TBB December 2020

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KUHL Interiors Lighting & Decor with Windy Shores Cafe Open New Waterfront Store

INSIDE Covid 19:The Second Wave FedNor supports Northwestern Ontario businesses City Launches New Open Data Portal to Residents North Superior Publishing

@tbay25

NWMO Gives Ignace Science Students a Hands-On Challenge

SMART CHOICES THIS SNOWMOBILING SEASON SAY OFSC & OPP


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THUNDER BAY BUSINESS DECEMBER 2020

NWMO Gives Ignace Science Students a Hands-On Challenge The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) worked with the Ignace School to organize an egg drop challenge in follow-up to a Used Fuel Transportation Package and Package Testing presentation given to students in the grade 7/8 science class. The virtual presentation was delivered to 17 students and was led by Caitlin Burley, Manager of Transportation Engagement with the NWMO, and assisted by two NWMO student workers, Damara Delescaille and Kyla Moore. The Ignace students listened to an overview of the used fuel transportation package, safety and security, and

watched videos related to package testing. “To make this topic fun and interactive, we challenged the students with a robust package testing activity,” said Caitlin Burley. “They were tasked with designing and constructing a container that will protect an egg during a severe impact event, which meant a 5-metre drop in the school’s baseball diamond. I am so impressed with the initiative that the NWMO students took in organizing this youth activity and by the bright young minds in the grade 7/8 class.”

event of an accident without any release of the contents into the environment. The Ignace Fire Department joined in on the fun and volunteer firefighters Robert Berube, Bob Morin and Braeden Morin built a 5-metre scaffolding to drop the packages from. A total of 17 egg-protecting packages were dropped. Only three eggs broke during the fall but in each instance, the package remained intact and there was no release of yolk into the environment. Ignace Mayor Penny Lucas attended the event and was impressed by the students’ work. “It was fun and a great learning experience for the kids,” Mayor Lucas said. “I’m pleased to see how many eggs survived the fall.”

Students were given packaging materials (bubble wrap, cardboard, Styrofoam) and eggs that were placed inside of the protec-

Wishing Everyone in Thunder Bay Superior-North a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021. Stay Safe and Healthy.

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Ignace student Gavin Breube holds an egg that survived the 5-metre drop tive containers they designed and built. The purpose of the activity was to demonstrate how design and engineering of a package and a system of multiple barriers can protect the contents of a package in the

About the NWMO The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Used nuclear fuel is currently safely managed on an interim basis at existing nuclear generating stations in Canada; however, this is not a long-term management approach. The organization was created in 2002 by Canada’s nuclear electricity producers. Ontario Power Generation, NB Power and Hydro-Québec are the founding members, and along with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, fund the NWMO’s operations. The NWMO operates on a not-for profit basis and derives its mandate from the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.


THUNDER BAY BUSINESS DECEMBER 2020

Publisher’s Note Scott Sumner

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Covid 19:The Second Wave

We are now in our 9th month living with this virus, COVID 19. The world pandemic has changed life for everyone, forever, with so many deaths, hospitalization, new ways of living with masks etc, shut downs in our schools and virtual learning becoming prevalent. Our economy has been massively affected as well with high unemployment, large drops in revenue by many businesses and huge deficit spending by all levels of government. Some businesses have been forced to close, probably never to come back. The long talked about second wave of COVID 19 has actually arrived. Many locations, including Northwestern Ontario, have begun to get more cases than at the beginning of the pandemic, which is scary. Our US border remains closed and you wonder what the second wave effect will actually be on our economy. It seems to really be different depending on your sector. If you are in the transporta-

