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Upcoming Events

Date: December 13, 2018 5:15 pm

Chamber Board Meeting

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce board meetings are normally held the second Thursday of the month at 5:15 pm at the Chamber office boardroom.  Please call for details, as from time to time, dates and times change.

Date: December 13, 2018 7:00 pm

North Bay Battalion Regular Season Game

2018-2019 Season First Exhibition Game

To Purchase Tickets go on

Date: December 17, 2018 5:00 pm

Christmas Train 2018

Celebrate with Ontario Northland at the North Bay Station “Brighten the Night” – Monday, December 17, 2018 at 5 pm. Non-perishable food items gratefully accepted for area food banks. Also Brighten the Night foam light-up sticks $5 – proceeds going to local charities.


Celebrate with Ontario Northland at the North Bay Station “Brighten the Night” – Monday, December 17, 2018 at 5 pm. Non-perishable food items gratefully accepted for area food banks. Also Brighten the Night foam light-up sticks $5 – proceeds going to local charities.

For the full schedule of stops this season click here.


For what must seem like ages to many, we have seen much discussion both for and against, the Government’s decision to repeal Bill 148, also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.  This column has more than once, hopefully provided information on the legislation and the impacts that it had on business both locally and throughout Ontario.  The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce heard loud and clear from its membership, that it was just too much and too fast for the business community, to absorb the increases.  Earlier this week, Bill 57 was passed through the Legislature and it is officially repealed.

Whether you agreed or disagreed with the previous legislation, that being Bill 148, we were all aware that in the Provincial election earlier this year, the Ontario PC party campaigned and announced that they would repeal Bill 148. Subsequently, they got elected to a majority government and did exactly what they said they were going to do.  It should not come as much of a surprise to most that it received Royal Assent and does send a positive message that the Government is serious about making Ontario, “Open for Business”.  The Chamber of Commerce, both at the local and provincial level s spoke with their members and in turn advocated on their behalf to the Provincial Government and the messages, were heard.

In the Fall Economic Statement, Minister Fedeli didn’t hold back anything when he updated us on the Provinces deficit and where changes were going to be made.  Again, it should not be a surprise that with a deficit close to fifteen billion dollars annually, that changes are going to have to be made and they are not all going to be popular.  Not popular, but necessary.  It is going to be an uphill battle to balance the books, but it is clear in the writer’s opinion, that they realize that they will also have to grow their way out of this deficit.  By encouraging growth in business and reducing red tape in how we do business in this Province, these are positive moves in getting our economy growing.

In the next week, our newly elected Council and Mayor will be sworn into office for the next four years.  From various media reports over the past few weeks it appears that it will be very short indoctrination period before they get down to work.  The mix of veteran Councillors and Mayor, together with some new faces and ideas, has an interesting but very positive mix for this upcoming term.  Since the election last month, we have heard from many of our members that they are encouraged with the positive messages that they have heard about growing our community and are optimistic on the business front.  We at the Chamber wish the new Mayor and Council, all the best for the upcoming term.

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

On behalf of our members and the Ontario Chamber Network, we are pleased the Government of Ontario is holding strong in its commitment to make Ontario open for business; with Bill 47 receiving royal assent.

To read the full media release – please click HERE



The announcement last week by Caisse Populaire Alliance was certainly good news for North Bay and more specifically, the residents of West Ferris.  The closure of the last banking branch in that end of the City earlier this year, was seen as a loss of services to those who actually like to deal with people.  We all get that it was due to change in banking habits, on-line and mobile banking and continued automation that was the decision maker, but it still left a mark.  Fast forward to last week and the void will soon be filled.

The entire team from Caisse Populaire Alliance really demonstrated their commitment to this community by announcing the opening of their second branch, expanding to the Nipissing Plaza in the very near future.  The confidence and investment shown by the Caisse will see a full service branch offering both personal and business banking services, in both official languages.  New employment opportunities will be created and another vacancy, filled.  Congratulations to Norm and the entire team at the Caisse for the early Christmas present, for West Ferris residents.

