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Upcoming Events

Date: December 23, 2017 10:00 am

North Bay Farmers' Market Winter Market

Every Saturday at North Bay Mall, 300 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay, ON  from 10 am to 2 pm

October 21, 2017 to April 28, 2018

For more information: http://northbayfarmersmarket.com/

Date: December 28, 2017 7:00 pm

North Bay Battalion Home Game

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters o…

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters on the second floor of Memorial Gardens from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Or if you want seasons tickets or other information, please call the Battalion Headquarters.Tickets can also be purchased at the Memorial Gardens box office on game days starting at 10 a.m.For more information contact Battalion Headquarters at (705) 495-8603, ext. 2700, or via email.
Date: December 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Wasi XC Ski Club Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe

Saturday December 30, 2017 @ 7 P.M.

COST:  $8 ADULT DAY PASS, $ 3 CHILD DAY PASS –  MEMBERS FREE!

Meet at the chalet at 7pm for a peaceful ski or snowshoe in the moonlight!  Headlamps are optional, dress warmly. Please bring a thermos wit…

Saturday December 30, 2017 @ 7 P.M.

COST:  $8 ADULT DAY PASS, $ 3 CHILD DAY PASS –  MEMBERS FREE!

Meet at the chalet at 7pm for a peaceful ski or snowshoe in the moonlight!  Headlamps are optional, dress warmly. Please bring a thermos with a hot beverage. help yourself from the serve yourself bin if you want to roast a marshmallow or toast some bannock.  Call Kerry at 705.752.4215 for more info or go to www.wasiski.com

Date: December 31, 2017 1:00 pm

North Bay Battalion Home Game

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters on the second floor of Memorial Gardens fr…

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters on the second floor of Memorial Gardens from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Or if you want seasons tickets or other information, please call the Battalion Headquarters.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Memorial Gardens box office on game days starting at 10 a.m.

For more information contact Battalion Headquarters at (705) 495-8603, ext. 2700, or via email

News

Over the past three weeks, The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has held its annual Board of Directors elections process.  A good cross section of our membership put their names on the ballot, for the election and voting closed last Friday @ 4:00 p.m.

On Monday, under the watchful eyes of scrutineers Councilor’s Derek Shogren and Daryl Vaillancourt, the 2018 Board was chosen and will be sworn in on December 14, 2017, by Mayor Al McDonald.  Thanks to our scrutineers and Patti Carr, V.P. of Policy at the Chamber, who are always quick to say yes, when asked to volunteer for just about everything.  It was a close race and that is a testament to the quality of people that make up your Board of Directors.

Completing their second year of a two year term, will be Vice Chair Charles Elliott, Elizabeth Evans,  Marc Rancourt, and Robert Deleo.  Paul Daigle and Andrea Silveri will both be leaving the Chamber Board this year due to family and work commitments and their input and advice at the Board level, will be missed.  To all of the 2017 members of the Board and Executive, thank you from our membership and staff, who truly recognize the effort and commitment that you all make, as volunteers.

After the election results were tabulated, we will see Chair Brad Gavan, Past Chair John Strang and Treasurer Jake Lacourse and Tanya Bedard from the executive, returning for another term.  Directors Peter Rooney and Thomas Brown (Young Professional ) are also returning as successful candidates.  Joining the Board for the first time, will be Nicole Bamford (Empire Living), Rebecca McGlynn (ONTC) and Melanie Rivard (Caisse Populaire, North Bay).  Election of the Executive for 2018 will also take place at this week’s Board meeting.  A good combination of Board-members, all bringing strong skill sets to the Board table.   Congratulations to the 2018 Board.

To all who allowed their names to stand for election, thank you for your continued support of what we do and why we do it.  Representing the business community and advocating on their behalf continues to be one of the primary reasons, the majority of candidates choose to run.  Reading through the individual biographies for each candidate, it is evident that they care about business, our district and improving it for the next generation.  2018 will soon be upon us and the Chamber is looking forward to an exciting year.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

In less than a year, we will be heading to the polls for both the Provincial and Municipal elections.  Both of these elections, will set the course for the following four years.  It will be interesting to watch how the various parties and individuals position themselves for the upcoming elections and especially when it comes to growth and prosperity for our Province and communities.