tion business you are massively negatively impacted.The hospitality industry with hotels, restaurants and entertainment venue are in difficult times. People are just not travelling and in fact may not be allowed to freely. So when your business has a large capital investment, with ongoing monthly fixed costs it is challenging. For instance the 1500 hundred seat Thunder Bay Community Auditorium remains closed for this whole period of time. The Fort William Gardens is only just now planning to open again. It is fortunate they have the financial strength of the City of Thunder Bay behind them. Many private sector businesses aren’t as fortunate. It is good that governments have provided some financial relief to them to try and keep going. Earlier shutdowns at manufacturing facilities have created backlogs on their orders meaning you may have to wait for products much longer than normal.You could be out of luck, at least this year, until they get back up to their normal pace of output. On the other hand some business has done

well in this pandemic environment,even better than before. The question is why? Well in the instance of the Thunder Bay market we have the good fortune of a large government employment sector which stabilizes the economy. Most of these workers are still employees and doing well with disposable income to spend. The pandemic has limited options on what you feel safe or are allowed to do so this more means spending in new areas. For instance outdoor activities have dramatically picked up, meaning shortages in obtaining products sometimes.When the economy fully opens up and people feel comfortable in the future there could be a large pent up demand leading to high spending levels. So where do we go from here. Well that is the $64,000 question! I believe we are going to have to change our way of doing things. For instance many people have begun to work remotely from home. You have meetings by zoom on a regular basis. The technology of today means we have tremendous information at our finger tips, even on our smart phones. It is really amazing how instantaneously information

flows. In my case I deposit our corporate cheques using the bank app and my phone.This means you rarely visit a bank physical location any more. You can also order more online or by phone from local business and get delivery right to your door. I think we may have less formal office usuage in the future. In business this may create financial savings, so thereforebecome more attractive, even after things become more normal. Local businesses may have to create a more online presence and e commerce opportunities. I have spoken to some local entrepreneurs recently that have done extremely well moving beyond their physical locations. Many products and services, however, don’t lend themselves as well to not having the physical presence. So we are in a great period of change which was here even before the pandemic, but accentuated now.You really have to spend some time trying to figure out how to adapt and move forward in the best possible way for your situation.

What Can Chiropractic Care Do for You? What is chiropractic all about and how does it work? A chiropractor is a health care professional who specializes in the health and function of the spine and nervous system. Because of this focus on the spine, many people think chiropractors can only help with problems such as back pain, neck pain and headaches. It is true that chiropractors can often help with these things, but there is so much more to chiropractic than just pain. Chiropractic care is really about total health and wellbeing. It's about helping people to feel great and get the most out of life by functioning at their optimal potential. A recent study found that about 25% of Canadians have visited a chiropractor at some time in their life. Although back and neck pain were the main specific health problems people gave for seeing a chiropractor, almost half of the chiropractic patients said they went for general wellness or disease prevention. They saw a chiropractor because they wanted to function at

their best. About 2/3 of the chiropractic patients said chiropractic care had helped them to improve their overall health and made them feel better and almost half of them said it helped them to sleep better or to reduce stress and to relax. One third of those seeing chiropractors said it helped them by making it easier to cope with their health problems and it gave them a sense of control over their health. Patients felt that chiropractic motivated them to eat healthier and exercise more regularly. Most patients said they felt that chiropractic care helped them with the cause of their health problems instead of just treating their symptoms. Symptoms are a bit like a fire alarm. The fire alarm is not the problem, the fire is. The alarm only goes off to let you know that something is not right. If you take drugs or medication to mask your pain or symptoms it's a bit like taking the battery out of the fire alarm. It's much better to take care of the cause of the problem. This is what your chiropractor is aiming to do. The spine is there to protect the spinal cord which is part of the central nervous system. The spine is like a set of armour made up of segments so that it could bend and move naturally with the body. A spinal segment consists of two vertebra and the joints that connect them. There is a disk between each vertebra that acts as a cushion. Underneath that armour a lot is happening. Messages travel around the body up the spinal cord and into the brain. The brain processes those messages and sends replies back down the spinal cord to tell the body how to respond. The central nervous system is one big information highway and it carries vital messages to every part of your body. Sometimes the wear and tear of everyday life can impact the spine and spinal segments can move in a way that is different to normal in a dysfunctional way. That wear and tear can happen gradually such as from