Last week also saw the Film and Television Industry join with the City of North Bay for a press conference, to dispel many of the rumours circulating in our area around the use of fake snow.  Both sides echoed the need to ensure that any and all environmental concerns are addressed, as well as confirming the industries commitment for continued filming and television production, in this area.  The economic impact for our communities is important and co-operation and communication will be key to ensuring this industry continues to grow.

The Fall Economic Statement delivered by our MP, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli on Thursday, was not a complete surprise given the deficit numbers that were outlined earlier this year, in the Auditor General’s report.  A number of changes forthcoming in the next budget for small business, is welcome news for a sector that has taken its hits over the past few years. Tax and regulatory reforms, red tape reductions and a complete overhaul of the apprentice programs, signal that the Government is serious about the statement that the Province is “Open for Business”.  We know that there will be changes and that economic recovery will not be without some tough decisions having to be made.  Not all will be happy or agree with every decision however, we have to grow and any help for this sector will assist on the road to economic recovery.

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







On November 15, the Government of Ontario released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement entitled “2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review”, which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments for the upcoming 2019 Budget.

The government is projecting steady, moderate growth in Ontario’s economy, with real GDP forecasted to rise by 2 percent in 2018. The Fall Economic Statement forecasts a deficit of $14.5 billion in 2018-19, down by $0.5 billion from the previous year. Growth is expected to be more modest over the next four years due to limited economic capacity, higher interest rates, and slowing US growth.

Our rapid policy update outlines specific commitments that the government announced regarding:

  • Fiscal responsibility, government transparency and accountability
  • Regulatory reforms
  • Tax reforms
  • Energy and electricity
  • Transportation and infrastructure
  • Support for key Ontario sectors
  • Other issues

For more details click HERE

On the lighter side of the local news issues over the past few weeks, it doesn’t look like the ban on artificial snow will be continued fodder for our community, given the weather over the past weekend.   Welcome to winter and soon Christmas will be upon us.  Next Sunday, the 18th, the annual Santa Claus Parade will start the Christmas festivities and on the 30th, The DIA Old fashioned Downtown Christmas Walk will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.  Here’s hoping for great weather for both of these events.

In the opening of this article, the mention of the artificial snow ban, although given a winter reprieve, does give some time for both the film industry and Municipal staff to find solutions.  The Film Industry is important to our entire district and we all have to work together to ensure that the momentum we have seen over the past few years, continues.   Our municipal Economic Development Department, Erin, Tanya, Leslie and Annemarie have done a tremendous job in facilitating the industry, enabling it to become a significant economic driver for the area.

When dealing with environmental issues, it is always better to err on the side of caution and no doubt that was the premise of the ban.  It was unfortunate that when the rumours began to circulate and social media was abuzz on the topic, it resulted in a lot of misinformation and speculation on the subject.  Decisions have to be made on many issues each and every day both in the business world and the municipal realm as well.  Looking back always provides us with 20/20 vision and hopefully with that look back on how it was rolled out, the lessons learned will provide some useful guidance for the future.  I do believe the old adage about “Don’t shoot the messenger” should always apply.

On the economic development front, it was great news from both institutions of higher learning last week.  Canadore College had held its grand opening of The Village on the 2nd of November and within a week of the same, announced a new partnership which will provide employment of up to 60 health care providers.  As well, Canadore is looking to implement an accelerated PSW program in the spring of 2019. Working together with Canadian Shield Health Care Services Inc. the College will utilize their services and graduate students ready for employment with them.

The good economic news for the region continued on Friday afternoon when Nipissing University and NUSU, held its official sod turning for its new 32,000 square foot Student Centre, slated to open in 2020.  The $13 million dollar facility will be a great addition to student life at the campus and the construction spending will provide direct economic spin off, to our entire community.  We are grateful to both Canadore and Nipissing for the continued confidence in our community along with the investments in new infrastructure and employment.  Congratulations to both.

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



For the past few months, it appears that many companies and small businesses are on the look out, for new employees.  From the various employment agencies and local not for profits, like your Chamber of Commerce, there appears to be a surge in companies looking to attract both trained and new entrants into the job world.  Professionals, experienced workers and new entrants to employment are being sought and that is a good thing for our District.