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, supports growth and is mindful of spending to encourage that type of growth and development.  Locally, there are many projects on the go, including redevelopment of Cassellholme, the waterfront and downtown revitalization projects and the need for replacement of the West Ferris arena, those being the major projects, which will impact our members and taxpayers.

These projects need to be done and move forward.  Cassellholme redevelopment is long overdue and now that the financing issue appears to be put to bed, this can proceed albeit still a number of hurdles to clear.  The Board and CEO of Cassellholme, Jamie Lowery are to be commended for the resolve in getting this process changed.  This is a prime example of how we all must think about things in a different way.  Problems can be overwhelming and stagnating, but sometimes different thinking and creative solutions must be and need to be found.

It has been interesting to follow the discussions surrounding the replacement of the West Ferris arena.  The proposal for the south end and the offer of free land to the City for the arena, is not as far fetched as some would have you think.  The concept of the development, according to the developers, where the developers provide the property for the construction of the arena and this in turn incents development of other commercial entities surrounding the arena is an example of creative solutions.  With the adjoining developments, in theory, new tax revenue is generated and thereby offsetting the cost of the arena over the useful life of it and thereby negating the impact on the taxpayers.

To go one step further, the option of a 3P (Public, Private Partnerships) arena, should also be given serious consideration.  The landscape has changed when it comes to investments of this size and if we are going to try and minimize the impact on the taxpayers, we have to look at growth and new tax revenue to offset these costs.  As it stands, if the project is located on City property, whether that is behind the Memorial Gardens, at Omischl or the present site, no taxes will be generated from ancillary developments.  That is why consideration and discussion, should be given to all of the options that have been presented.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North bay & District Chamber of Commerce

Over this past week it was announced that the former Nordfibre property was the subject of a rezoning application to permit a change of zoning from industrial to commercial designation.  The former site has undergone a substantial change and removal of the plant and fixtures has made way, for future developments, including a portion to be designated as a possible site for the OLG Casino.

The future development of this site is welcome news for our City and our business community.  When we look at the development of this site, additional commercial tax revenues for the City will be generated from this private sector investment and with the rezoning coming forward, one would guess that there has been interest by companies wanting to locate there.

One of those, is Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited.  As evidenced by the news article also last week, their preferred site is the Nordfibre property although it also indicated, they were looking at all options.  Gateway was the successful proponent with OLG and they have, no doubt, been busy with their expansion into Ontario.  Taking over existing operations and getting prepared for the expansions into new markets such as ours as part of the OLG mandate, is an onerous and difficult task.

Public opinion on the Casino issue, or rather issues, continues to garner headlines.  The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Director’s were one of the first out of the gate to throw their collective support behind the Casino proposal.  From a business point of view, the construction of a new facility, estimated in excess of forty million dollars, is good for our economy.  The construction jobs, material purchases, development charges etc., will have an immediate impact on our district.

Once open, the Casino will create 200-250 new jobs for local people.  With an average salary in the fifty-thousand-dollar range, a new injection of ten million dollars in payroll alone, will be a welcome addition to an economy that has been struggling to gain ground.  Add into that mix, another two million dollars in commercial property taxes, local purchases of goods and services and revenue split to the City, it makes a compelling case to support.  And this is a small portion of the lands being rezoned.  With the balance of the property rezoned for commercial development, others will be sure to follow.

The OLG decision to locate here and City Council’s support, has already been received.  We have all heard of the perceived evils, that a Casino will bring to North Bay however, there is always the other side to the story and here is just part of it.  We look forward to welcoming Gateway Casinos &

Entertainment Limited, in the not so distant future, to North Bay.  This is a solid company with an established track record and proven reputation.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Since arriving at the Chamber in April of this year, I have had the privilege of working with an extraordinary staff of Patti Carr, Sue Adams and Carol Porter.  We are supported by an elected volunteer Board of Directors, who represent a wide cross section of our business community, from across our district.  These people have been a tremendous support and tireless in their efforts to move the North Bay and district business community, forward.

As a governance board, we are presently in the midst of board elections and we will see most of the prior board allowing their names to stand for re-election.  They will be joined by a number of new faces from our membership and we are fortunate to have thirteen individuals running for six positions, whose terms are complete.  Thank you to those board members who have served and to those that have put forth their names to represent our business community, congratulations and we admire your commitment to making North Bay a better place.