bad posture or it can happen suddenly which is common with sports injuries. Because of the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system, everyday strains can actually impact the flow of information and communication between the brain and the body. Messages may not be delivered to the brain or they may be inaccurate. When that miscommunication occurs due to abnormal movements of the spine, chiropractors use manual techniques called chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulations. By making fast gentle adjustments to the spine, chiropractors restore its natural movement. If the central nervous system is like the engine of your body, a chiropractor acts like the mechanic, tuning the spine and central nervous system so that your body can run like a race car. So, do you want to sleep better, feel better, have more energy, reduce stress, relax or

simply maintain your health and wellbeing? Give it a go and join the millions of others who report to get these benefits from chiropractic care. This column has taken excerpts from Haavik Research (The Reality Check)

James DiGiuseppe is a local chiropractor with a busy family and wellness practice. For more health information or to contact Dr. DiGiuseppe visit: www.portarthurchiropractic.com


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THUNDER BAY BUSINESS DECEMBER 2020

FedNor supports Northwestern Ontario businesses and workers to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19 Canada’s federal COVID-19 Economic Response plan provides $7.4 million to support nearly fifty small and mediumsized businesses through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, designed to stabilize the Canadian economy during the global pandemic, has helped protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families, and keep businesses afloat. One of its key programs, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) delivered through the Regional Development Agencies such as FedNor, has assisted nearly 14,000 clients across Canada including more than 4800 women-owned or operated businesses and 2500 tourism businesses. In Northern Ontario alone, it has supported more than 777 businesses and organizations – including 267 tourism, 110 women-owned or operated and 60 Indigenous businesses – helping them mitigate the financial pressures caused by the pandemic while maintaining more than 3,300 jobs in the region. The Government of Canada is continuing to do all that it can to provide support to those who need it the most. That is why the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay— Superior North, and Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, today announced that nearly $7.4 million has been provided to support businesses and organizations in Northwestern Ontario facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on behalf of

the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister for FedNor. Today’s funding, provided through the RRRF, is enabling 48 small and medium-sized businesses, and organizations such as the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Superior Country and Ontario’s Sunset Country Travel Association, to bridge the financial gap caused by the pandemic. The RRRF, which is still accepting applications, provides financial contributions to help support businesses and organizations with their operating costs, where revenues have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of today’s RRRF announcement, FedNor is also providing financial support to the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre to create a safe working environment for staff and clients by meeting COVID health and safety protocols. This included purchasing furnishings and personal protective equipment to ensure that the Centre can continue to operate and provide its services to local businesses. Quotes “Our government is committed to doing whatever it takes to protect critical jobs here in Northwestern Ontario and across the country to put COVID19 behind us as quickly as we can, and then to foster the strongest, most resilient, innovative, globally competitive and inclusive economy possible.” The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North

“Businesses all across Canada have been hard hit hard by COVID-19. That’s why, through Regional Development Agencies like FedNor in Northern Ontario, the federal government is providing businesses vital support, and saving thousands of jobs. I want to assure Northern Ontario businesses that while our government manages this health crisis, we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together.” The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor “I am pleased to be part of a government that recognizes the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses in Northern Ontario are facing and is doing everything in its power to limit job losses and business closures. Our plan is to work with businesses to ensure that they can come roaring back, stronger than before” Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River “This funding is a lifeline for organizations like ours. This bridge financing will enable us to weather the coronavirus recession and to be there to promote tourism in Ontario’s Superior Country Region and attract visitors to the region as restrictions ease and more people are willing to travel.” Dan Bevilacqua, Executive Director, Superior Country “It’s essential for businesses and organizations such as ours to adapt quickly to the new realities created by

the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRRF enabled us to not only keep our operations going, but also to continue to assist local businesses and entrepreneurs, albeit remotely at this time.” Kendall Williams, Executive Director, Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre Quick facts · In Northern Ontario, FedNor has an allocation of $71.8 million through RRRF. · Delivered by the six Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), the Fund addresses gaps left by other federal relief measures, and complements those already provided by other levels of government. · Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in Northern Ontario, FedNor has invested nearly $13.8 million in RRRF funding throughout the region to support the recovery and growth of this important industry. Associated links · Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan · Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) · Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) · To find out more about our programs and services, please visit: fednor.gc.ca. · Follow us on Twitter: @FedNor. · Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