One such event is the Job Fair taking place at City Hall tomorrow, Wednesday November 7, from 10: a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  The event, held by the Nipissing Employment Services Table or NEST, will host over a dozen employers hoping to match their required needs with persons who are out of work, rejoining the work force, or under-employed persons, wishing to change or move on.  The initiative which has been led by Joe Bradbury and his team at the District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board and championed by their many partners in our district, continues to look at alternate ways to ensure, those that want to work, have opportunities.

For the past number of years, The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has worked with the DNSSAB on a project known as “Get Trained Workers”.  The objective of the program was to assist persons who were receiving Ontario Works benefits and to get them ready for employment.  When they are ready to enter the employment world, their specific skills which have been identified, are attempted to be matched with employers who are looking for those skills.  To date, over 140 persons have been matched.  Hats off to Carol Porter and the team at DNSSAB together with Patti Carr, VP Policy and Communications at the Chamber, for an outstanding job.  Visit them at the Job Fair Tuesday.

On Friday of last week, Charles Elliott, Chair of NBDCC and myself, attended the Grand Opening at The Village which is the latest addition to Canadore College.  During the opening, President George Burton of Canadore College, looked back on how this new facility came to become a reality.  The idea of a facility that could provide an experiential learning opportunity for students and provide a multi-disciplined health care and wellness centre of excellence for our communities, was born.  Over a period of four to five years and after exhaustive consultation with so many communities, partners and staff, it came to fruition.

The facility will provide a combination of Eastern, Western and Indigenous healing, under one roof.  Phase one of the project, unveiled last week, will provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice new, old and traditional healing with the end goal of healthier communities.  This will be the first of its type and combination in Canada and is hoped that this will be a model for others to follow.  To Canadore College, the First Nations Communities, Faculty, Staff, students and the generous donors who have made this a reality, thank you.  It is a new era in education and wellness.

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

The signs are almost all down, political advertising is done and yes, the sun came up on Tuesday morning, following the municipal election.  The campaign period was substantially longer this year with the nomination period closing in late July and campaigning beginning almost immediately thereafter.  It certainly felt like this election campaign had more signs, more advertising and most of all, way too much political rhetoric, than we have been subject to, in prior campaigns.

None the less, the votes have been cast, tabulated and the stage is set for our new Council to take office.  The voters in each of the municipalities and school boards, have selected their representatives in each of their communities and those successful in their bids for a seat, will be our voices for the next four years.  Whether they were each voter’s individual preference or not, the democratic process is the only one we have, and they will be our community leaders, until the next term.  For all those that ran for office regardless of being elected or not, congratulations on stepping forward and letting your name stand.

Now the real work begins.  From a Chamber and business perspective, how these Council’s come together and provide clear direction on what is important to them, will be in the writer’s opinion, the key to what we as a business community, can expect.  Business creates wealth and that is what drives our economy.  It allows employees to feed their families, buy homes and make our communities, what they are.  Setting the direction and providing the impetus for retention, expansion and attraction is going to come from those elected officials and I for one, hope they will be singing from the same song sheet.

In the case of North Bay, our eleven elected officials will need to be a much more cohesive group, if we are going to compete against the rest of the world.  There is nothing wrong with discourse, providing that it is constructive.  It is probably not a stretch to say that the previous council, lacked some of that cohesiveness.  That lack of working together, delayed many decisions that were needed to move some very good ideas and projects forward and resulted in frustration by many different factions, within this City.  This is the time for our elected officials to heal some of those wounds and move forward together, to grow our City.  We all must work together, for that to happen and this is a perfect opportunity for all to do so.

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

Ontario Government Taking Bold Action to Make the Province Open for Business: North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce

From yesterday’s media release:

North Bay, ON – October 23, 2018 – Today, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) statements in response to the Government of Ontario’s announcement regarding the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. The announcement included a near full repeal of Bill 148, dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades (the College), and improvements to the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio.

