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Upcoming Events

Date: October 25, 2017 7:30 pm

PIGS: Canada's Pink Floyd

See the Capitol Centre for more details – click HERE

Date: October 26, 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: October 26, 2017 7:30 pm

Mary Walsh & Cathy Jones

See the Capitol Centre for more details – click HERE

Date: October 27, 2017 6:00 pm

2017 Kiwanis Walk of Fame Dinner

Kawinis Club of Nipissing  is hosting the 2017 Walk of Fame Dinner on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at the Grande Event Centre.

They will have four new members this fall.

They are:

  • Ed Eng – Photographer,
  • Keith Campbell – Clay Artist,
  • Breen Le…

    Kawinis Club of Nipissing  is hosting the 2017 Walk of Fame Dinner on Friday, October 27th, 2017 at the Grande Event Centre.

    They will have four new members this fall.

    They are:

    • Ed Eng – Photographer,
    • Keith Campbell – Clay Artist,
    • Breen Leboeuf – Musician.
    • Andre Picard – National Journalist and Author


    Event: The Grande Event Centre

    Date: Friday, October 27th, 2017

    Time: Cocktails at 6:00 pm Dinner at 7:00 pm

    For tickets: 705-474-1536 or 705-474-7830

Date: October 28, 2017 7:00 pm

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

See the Capitol Centre for more details – click HERE


Business After Hours will be hosted this week, Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm by Royal LePage at their new office, 117 Chippewa Street West.  This event is co-hosted and catered by The Station.

This past week we have been reading numerous articles and various opinions regarding the proposed Federal Tax changes, as they relate to small business owners across Canada.  To date, we have not seen one article or read one post, that indicated support of these changes, with the exception of a few politicians.

Many the letters that we have read, primarily from small business owners have asked the Government as to “where is the fairness, in these changes proposed?”  One letter in particular, from a family run business asked some very hard questions as to the logic and especially the fairness in these policies propose.

The writer also expressed a sense of being labelled as a tax cheater as the Government has made the statement that they want to close up the “loop holes” in the tax system.  These are not loop holes, these are the present rules that the Government had set out previously and now wish to tax.  Small business follows the rules.  As one writer stated, “He didn’t know of one small business owner that had a private jet, endless vacations or private island vacations”.

The Government needs to know that the small business owners who make up the majority of employment in our country, risk everything and they are the ones that create employment.  The continued assault on the small business community via taxes, increased wage demands and little incentive to create employment are going to create long lasting negative ramifications and possibly drive the economy underground.  No one wins if this takes place.

The business community is getting tired.  They take all the risk, invest in their companies and hope that when they decide to retire and if they can sell or transfer their business to their family, there is something left in the pot!  That is their retirement income and feel that the Government does not get that and the present proposals are going to erode that savings even further.  Entrepreneurs and small businesses need incentive to grow and create employment.

One of the business owners who also made his views known, stressed the point that entrepreneurs and small business owners do not belong to a private club.  Anyone can join and open a business but also questions why anyone would, with the changes that are being made.  From the Chamber’s point of view, the writer totally agrees.  It is imperative that our MP communicates these messages to the Minister and adds his voice to the growing number of his colleagues that recognize that this proposed legislation and tax grab will be the last straw for some and we cannot afford any further job losses in Canada.

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

Proposed changes to the taxation of corporations by Finance Canada will affect small business.  Reserve your seat to hear from Dean Decaire of BDO, what these changes will mean for you.

Limited seating, so reserve your spot by emailing:

Monday, September 18, 2017 at The Grande from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.


Last Tuesday was the first official day of the start of school and certainly signifies the start of fall, with the cooler weather beginning.  With that being said, what a surprise it was to be driving down Algonquin Ave on my way into work and suddenly be immersed in a winter wonderland at St. Andrew’s Church at the corner of Cassells St. and Algonquin.  Early reminder of things to come.

The winter transformation of the Church and surrounding streets was obviously for the filming of one of the many film projects taking place in our City.  It is impressive to see this take place and the literally hundreds of people involved in the process.  It continues to amaze me at the level of productions and the involvement of the community in these productions.  From an economic perspective, what a boost to our economy and the spin off revenue that is being spent here in North Bay.

This hasn’t happened by accident.  Certainly, the lower Canadian Dollar has tremendous benefits for the production companies to film in Canada, but that alone does not make the business case for being in North Bay.  City staff in the Economic Development Department namely Erin Richmond and Tanya Bedard have been key players in promoting this industry and attracting new productions through their ever-growing network, within this industry.

The citizens of North Bay appear to have fully embraced this industry and although there maybe temporary disruptions, detours etc., they are pleased to see this type of economic activity.  In 2016, almost $9,000,000.00 in direct spending was generated by this industry.  This local spending included accommodations, caterers, trades people, restaurants, gas, actors and actresses and the list goes on.  This is an important industry that compliments much of our shoulder season where our restaurants, hotels, shops and the like, usually see a drop in activity.