City Launches New Open Data Portal to Residents The City of Thunder Bay is pleased to further its commitment to Open Government, which promotes transparency, access and collaboration, by launching a new open data portal to residents.

identifying personal information. The data can be searched or browsed by category and downloaded, to be freely used without copyright or patent restrictions.

“Open data is a great tool for innovation and development,” said Jack Avella, Manager Corporate Information Technology. “We are excited to launch this portal to the public and invite them to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. We have identified over 50 datasets that may be of interest and the site is poised to grow into the future.”

The portal contains data, documents, applications and interactive maps which can be used by citizens in a variety of ways, from research to the eventual development of new services or software applications. The available data includes Thunder Bay street networks, real time transit feeds, financial statements, City recreational facilities, and much more. The City also invites requests for additional datasets to be considered future portal enhancements.

The portal uses an easy to navigate platform to make eligible municipal data, which has been collected by the City of Thunder Bay for use in its operations, freely available to the public. All data has been reviewed, identified for portal use, and contains no

The Thunder Bay open data portal is a component of the City’s 2019 - 2022 Corporate Strategic Plan which identified the need to develop an open data platform to make it easier for interested users to engage with City data and create opportunities for engagement.

www.thunderbay.ca/opendata Residents are invited to explore the portal at

Visit www.thunderbaybusiness.ca

for business information on the Thunder Bay area!


THUNDER BAY BUSINESS DECEMBER 2020

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KUHL Interiors Lighting & Decor with Windy Shores Cafe Open New Waterfront Store BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

Thunder Bay BUSINESS Thunder Bay’s Prince Arthur’s Landing at the Waterfront has undergone a major transformation in recent years. The City of Thunder Bay invested millions to create a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy. Two new 50 unit condominium building went up and most recently the new 4 star Delta Hotel has opened. The historic CN building had remained vacant for the last few years but now has a new occupant with the 5000 square foot KUHL Interiors Lighting & Decor with Windy Shores Cafe! “We started in business almost 10 years ago as a lighting store on Memorial Ave. Over time we have grown and expanded to include more home goods, furnishings and artwork.We had to close temporarily due to the pandemic and it also delayed our construction here. Our temporary building location also had new ownership so we were closed for 4 months before reopening. The new store at the waterfront opened August 1st.”said Cory Allan, owner of Kuhl Interiors. “ The location is great, a heritage

building, which had been under utilized for a long time. It needed extensive renovations.The views are incredible and pedestrian traffic is huge. Our store is a good use of the space year round. In the past the businesses in this building were seasonal. We will be open year round to draw people and hopefully we will have more neighbours soon. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating the building to completely customize the space to fit our needs.”said Cory. The space really showcases all of the Kuhl products. In the few months that they have been opened they have shipped their products across Canada, more so than ever done before in their entire history. “We are doing E commerce now as well as seeing people that are just passing through Thunder Bay staying at the Delta Hotel.They come in to the store to browse and take items with them or they custom order and we ship to them across Canada,” notes Cory. “E commerce has done well but in our industry it is mostly a touch feel type of business. This new store increases our showroom square footage to be able to show more products. This store is over 5000 square feet in size and more than double the old store.We also

have the addition of Windy Shores Cafe, which my brother Kyle owns.”

at age 24. “ I just had a liking for interior design.

KUHL Interiors offers lighting, furniture, home goods, artwork and soon bedding and dishware. They can order the exact product the customer wants and get in in quickly.