The interaction with the business community, over the first six months as President & CEO, has been a great experience and as well, it has reaffirmed my beliefs that the business community continues to have faith in themselves.  During these introductory months as I have settled into the position, I have been seeing a change of attitude and commitment that says, “Yes we can”.  This is not only coming from the new business start ups and the younger generation, but also from mature and established businesses that are taking the time to mentor and guide that new generation of business people.

I am certainly encouraged when we hear from different groups that they require assistance or expertise to move into the business world or expand what they have.  The call to action by these individuals or groups, has been met with a resounding response from a variety of business people, through out our area.  They are ready, willing and able to provide that hand up and they recognize that to succeed as a community, it is all about co-operation and collaboration.  More and more, we are seeing individuals and businesses working together and providing that mentorship to those start ups and those that are looking at an entrepreneurial career or future.

Competition is a healthy factor in any community whereas protectionism does not allow for growth of our future leaders.  Government alone, whether that be Federal, Provincial and or Municipal, cannot do it nor should they be.  They can provide the tools for growth, but we should not expect them to be the impetus for success.  That will only come from those successful individuals that are willing and able to pay it forward, to our future business and community leaders.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Last evening, Thursday, November 9, 2017, members of CFB North Bay and the Military Family Resource Centre made a presentation to the Chamber board of directors.  An abundance of information was gained for what the MFRC does for our community and the military families that live in our community.  For more information visit their website or like them on Facebook

Gearing up for the World Women’s Curling in North Bay March 17 to 25, 2018, we would love to have the whole area wearing “CURLING ROCKS” t-shirts.

Consider ordering for your employees and wear them once a week between January 15th and March 9th, 2018 and maybe the “Prize Patrol” will find you on a Friday during this time period.  All you have to do is take a picture of your staff and tweet @CurlingCanada with the hashtags #WWCC2018 and #CURLINGROCKS with the photo.  Weekly winners will be selected to win prize packages.

For the printable version of the information – CLICK HERE or view the information below.

All business members can order now and the Chamber can invoice you for the order (members can pay by cash, company cheque, Visa/MC or debit).  T-shirts are expected to arrive at the Chamber office in December.  Larger orders can be delivered when they arrive.

For non-members or community individuals, you can still send in the order form to reserve your shirts, but you will need to pick them up at the Chamber office at 205 Main Street East, North Bay, ON once the t-shirts arrive (non-members can pay by cash or debit only).

Over the past couple of weeks, numerous local companies and Chamber members have been recognized with various awards for excellence in what they do.  We have seen Cementation Canada Inc., Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc. and J.S. Redpath Limited receive awards for being industry leaders in the safety aspect of their businesses.  Cementation was also recognized nationally as one of the safest companies in Canada to work for.  Congratulations to each of these employers and their entire teams who make this happen and it is happening right here in our own backyard.

When we look at the number of different awards that the above noted companies have won and others that have been recently recognized such as Gin-Cor Industries at the Northern Ontario Business Awards, Ontario Northland, Burrows Country Store, North Bay & Area Community Foundation at the Chamber’s “Bell Evening of Excellence” and others, we have a lot to be proud of.  These are all progressive organizations, and all have that same commonality…they are all right here, in North Bay and District.

Last week, the writer was invited to attend a smaller, but none the lesser, recognition event held at Caisse Populaire North Bay Limitee.  Norm St. Amour and his team took the time to recognize their “Business Stars of the Year” with numerous clients, dignitaries and Board members present.  What a nice change to see a business say thank you to its clients, by recognizing their accomplishments, in their individual fields.  Kenalex Construction, CTS Canadian Career College, Twigg’s Coffee Roasters Minihaha Bay, Bee at Your Service and Centre de Formation du Nipissing were recognized that evening.

It was great to see local and district businesses being recognized by the Caisse and that they host an evening to celebrate this type of event.  Norm and his team at the Caisse are tremendous supporters of the community and this event was a great way for them to say thank you to their members.  They are a very progressive financial institution but have somehow managed to maintain a hometown, local flavour in their delivery of automated and banking products.  Having been a commercial banker for most of my career, listening to the stories of the businesses and the comments by many of the members present, it was like going back in time when local banking was the norm, not the exception.  Drop in to see them and you will see what I mean.