Click HERE to read more.

October was a very busy month at the Chamber as we celebrated Canadore College Business Week along with our counterparts across Canada.  Small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) are the backbone of not only our district, but our entire country. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, SME’s make up almost 70% of the private sector jobs in Canada and employing almost eight million workers across Canada.  October was the month to celebrate this sector with a week-long list of workshops, networking events and mini trade show.

On the Thursday evening of Business Week, we recognized many outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs, at the Bell Evening of Excellence.  Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the various categories.  It truly was an excellent evening and we want to thank all our sponsors, who made the evening a huge success.  During the evening awards ceremony, a new category was introduced to honour Glen DeVuono, a long-time manager of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, who passed away earlier this year.

The award will be presented annually, and it will recognize individuals/businesses deemed to be “Community Builders”.  Glen was one of those people and did so in his own way, representing the members of The Chamber, for the benefit of our communities.  The inaugural award was presented to MPP Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance for the Province of Ontario and was presented to him by Patti Carr VP Policy and Communications, here at the Chamber.  The choice of our former Mayor and present MPP for this award was what Glen would have wanted, according to Patti.  Glen and Vic became lifelong friends through their Chamber connection, with Vic serving as President of the Chamber, for many years.  Congratulations Vic, you are a true “Community Builder”.

As we are all aware, today is Election Day in Ontario and we will return to some semblance of normalcy after a lengthy campaign in most municipalities.  We are hopeful that voter numbers are high and all citizens take advantage of their right, to cast a ballot.   Congratulations to all that achieve their goal of being a municipal politician or trustee.  To those that were unsuccessful in their bid for a seat, thank you for putting your name forward.  Your work begins shortly and as a business community, we look forward to working with all of the elected officials in our district.  Working together is essential if we are to create economic growth in our area.

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

Welcome to Canadore College Business Week 2018.  Business Week is a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contribution to Canada’s economy. The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has organized events to be held during the week bringing together entrepreneurs—and prospective entrepreneurs—at workshops, networking events, trade show and awards ceremony. The goal is to provide them with opportunities to learn, network, share ideas and socialize with their peers.

The week commences tomorrow morning at the Grande Event Centre, with a workshop put on by Yes Employment Services.  The workshop will highlight the various Employment Ontario programs, that are available free of charge to employers when considering new hires.  If your business is looking to train either existing or new staff, Yes Employment Services can assist you through the Canada Ontario Job Program which, will also be presented.  There is no cost to attend and the session will run from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.  The day will wrap up in at the East Ferris Community Centre when The Municipality of East Ferris, will launch its new Community Improvement Plan at its “Off the Clock” Business Networking Event.  The event will run from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound hosts a light breakfast and networking session, from 8:30-10:00 a.m., at the Grand Event Centre.  A panel of local entrepreneurs will discuss a variety of topics and provide advice on issues, which affect business.  Titanium Transportation on Birches Road will host the Chamber After Hours and mini trade show from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.  This popular networking event will showcase many local businesses and the services that are available, from Chamber members.  Bring your business cards and enjoy an evening of networking at Titanium Transportation.

Thursday’s agenda moves to the Comfort Inn in Sturgeon Falls. The Business Centre NPS and representatives from Kennedy Insurance, Grant Thornton and X-Height Graphics will host “The Backbone of Business”.  Business insurance, tax and business services together with branding and marketing will be the topics discussed.  This will be of interest for both new and existing businesses.  The session runs from 8:30 -11:30 a.m.  and the event is free of charge for participants.

The annual celebration of business and entrepreneurs wraps up Thursday night, with the Bell Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony.  Activities will commence at 6:00 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner/awards ceremony and will be hosted by The Grande Event Centre.  Emcee for the evening will be Moose FM’s morning man, Mike Monaghan and will recognize a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs, from across our district.  Contact the Chamber office for ticket information.

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce wants to thank the many sponsors and partners who continue to support this week, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and business community.  Without their support, events like this would not be possible and a sincere thanks from both the Board of Directors and staff, at the Chamber.

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