It started with lighting and then we added other products. I also renovate homes and all that stuff as well. We buy a home, totally renovate it putting my own stamp on it, and then re sell it.” Continued

Cory Allan, age 34 started in business


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KUHL Interiors Lighting & Decor with Windy Shores Cafe Open New Waterfront Store Continued “The new location has been fantastic. It is just letting people know we are still in business because of the 4 month closure. When people have discovered us again and then there was parking again out front, our traffic has increased. Also the people staying at the hotel has meant new customers from Vancouver to Halifax.” KUHL Interiors have a good base of customers, a huge clientele from their 10 year history in Thunder Bay.This more prominent location has broadened their base. Once the US border opens again it will help as well said Cory. Their product offering now includes furniture, original artwork, a huge selection of area rugs and dishware collections as well as bedding are coming. “ Our products are good quality from mid to high end range but we also have affordable product and everything in

between.This is already a lot of moderate to low end shopping in Thunder Bay so I wanted to bring a more premium product that will last longer especially when it comes to bedding with higher thread counts. Our furniture is solid wood.”said Cory. The Covid 19 pandemic caused KUHL to shut down and delayed their construction of the new space. It also meant the products were delayed by the manufacturer and there were shipping delays. Some companies have less staff to do shipping, say 3 to5 people versus 15 to 20. Many of the suppliers staff are working remotely so it takes more time to get an answer on things according to Cory. “We moved out of our previous location because our lease was up and then to a temporary space on 110th Ave and then Covid shut us down. We are doing well now and have increased staff from before with 3 to now 10 in the store

itself. The cafe store has 7 staff people.”notes Cory. “I definitely thoroughly enjoy being my own boss and couldn’t go back to working for someone else. It's nice to put in your own decisions and put your own influence on things. Having worked corporately before in retail you are basically modeling a brand whether you agree with everything or not you

have go with what’s being presented. In your own business you can customize it to what you see fit and to what the community wants because not every community works the same.”said Cory. “ I was born and raised in Thunder Bay and think a store like ours is needed in Thunder Bay.

Continued


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KUHL Interiors Lighting & Decor with Windy Shores Cafe Open New Waterfront Store

Continued “A lot of the things that come to Thunder Bay have been lower end. I like premium products myself and there are not many options here so I want people to realize that they don’t have to go Toronto all the time and can support their local economy to accent their homes.”

“The cafe here creates a drawing card for both of our businesses and creates a sense of activity. A cafe in this location was needed here for a long time. Both businesses have each other to help draw clientele. We hope for others to come here to the building and open their business. I would like to see a local clothing store here.” said Cory Allan. Kyle Allan is the owner manager of Windy Shores Cafe. “ My wife and I had a conversation with my brother about how people in Thunder Bay love to go out, grab a coffee and then go shopping. Cory said wouldn’t it be neat if we had a cafe inside the store and why don’t you and your wife start the cafe. We then found out this building was available for rent. The waterfront location is beautiful, spectacular. We needed to have the KUHL store here as well to make it a

waterfront with social distancing. That would help with our awareness. We have seen a lot of out of town people staying at the Delta or driving through which has been good.”

leading edge espresso machine.”

“Previously I was a tradesperson, born and raised in Thunder Bay.This is a change of pace. It is a big investment as we went top of the line for everything from the marble counter tops to

espresso.

Windy Shores Cafe have local bakers providing their products. They offer coffee, tea, late, espressos with special seasonal drinks.They do decaf as

year round business,”said Kyle Allan. “It has been fairly steady since we opened.Thunder Bay has been receptive of it so far and are happy to see something in the building after so many years. Surprisingly many people don’t realize we are open which has been shocking. Even after 3 months people may not realize we are