The announcement earlier this year by Canadore College on a post production studio certainly recognizes the importance of this industry as well.  The strategic investment by Canadore to create this type of facility is invaluable for our area as it adds value and opportunity for the future.  The training of students in post production here in the north and the facility itself which no doubt will be utilized by the industry, is one more asset that will continue to promote North Bay over other area’s in not only Northern Ontario, but Canada as well.

As the fall and winter seasons for filming are gearing up and planning for additional filming is underway, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce wants to say thanks to the citizens and businesses of North Bay for embracing this industry.  Thanks for putting up with the minor inconveniences associated, as this industry has created a major boon to our economy.

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

Next Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – on the 2nd Floor City of North Bay, 200 McIntyre Street East from 10 am to 2 pm.  Be prepared with your resumes and cover letters!

September 5, 2017 is here already.  Summer is winding down quickly and fall is just around the corner.  Parents are scrambling to get their kids back to and in school…where did the summer go???

As we start to prepare for the cooler weather and eventual snow, it is great to see the activity that has begun over the last couple of weeks…. the annual arrival of our post secondary students and families attending Canadore College, Nipissing University, and CTS Canadian Career College.  The influx of this student population, is a huge boost to our local economy and welcome to first time students and welcome back for those returning.

Many studies have been done that try to capture the economic value of what these students bring to our community.  Suffice to say that over the course of the next eight to ten months, millions of dollars will be spent on rent, food and education.  Our colleges and university are one of the largest generators of economic spin off, not to mention the employment income from the employees that work in these institutions.

Over the first few weeks of arrival to our City, we are very privileged to watch and assist in many of the charity events that the student bodies engage in and give back to their adopted community.  The leaders of the student bodies, recognize the importance of giving back and participating in our community.  We have had the opportunity to sit down with many of them and their enthusiasm is contagious.  Our members at the Chamber say, “welcome home!”.

On Thursday of last week, the DIA announced the winner of “Win this Space” contest and SugarDaddy Cupcakes & Catering were the grand prize winner.  Nathan and John Serran and staff were the successful applicants out of ten hopeful businesses that participated in the competition.  They will be setting up shop in the downtown and expect to expand right out of the starting gate.  These two are young, energetic and extremely personable young men with a vision and we are confident that they will be successful.

Last weeks column, focused on the Federal Government’s proposed legislative changes that will affect incorporated businesses across Canada.  We are seeing a ground swell of opposition to these changes and many questions surrounding them.  On September 18th, your North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Dean Decaire from BDO Canada LLP and will be presenting a lunch and learn session, on what these proposed changes will mean to business owners.  Limited space will be available and please watch for our announcement and registration details over the next few days.

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

As if Bill 148 from the Provincial government wasn’t enough for businesses across Ontario to absorb but here comes Finance Canada and a proposal to radically overhaul the Federal tax legislation.  The proposals brought forward over the past weeks could have substantial impacts on businesses across this country.

The proposal can be lumped into two distinct issues. First off, they are proposing a new tax on investment income that is inside a corporation and secondly, tougher rules for compensation in family businesses.  The Minister states in his consultation document that it is all about “fairness”.  From the Chamber’s standpoint, it does not appear to be about fairness at all.

Investment income within an incorporated company, has already been taxed and are after tax investments in that owner’s own company.  Many business owners which include farmers, restaurants, and retailers will be punished for saving and investing in their own businesses.  Many of these are smaller businesses who do not have pension plans and rely on these investments in their own companies to sustain them, if and when, they are able to retire.

As a former commercial banker, strong balance sheets with owners after tax re-investments in their companies, were encouraged and resulted in better rates and leverage, when needed.  Many of the businesses that may be taxed based on this type of legislation, need the flexibility during cyclical downturns and also to raise capital when investing in purchases of capital equipment or premises.  This proposed legislation Federally, will not help.

Last week, we had an opportunity to speak with Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissiing Temiskaming on the Ministers consultation document.  He is also of the opinion that this is not particularly good for the business sector considering that he is also an entrepeneur.  He indicated that he would discuss the same with the Minister at an upcoming caucus retreat in the upcoming weeks.  He has heard the same response from many businesses and will bring those concerns to the Minister’s attention.  We would encourage all incorporated business owners to let the Government know that they are not in favour of the proposals.

Over the past number of years, businesses have seen increased regulations and new taxes in the form of carbon taxes, increased CPP and EI premiums, taxing work in progress and cancellation of reductions in small business tax rates.  Businesses are not asking for a free ride or legislation that will allow loopholes to avoid taxes.  They are wanting to invest and keep their companies strong thereby creating and sustaining employment for many individuals and families.  Make your voice known and inform our MP that these proposals will hurt.