Congratulations to all our local businesses that have been recognized in the past few months.  Keep doing what you do, it makes a difference.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

As I started to write the column for this week’s Chamber news, it had the appearance of a completely different tone and substance, given some previous letters of opinion and articles circulating at the end of last week.  Non issues become issues; “fake news” becomes real news.  Time and distance is always a good thing, especially in these days of instant gratification, which the electronic age has provided to anyone with a smart phone or computer.

Some might argue that the access to information on the internet/electronic highway, has made a difference in how we communicate and they would not be wrong.  But that in my opinion is a double edged sword.  Not only is the access to information easier for all of us, but it can also allow opinions to become “gospel truth’s” for  those that read it whether it be news, opinions and or comments regarding many so called, news worthy items.

As the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has moved from the traditional operating board to a governance board model, one of the clear directions from the Board is that we speak as a unified voice in public.  Whether or not board members agree or disagree on any proposal put forward, once the discussion is complete, votes are taken and the Board follows the democratic process.  Win or lose on a vote, the topic is over and the Board moves on, together.

We are fortunate to have the right to speak freely in this country and that is especially important that we keep this in mind each and every day.  Remembrance Day is right around the corner and many of our relatives fought and died for those rights, but with those rights, also come responsibilities.   Those of us that choose to speak or write publicly, need to probably every once and a while, step back and ask ourselves, whether or not we are being fair.

Going back to my earlier comments, instant gratification via media, internet or any public domain, cannot and should not be utilized to demean individuals or groups that we may not agree with or share the same opinions.  I believe it was Mark Twain who once said “never let the truth get in the way of a good story, unless you can think of something better”.  I think Mr. Twain probably had great insight into what our world, was going to evolve into.

If we are going to move our City and district forward, we have to do a better job in communicating and even more so, in a positive manner.  We cannot continue to fight each other and expect the outside world not to notice.  When we look at successful communities that are progressive, innovative and thriving, there is always discourse and disagreement, but the overriding theme is always positive.  It’s time for us to remember this and particularly before we press the “enter or send” buttons.  A kinder and gentler society is probably not a bad option.

Peter Chirico is the President  & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Canadore’s Business Week 2017 wrapped up last week and to all the nominee’s and winners from last Thursday’s Bell Evening of Excellence, huge congratulations.  The entire group represent a cross section of business owners and individuals who continue to make a difference in our area and contribute a tremendous amount to our economy in both employment and direct spending.

Of worthy note and not perhaps by coincidence, we were also pleased to see several announcements made by the Federal Government, regarding the much published and discussed, proposed tax reforms.  Since the July announcement by the Federal Finance Minister on these proposed changes, we have seen a ground swell of opposition from all sectors of our business community.  They were vocal and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce was proud to act as an advocate for these businesses at both the local level and on the Federal scene as well, as a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

In speaking with our local MP Anthony Rota, he thanked the Chamber for the letters and messages that were sent to his office by members and business owners from across our district and he listened.  The messages were simple and quite concise.  The proposed legislation would hurt their business and stifle growth and investment in sectors that employ many Canadians, the small and medium sized businesses from coast to coast.  Our MP informed us that he brought these concerns back to Ottawa and to his caucus colleagues who as well were being urged to change the proposed reforms.

It appears the message has gotten through and with a number of announcements made last week, although it is not perfect, it is a more balanced approach and addresses a number of the concerns raised by Canadian businesses.  The Hon. Perrin Beatty, CEO and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce stated “By providing a voice for businesses in communities across Canada, the Canadian Chamber and its network of local Chamber’s helped prevent devastating damage.  But the hard work has only started.”  As we all know, the devil is in the details.

In the coming weeks and months, we will await the legislation and with the support of our Chamber network, will hold the Federal Government accountable to ensure the revisions are implemented.  Going backwards is not an option for our business community and we must remain competitive in a truly global market

All Chamber’s across this country, together with the Ontario and Canadian Chamber’s of Commerce, represent a powerful voice at all levels of government.  When it comes to tax reforms, we will be reaching out to our members to suggest reforms that will assist small and medium enterprises and not hinder them.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.