here.”said Kyle. “ We hope for the events to come back outside to the

www.kuhllighting.com Windy Shores Cafe on facebook


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Four Follow Up Tips to Grow Your Business The Sales Manager didn’t hesitate when I asked her, “What’s one thing you think your team members could do more of to enhance their success with customers?” Her immediate response: “Follow-up.” Working with sales and service teams for over 25 years and observing the practices of the most successful team members, I’ve found this to be true. We often get so caught up in responding to customers and prospects, or hunting for new business, we neglect to pro-actively follow-up as thoroughly or consistently as we should. Ironically, following-up is one of the easiest and highest payoff activities we can do to grow our business. Often we don’t follow-up because we’re afraid of hearing a no. Other times we can’t think of a good excuse to stay in touch. Here are 4 tips I share in my seminars that will make follow up easier and more lucrative. 1. Customers Want Follow-up Often sales reps are concerned that following-up with a potential customer after the first contact will come across as pushy. Keep in mind that customers responsible for making buying decisions are by definition, busy, successful people. Chances are they have lots on their plate and they may have been inadvertently putting your proposal on the back burner. They may already have you on their to-do list to contact for the next step. So, remember you’re not interrupting customers by following up; you’re being courteous and doing them a

favour.

3. Be Better at Losing

4. Out of sight – out of mind

2. Electronic is Easy

If it turns out that the potential customer has indeed gone ahead with another sup-

If you’ve given the customer a price or proposal, they may have unfortunately opted to go with your competitor. So, they might not be receptive to your phone call because they’re afraid you may not take rejection well. Or that you’ll try to talk them out of their decision. That’s awkward for everyone. That’s why following-up electronically with an email or text will often get you a faster, more honest response. When sending an email, it’s still important to not come across as pushy. So state in your subject line that this is a “Courtesy Follow-up.” It reminds them that you are being conscientious and thorough. That builds trust. In the body of your message don’t just ask whether the person has taken some action or made a decision. That can sound blunt; almost like an accusation. Instead, ask if they’ve had a chance yet to take action. That wording comes across polite and empathetic.

plier, then epitomize graciousness. In an upbeat tone let them that you’re pleased they are moving forward with their plans. If you know and respect the successful competitor, then mention that you’ve heard good things about that company. Here’s the kicker – finish by stating that if for any reason the other company isn’t able to deliver, or if the customer would like a backup in case of unforeseen issues, then to please keep you in mind. There are lots of reasons why customers choose different suppliers midstream. Being proactive, professional, and positive – even while not receiving the business -positions you at the top of the backup list when they decide to switch suppliers. You have nothing to lose by being gracious and everything to gain.

Just because you did some business one time with a customer doesn’t necessarily mean they think of you or remember you. In reality, customers are more focused on their own businesses than they are on their suppliers. That’s why it’s so important to stay in contact. Forget the conventional ‘just checking in’ time wasters. Instead, provide them with regular tips that can help them to achieve their goals. You can do this via email, social media, or organizing professional development events for your customers and their team members. Add in some food, call it a lunch and learn, and they will remember you. Bottom line – Interacting one time with a customer or prospect doesn’t mean you have a relationship. It means you had a transaction. Following-up proactively and regularly helps transform a transaction into a relationship. It proves you remember that person and are organized enough to stay in touch. That builds trust – a critical step towards positioning you as their Trusted Advisor.

Jeff Mowatt is a customer service strategist, Hall of Fame speaker, and bestselling author. For more tips, training tools or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit www.JeffMowatt.com


THUNDER BAY BUSINESS DECEMBER 2020

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SMART CHOICES THIS SNOWMOBILING SEASON SAY OFSC & OPP Snowmobiling is a very popular winter recreational activity that provides enthusiasts with fun and access to some of Ontario’s most spectacular scenery. Making smart choices while snowmobiling will help ensure that not only will your journey be enjoyable, it will also be a safe one.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) are reminding snowmobilers to take personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being this winter. The decisions you make while snowmobiling may impact your eligibility to drive a vehicle or even worse, they may have consequences which could impact your health or life. Plan your journey Safe snowmobiling isn’t just what happens while out on the trail, it’s part of a process of making smart choices throughout your entire journey. It starts with preparing your sled, gear and equipment before your first ride and maintaining these throughout the season. It continues through the planning and commu-