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

Amendments for Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act were due to be tabled in the Provincial Legislature last Wednesday.  There has been an eerie quiet over the past five days with little coming out of the Government on any proposed changes.

Also, last week at the annual AMO Conference in Ottawa, the Premier heard from many municipalities from across the Province, as to the impacts the proposed legislation is going to have on their municipalities and businesses which make up their communities.  News reports indicate that while many asked for the Premier to scrap the Bill, the Government would be moving forward on the legislation but are reviewing how they can ensure that Municipalities are not affected.

This is great in theory but we all know that theory and reality can have quite a distance between them.  If the Government decides to offset any increased costs to the Municipalities, there are a couple of questions that arise.  First and foremost, will be the question on how they are going to pay for the offsets to the Municipalities and secondly, what about the businesses that are going to be the funders of the increases?

Let me be very clear that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce are fundamentally, not opposed to the increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Additionally, we understand that this increase will help individuals and families to afford the ever-increasing costs to live in this Province.  We are opposed to the speed at which the changes are being introduced.  Businesses will not have time to react without the “Unintended Consequences” that will follow.

The Keep Ontario Working coalition commissioned an independent economic impact study to look at the reality of what the proposed changes will have on businesses and the economy.  The study was undertaken by the coalition as the Government, despite repeated requests, would not conduct its own economic impact study.

The study, which was released on August 14, 2017 does not paint a rosy picture of what this legislation and its unintended consequences, will have on this Province.  The full report is available through our website at  We encourage people to review this report and come to their own conclusions on the short and long-term effects that the legislation will have, if passed in its present form.

As was mentioned earlier, the speed at which the changes are being proposed is one of the major concerns.  Other Provinces and U.S. states are also increasing their minimum wages but are doing so over a longer period, allowing the business community to plan, implement and manage the change.  Working with business to develop strategies rather than legislating them, will create a stronger long-term economy for all in this Province.

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

185,000 Ontario Jobs at Risk from Bill 148

On Monday, August 14, the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) released the first and only independent economic impact analysis of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act. Conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), the study revealed that if the legislation is implemented as currently drafted, there will be significant, sudden and sizable uncertainty for Ontario jobs, economy and communities.

Key Data from the analysis:

$23 billion hit to business over the next two years alone;
185,000 Ontario jobs will be at immediate risk over the next two years;
30,000 of the jobs at risk are youth under 25;
96,000 employees at risk are expected to be women;
50% increase to inflation for this year and the foreseeable future. The cost of everyday consumer goods and services will go up by $1,300 per household on average each and every year;
The Ontario government would need to borrow $440 million more to cover the increases in new costs from this legislation. If the government were to provide offsets to businesses, as they have indicated, the province’s treasury will take a bigger hit;
Municipalities will be forced to increase employee wages by $500 million without additional offsetting revenues.

Click HERE for CANCEA’s Powerpoint presentation.

The summer of 2017 is going to be one to remember, at least from a weather perspective that is! The 2017 Summer in the Park dodged a few bullets over the long weekend with the weather co-operating somewhat on both Friday and Saturday nights. The rain and cool temperatures didn’t dampen the performances nor the fans who attended. Sunday warmed up and it was a terrific family day at the park and Midway.

The Chamber wants to thank the countless volunteers, organizers and City staff for the work that they did not only on the long weekend but over the past twelve months, preparing for this event. The organizing committee did a terrific job of ensuring that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating the number of events is and was, no easy task, especially with the early weather forecasts leading up to the weekend. The Nugget, Cogeco, Baytoday, Rogers Radio and social media feeds from BuzzMasters kept event goers up to date and informed. Thanks to all the media for their help.

It is always difficult to put a dollar figure on what a weekend like this means to our business community and our entire community. From many of our members, we have heard that the weekend was a terrific success and they were extremely busy. Our hotels and restaurants were packed, the DIA and downtown was a bee hive of activity and our waterfront was being enjoyed by thousands of people. It was sometimes rather slow getting from one area of the city to another, but that was a problem that we can all handle.

There is no doubt that the weather forecasts and actual weather influenced wristband sales. This event is no different than any others that are dependant on weather and the forecasts leading up to them. We all want to see this event be successful and although it may have been hampered by the weather, this was a great weekend to showcase our city once again. Visitors from outside the area that were surveyed, enjoyed their stay in North Bay and will return. The sense and feeling of community was evident everywhere and we must continue to build on that.

As a community, we are so lucky to have events such as this and the dollars that are spent in this community far outweigh the costs that sometimes arise due to inclement weather. The volunteers, sponsors and people that come out to support these events in our communities, are the people that continue to make a difference in promoting our city and district.

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