Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
5:47 AM EDT
2014-08-28 at 16:32

Keeping students safe

City of Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
City of Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs.
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Mayor Keith Hobbs says he and Nishnawbe Aski Nation leadership have met, their first priority being to ensure students arriving in town next week from remote communities stay safe.

Hobbs, who called out NAN leadership earlier this summer, imploring them to join the city’s crime prevention council in the wake of a recent spate of Aboriginal on Aboriginal homicides and violent crime, said progress was made on that front too.

However he said no commitment has yet been made on NAN’s part.

“We had a very frank, open discussion,” Hobbs said Thursday afternoon.

“The major item was safety in the city and keeping students safe that are coming down from northern communities for school. That was a hot topic; and just what’s going on in the city crime-wise and working together to find solutions to make this city safer for everyone.”

Aboriginal officials are still awaiting an inquest into the death of seven First Nations teenagers, a process that has been halted by the jury-roll process and a lack of Native representation.

As a result, it’s been pushed back until at least 2015, if and when the issue at hand is resolved.

In a joint statement released by NAN and the City of Thunder Bay, Grand Chief Harvey Yesno said it’s both sides goal to build a welcoming community for all.

“The safety and success of our young people who will soon arrive in town to attend high school is of paramount concern to us, our First Nations and especially the families of these students, and I am pleased that the city has reaffirmed its commitment to work with us to create a welcoming environment for them,” Yesno said.

The two sides say they will take part in a number of upcoming initiatives and will welcome incoming students from remote communities together next week at an orientation session at the Victoria Inn on Sept. 5 and Marina Park the following day.

Hobbs said the tragic deaths have to stop.

“We’ve been fortunate the last couple of years that it hasn’t happened,” the mayor said. “So we’re doing meet-and-greets at the school. I’m frequently at Dennis Franklin Cromarty School talking to youth and we’re going to continue with that initiative.”

Hobbs added both NAN and the city are going to direct the teens to resources that are available, places where they can go to get help and services.

He’s hopeful it’s just the beginning.

“We’re going have future meetings, which is good to see. We talked about the crime convention council too and being a part of that. Although they didn’t commit totally to it, they’re going to discuss it.”


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snotzky says:
Hey look at your calendars folks. It must be close to election time. Hobbs making promises he can't fulfil. Walkabout Wed? Yeah, I think he did 2 of them. I would imagine as it gets closer to election time, we can expect him to do 1 more on a Wed. Hobbs should worry about our local youth, he wasn't elected to worry about all the reserves and who they send to the big smoke (Thunder Bay). Please Hobbsy, spare us the past police stories and just retire. Hopefully the fall election will make him do just that.
8/31/2014 8:36:11 AM
ranma says:
Kam River, meanwhile they ignore the plight of the adults that have come to live in our city and are homeless? Sounds to me like NAN is picking which of their people to protect, and which to ignore. NAN is supposed to be there for EVERYONE that is a member, not just the kids.
8/30/2014 1:56:03 AM
hopeville says:
Hey Glass half full? When you say that Hobbs should worry about the kids that live here as well. Does that include the First Nation kids that already live here? I'm interested in your response.
8/29/2014 11:04:27 AM
CM Punk says:
Hobbs, you are the mayor and are supposed to look after the safety of all your citizens, not just the ones coming from remote northern communities.

This clown will not get my vote for sure.
Too may meetings, consultations and red tape and nothing is really being done.

As far as Rob Ford goes, he is a better mayor aiming at keeping taxes low and not wasting money at city hall. Which is something this council and city could learn doing as well.
8/29/2014 10:02:31 AM
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spazz says:
I must have missed the part where he said that he didn't care about anybody else and this was the only program that was being put into place in the city.

This sort of response to what should be a positive story is ridiculous knee-jerk grandstanding.

Move to T.O. and smoke crack with Rob Ford if he's doing such a fantastic job. Just make sure you change your username first.
8/29/2014 1:39:05 PM
kurt says:
keith - your hole run for mayor speech was something along the lines of ... "im gonna keep thunder bay safe " ... well you did a horrible job , and should not talk the talk , if you can not walk the walk .
8/29/2014 8:14:21 AM
djs says:
As someone who has taught on a northern reserve, I am always thrilled when the students are willing to leave their reserves and come to school in Thunder Bay. The transition for most of them is extremely stressful and it is easy for them to succumb to peer pressure or fall into a depression. Since we still seem to see the need in this province for segregated schools by religion, race, and language, the onus needs to be on having the students work and play with each other through involvement in sports, music, drama, art, etc. after school. The boards and the NAN need to agree to give ALL students a chance to overcome racial and religious opinions by enjoying activities where all are welcome. If we keep promoting the separation of cultures, we also promote the negative beliefs about the cultures--any change has to start with the youth, but they need to be brought together for this to happen.
8/29/2014 7:49:21 AM
unknowncronik says:
"However he said no commitment has yet been made on NAN’s part"

-->So with all these NAN people coming to our town to attend school year after year, you would think there would be something in place already??
But no....they wait until the issue is so big, then just TALK about what needs to be done...
8/29/2014 7:18:08 AM
glass half full says:
Mr Hobbs was asleep the past four years and now he is on his fight the crime kick? First of all he's worried about the kids from up north who are coming here to school? Worry about our own as well. Secondly he hopes to see more police on the streets? Do something about it.! Instead of spending a million dollars on FWFN roads invest it on policeing the streets. Thirdly dictate to the police to enforce laws such as drunks in public and loitering. I constantly see drunks and loiters around town at all hours of the day, police do not even slow down to look twice at the situation.
Mr Hobbs you were aweful cop who's decisions are still costing us money and even a worse mayor with a big mouth. What happens to your Wednesday walk abouts around town? Just go away "ford" oops I mean Hobbs !
8/28/2014 10:46:08 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Stay away from the gangs and be respectful to the other northern communities students who are attending your school . Coming here for school is a big deal in your lives , don't blow it , the reserve is a one way street to nowhere . Make your Elders proud .
8/28/2014 8:07:05 PM
whodo says:
We all need to be safe.
We all need to have a safe place to live.
8/28/2014 7:02:27 PM
Kam River says:
NAN leadership has a maturity and people skill Hobbs lack. Instead of reacting to Hobbs attack they reached out of the citizen of Thunder Bay to help keep their children safe. Like all parents they know that their most important duty is to keep their children safe when returning to school. A lesson Hobbs has yet to learn.
8/28/2014 6:16:02 PM
signman says:
Keeping our city safe for everyone is a must as the present situation is not acceptable to anyone young or old.
8/28/2014 5:14:18 PM
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