to 3.9 per cent in October, according to statistics from the Four County Labour Market Planning Board. The province also saw a decline of 0.3 per cent from 6.9 per cent to 6.6 per cent.

The board reported last week that job numbers in the region jumped by 4,000, from 146,300 in September to 150,300 last month. This growth was mainly driven by gains of 3,800, with a slight increase in full-time jobs.

The goods-producing sector saw a slight increase in jobs (300) while the service-producing sector saw an increase of 3,700 jobs. The goods-producing sector saw job gains (700) in both agriculture and construction, while manufacturing took another hit with 1,400 losses and utilities lost 300 jobs. Numbers for this sector will not tally, the board says, because of suppression of data in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas.

 Pinned in at carwash

Police responded to a theft report at the Walkerton Car Wash along Durham St. West in Walkerton just after 10 p.m., Nov. 1.

Officers arrived to find a black Volkswagen Jetta was in a wash bay and a white GMC pick-up truck was parked across the entrance of the wash bay. The Jetta’s tires were squealing, and it was up against the GMC pick-up truck.

The driver of the Jetta, a 24-year-old from Hanover, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving, assault with a weapon, possession of break-in tools and two counts of theft under $5,000. He was held in custody pending the results of the bail hearing scheduled for Nov. 2.

Touring tree

Municipal CAO recruitment process gets underway

By Barb McKay

The Municipality of Kincardine will contract a professional recruiter to assist with the hiring process for a new chief administrative officer (CAO).

Council agreed with a recommendation from its current CAO Murray Clarke during last Wednesday’s meeting to obtain outside help to fill the position that Clarke will vacate at the end of June 2017 when he retires.

Hoops Final Four here Friday

The Kincardine District Secondary School senior girls basketball team had a perfect 5-0 record on the line Monday afternoon in Hanover.

The Knights were looking to wrap up the regular season schedule with a win against the John Diefenbaker Secondary School Trojans.

KDSS has clinched first place overall in the Bluewater Athletic Association  South Division. That means Kincardine will have a quarter-final playoff game today (Wednesday) at home against the Saugeen District Secondary School Royals.

The Final Four is being hosted by KDSS this year, which means if the Knights win today they will play in a semi-final game at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The BAA championship would be settled with a one game showdown that will happen either at 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.



Trick or treat

More than 400 children converged on downtown Kincardine Saturday to take part in the BIA Spooktacular. From left are Lennon McIntyre, 3, Maggie Rowe, 7, Colden Dalton, 5, Oliver McIntyre, 7 and Owen Dalton, 3, who were picking up treats at West Shore. (Barb McKay photo)

 Bruce Telecom looks to distance itself from municipality

By Barb McKay

Bruce Telecom must convert to a municipal services corporation if it is to compete in the marketplace or else it will lose value over time.

That was the message to a small crowd gathered at the Davidson Centre on Thursday for a public meeting to discuss the future of the municipally-owned telecom. Approximately 40 people, including Bruce Telecom executives, board members, Municipality of Kincardine councillors and staff and members of the public came out to hear what the municipality and Bruce Telecom board intend to do with the company.

The company has essentially been in limbo since its planned sale to Eastlink was cancelled early last year – after the federal Competition Bureau determined that the sale would create a monopoly in the region – and was followed by a lengthy and costly arbitration (the last reported figure was $750,000).

Sobeys to sell wine, beer and cider

By Barb McKay

Kincardine Sobeys has been selected as one of 67 grocery stores in Ontario to begin selling select wine, beer and cider products.

Kincardine Sobeys workers unionize

By Barb McKay

Employees at Kincardine Sobeys voted last Tuesday night to join Unifor.

Representatives at the national office of Canada’s largest private sector union confirmed last Wednesday that staff voted to form a new bargaining unit that will include full-time and part-time employees, as well as students. Kincardine is only the second Sobeys location in Ontario to unionize. Unifor also represents workers at the Sobeys distribution centre in Whitby.

Jenny Ahn, assistant to the national secretary-treasurer of Unifor, said employees contacted the union back in the summer with concerns about their work environment.

“The scheduling and hours of work are all over the place,” she said. “Pay scales and wages are all over the place and unfair.”

Food bank visits expected to increase as winter approaches

By Barb McKay

As winter approaches and utility costs increase, so does use of the Kincardine food bank.

While the number of visits to the food bank at the Kincardine Anglican Church on Russell Street were not as high for the first 10 months of this year as they were for the same time period in 2015, volunteers expect to see an increase in traffic in the coming months.