At the bottom of all of our local stories, readers now have the option of submitting feedback. Here's what BayToday readers had to say about what was making news over the last week:
"Dr Chirico notes in his Jan. 20 update 'It is still under pressure. This week, in Ontario, we've seen the hospital occupancy increase by 20 per cent. ICU occupancy has increased by 84 and there are over 800 patients that are being ventilated for COVID-related and non-COVID-related issues.'
In the NBPS health unit we have seen Active Cases diminish slightly over the past week, and hospitalizations remain at stable at 2 in the region. Locally, these numbers are generally better than provincial averages and there is nothing to suggest that the area be in higher restrictions than the provincial mandate. If Dr Chirico believes that further restrictions are necessary in the province, perhaps he should apply to be the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health. North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit should be in lockstep with provincial restrictions on Jan. 31."
- Steve R.
"I'm afraid Don will still get angry results from his article. Many people just will never understand the basics of a viable country. I'm 81 now and remember when I was a teenager immigration in North Bay was mainly from Italy. Many of these people came without knowing a word of English. Now they are productive members of our town. The same will happen when the immigrants arriving now have had time to become productive members of North Bay. Already as Don mentioned there are many who have bought or started a business and now employ many other people.
I have travelled across the country but also travelled north in Ontario. It isn't hard to see that we have lots of room for more people and more people mean more taxes and that we all benefit as a country. It seems so simple to me that more people means more prosperity for all."
- Georgette S.
"I recently noticed, along with my neighbours, the significant increase in vagrancy occurring up and down our street and everything that comes with it. From car break-ins, to property theft of bbqs, generators, yard furniture, etc, to waking up to find a homeless person sleeping in our porch, or on the lawn. We are finding needles and human waste in our yards and on the sidewalk. Some neighbours have taken it upon themselves to put a garbage bin outside for these people, collect and dispose of that trash daily.
There was a daily barrage of homeless people walking up and down the street screaming and yelling at myself and neighbours, due to mental illness. One young male approached me screaming in a rage 'what are you looking at your f'ing b*tch?' He was yelling at the top of his lungs. I had no way to defend myself, except for the shovel I was doing yard work with. Had he come any closer I would have had to resort to using it. Another male was urinating outside, on the sidewalk, with his private parts on display for all to see. It was disgusting and alarming. Watching highly intoxicated people regularly staggering around in the middle of the street in front of my house was also unnerving because sometimes they would look at me with interest. Other times I was targeted directly by vagrants and drunks or drug users as they would come up to me in the yard or come up to my porch if they saw me sitting outside to ask me if I could give them $20 or $5, or try to sell me bagged takeout from the soup kitchen. Rummaging through our recycling was a weekly endeavour as I had to watch a couple in particular compete for the best stuff by trying to get to the recycle bins first.
All of this happened all summer long on Victoria Street West and Cassells Street. The police regularly drive by my house on their way to the station or out to answer an emergency with lights on. There's no point in calling the police for any of these concerns because they are too busy with everything else.
I have been working for Corrections Canada for 20+ years. I know what real criminals are and the potential to be victimized randomly or otherwise. I have a full understanding of recidivism because as a Parole Officer it was my job to assess risk for release into the community. As a university graduate I understand the sociological perception of crime regarding the purpose for the completion of these regular surveys. Other than using this opportunity as an outlet for my concerns, I have been routinely blown off by the Mayor's Office at City Hall with regard to my stated concerns. I heard the Mayor doesn't even live in North Bay. I also heard a rumour that the increase in homeless people in North Bay is the result of homeless people coming to North Bay from Toronto, as part of a deal struck between Mayors to balance out the homeless numbers across several cities. I don't know if that's true or not. But I can assure you that until the previous summer we have never seen so many vagrants/homeless, and these people don't look like they are from around here.
I can't even go into my yard without something happening with these people regularly trafficking in and around our area. I'm a Peace Officer, a Parole Officer retired, I have a working knowledge/perspective, understand public safety, crime and criminals, and even I don't feel safe. And there's nothing I can do about it except sell my house and try to find a safer place to live. If that even exists anymore."
- Annette R.
"There are tests that take 20 minutes just like the ones students were required to use why not school staff?? No reason for more than normal sick time with testing available. Give teachers and support staff tests to take home, neg test, report to work like always positive report to be retested at Health Unit. Teachers have many paid sick days and would not hurt them at all to report in sick, just the kids and parents will suffer."
"The fact that Tanya did not vote at the end of the process does not rectify her conflict. She is the budget chief and as such set up the funding structure. She is the most important political enabler of the significant increase in the budget. She works for DNSSAB. Her bosses at DNSSAB are all grateful for her participation in the enactment of this increase in funding. Her fellow workers are grateful. She should have no part in setting City budgets. Her abstention in the final vote is superficial and meaningless."
"The union should realize they are not an important player in the education of our children. First and foremost are the parents of the children who attend schools; then the taxpayers who fund the entire system as represented by elected officials; then the teachers and educators who make the schools and teaching programs work. The union only represents the unionized educators (teachers) in negotiations of salary and work conditions, so really have no say in how our children get taught."
"For a prisoner to have Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, OCD comorbid with opioid addiction and not be in hospital is extremely rare.
It's quite possible this man was, in fact, in hospital. However, if he was violent, hostile toward staff, threatening or persistently uncontrollable, it would’ve been too much of a safety risk for everyone.
This man’s challenge certainly seems to be a crucible. The removal of methadone, placing him in isolation, and not allowing him the use of a phone will push him to the edge.
The word 'crisis' in Chinese is often misunderstood as the character 'opportunity over danger.' It is not. The correct translation is 'opportunity' over 'change point.'
It’ll be difficult for many to see. But this man’s situation will crack open a shell, and allow him to move out of the hell he’s living in.
His lesson may very well be that externalizing pain can no longer be an option. Looking within may possibly be his only salvation to sanity, sobriety and healing."