nication of your riding route and by always checking trail availability prior to accessing trails via the Interactive Trail Guide at www.ofsc.on.ca. Smart choices are especially important at the start of the season, a critical period as snow arrives and trail preparations commence although trails remain unavailable for riding. Once on the trail, every snowmobiler has the responsibility to ride with caution and to continually make smart choices. Riders are reminded that snowmobiling is an off-road activity that occurs in an unpredictable and uncontrollable natural environment. What is an unpredictable and uncontrollable natural environment? Quite simply, every snowmobiler needs to recognize that trails aren’t predictable or engineered like roadways. Signage is provided as a courtesy, not as a right and snowmobiles lack the personal safety equipment found on cars and trucks. Sudden dips and rises, curves and bumps are common and are all capable of throwing surprises at you when you least expect it. Always expect the unexpected, you never know what’s around the corner or over the next hill. Know the law, it’s designed to keep you safe OFSC Prescribed Trails are subject to laws governed under the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act and enforced by local police detachments all over the province. Snowmobilers are encouraged to know the law and ride within it. To keep snowmobiling safe and enjoyable for everyone, there are a number of simple things each and every rider can do, including but not limited to: • Know your abilities and ride with-

in them. •Adjust your speed to account for visibility, climate, terrain and familiarity. •Know your machine’s capabilities and don’t push beyond them. •Know your riding area and plan your route. • Stay on trails and in areas where snowmobiles are permitted. • Drive on the right side of the trail. • Use extra caution when riding during the evening or night. • Do not use alcohol or drugs before or during snowmobiling. Zero tolerance is the only way to ride safely. • Carry emergency supplies and learn

first aid and survival skills. • Know and use proper hand signals. • Know the law and ride within it. • Ride with a buddy or a group. ?Snowmobiling is great fun, and you can ensure your enjoyment by respecting the law and making smart choices. The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario’s highways, trails and waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death. Initiatives are developed and delivered through the OPP Provincial Traffic Safety Program.


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CHRISTMAS TREES AND THE LAW ©2020

Brian Babcock

The law really does affect everything, including Christmas trees. Not to ruin the fun, or your fond memories of the miracle of the Charlie Brown Christmas, but here are just a few of the ways that law interacts with this holiday symbol: 1. Did you know that Ontario has a Christmas Tree Day Act? Passed in 2015, it proclaims the first Saturday in December to be Christmas Tree Day. It promotes the Christmas tree industry. 2. There used to be a regulation governing the grading of Christmas trees in Ontario, but it was repealed in 2009. It was considered “obsolete”, and the intent was to reduce the regulatory burden on tree farms.

3. You are permitted to cut one tree for your own use on Crown land. 4. On private property, you need the

Legal Matters owner’s permission. Otherwise, you are trespassing, and committing a criminal act. 5. Christmas tree lights have been the subject of a tariff dispute, which found outdoor lights, even for use on trees, to be in a different category than lights to decorate a Christmas tree. The law deals in very narrow distinctions sometimes. 6. British Columbia tree growers

have complained in trade cases of American growers “dumping” trees into the market. 7. You may not want to have the sort of “Christmas Tree” used to split propane flows- that sort was the subject of a lawsuit in British Columbia after an explosion. 8. A spouse who operated a Christmas tree farm found that it complicated the determination of support payments in a Nova Scotia case. 9. Trademarks applying to Christmas tree lights and decorations have generated enough litigation to make several lawyers’ holidays merry and bright. 10. And what would Christmas be without a tax issue? Not to be a Grinch about it, but whether or not you intend to commercially operate a Christmas tree

farm may significantly alter the tax status of rural treed properties. Whether you go minimalist with your tree or make it fancy, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, the Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, or the traditions of the indigenous people first on this land, or in some other way, as you and those close to you share the holiday season, in person or at a distance, all of us at Weilers Law hope that you have a safe and happy holiday. See you in 2021!