Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Thursday, January 18, 2018

Today – A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High minus 4.

Tonight – Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 6.

Blood donor clinics upcoming in Wallaceburg and Dresden

Canadian Blood Services is holding a pair of blood donor clinics coming up in the community.

A clinic is being held at the UAW Hall in Wallaceburg from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 25.

A clinic is also being held at the Dresden Arena hall on Tuesday, January 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Indigenous student trustee position approved

Trustees for the Lambton-Kent District School Board (LKDSB) unanimously approved the appointment of an Indigenous student trustee position on the board, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, during the January 17, 2018 board meeting.

The LKDSB currently has two student trustees serving as members of the board.

However, trustees expressed support for adding an additional Indigenous student trustee position beginning in the 2018-2019 school year to further reflect Indigenous students’ perspectives in Board decisions.

Following a decision at the November 28, 2017 board meeting to explore the possibility, senior administration investigated the requirements in the Education Act for appointing an Indigenous student trustee, funding for the position, reviewed the LKDSB’s policies, regulations and administrative procedures, as well as consulted with Thames Valley District School Board, which is the first school board in Canada to elect an Indigenous student trustee.

Senior administration recommended LKDSB self-identified Indigenous secondary students elect the Indigenous student trustee using a similar process used to elect the current LKDSB student trustees.

Members of the LKDSB Indigenous liaison committee will also be consulted.

Prior to the appointment of an Indigenous student trustee, the LKDSB will revise its policy and
regulations on student trustees for board approval.

“This is a significant milestone for the Lambton-Kent District School Board,” stated Elizabeth Hudie, LKDSB Chair. “The addition of an Indigenous student trustee will further ensure Indigenous students’ voices and perspectives are reflected in the decisions of the board.”

‘Build The Barrier’ town hall event coming to London

After a standing-room only Town Hall in Chatham in November, ‘Carnage Alley’ MPPs continue their public awareness campaign with a Town Hall in London.

The 401 safety advocacy group ‘Build the Barrier’ will be attending the Build the Barrier Town Hall, hosted by Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London on Wednesday, February 7 at 7 p.m at the Lambeth Community Centre, 7112 Beattie St, London.

“This Town Hall is happening at just the right time, because the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 have
been quite memorable, although not for the right reasons,” stated Alysson Storey, the founder of the group.

Build the Barrier is advocating for increased safety measures on the 401 including concrete median barriers and expansion to three lanes between London and Tilbury along with MPP Yurek and Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls.

“We’ve had countless crossovers and closures of the 401 in Carnage Alley, more evidence about the inadequacy of cable barriers, and of course just this week, the Ministry of Transportation announced $170-million in transportation funding for London commuters and this morning we wake up to the news that Minister Del Duca has been shuffled out of the MTO,” Storey said.

“We need this Build the Barrier Town Hall in London to show the new Minister and MTO to understand that we are not going away. We will continue to fight for the safest not the cheapest option, and that is a concrete median barrier.”

To RSVP call 519-631-0666.

Cabinet shuffle in Ontario

Premier Kathleen Wynne on Wednesday announced changes to her cabinet that place eight women, including three new ministers, in key roles across government.

Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier, joins cabinet as the new Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre, moves into cabinet as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

And Harinder Malhi, MPP for Brampton-Springdale, becomes the new Minister of the Status of Women.

Other changes to cabinet include:

– Mitzie Hunter becomes Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

– Eleanor McMahon becomes President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital Government

– Kathryn McGarry becomes Minister of Transportation

– Indira Naidoo-Harris becomes Minister of Education and remains Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

– Steven Del Duca becomes Minister of Economic Development and Growth.

In addition, Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, will take on the responsibilities of Chair of Cabinet.

“I am thrilled to have three new ministers joining cabinet for 2018,” Wynne stated in a press release.

“The knowledge and skills they bring to these roles will be crucial as we continue our work to create more fairness and opportunity for the people of Ontario. In a changing economy, our plan is about making sure everyone has a fair shot at getting ahead. That’s why it is also important to me that this updated cabinet continues to reflect both the diversity and the geography of our province.:

Wynne added: “I am deeply grateful to our outgoing ministers — Deb Matthews, Liz Sandals and Brad Duguid — for their commitment to the people of Ontario and for all they have contributed at the cabinet table over the years. And I am pleased they will all be staying on as MPPs, continuing to dedicate themselves to their constituents and to the work of this government.”

For a full list of the Ontario Cabinet, click here.

Canadarm2 to get another new hand

On January 23 and 29, astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) will take part in a spacewalk to replace Canadarm2’s second “hand,” called a Latching End Effector (LEE).

This will ensure that the robotic arm remains in optimal condition in order to continue performing maintenance and catching supply ships—both critical to the Station’s operations.

A technical briefing on the spacewalk will be given at the Johnson Space Center in Houston on Thursday, January 18, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

For a LIVE stream, click here.

Check out the video below for a look at what is happening in 2018 with the Canadian Space Agency:

World news

If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at