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.