TBB February 2021

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Covid 19 and Our Economy - 1 Year Later!

INSIDE Nine tips for getting paid without creating hard feelings Supporters Come Together to “Raise the Roof” Professor Mohammad Nasir Uddin named Fellow of the IEEE North Superior Publishing


Excellent Shipping Season Highlights

My Snowmobile Trip To The Eastern Townships Region of Quebec!



Supporters Come Together to “Raise the Roof” than $10,600 towards the goal. As businesses re-opened, they, too, came forward with donations in cash and in kind. Memorials were also gratefully acknowledged. The children joined in with their Kids Chocolate Bar Drive. In the meantime, the Campaign Committee proceeded with requests for proposals on replacing the roof, and chose Bur-Met Contracting.

Homeowners know that the day will come when the roof must be replaced. This is a major expense which thankfully only occurs about every 25 years. Church roofs are no different, just much larger in expanse and therefore extremely expensive to replace. St. Agnes Parish knew the time had arrived when buckets were visible in several places within the church, catching drips from the leaking roof after a rainstorm. The roof, now 34 years old, had to be replaced. The estimated cost was just over $200,000. The only thing to do now was to launch a campaign like no other since the church’s construction. Father James Panikulum, the astute pastor at St. Agnes thoughtfully chose seven parishioners from his congregation to undertake this enormous task. These seven dedicated ‘doers’ enthusiastically embraced the challenge. The Campaign got underway in late December 2019 with the uplifting slogan “Raise the Roof”! A fundraising thermometer appeared in the church foyer, a gentle reminder that donations were needed for this enormous project. The entire congregation got behind a fun-filled line up of fund raising events, a corporate plan, and a parishioner appeal. Everything was in place by January 2020 for the remainder of the year. Then, COVID-19 descended

Fr. James Panikulam appears in front of St. Agnes Church in Thunder Bay. About St. Agnes Roman Catholic Parish St. Agnes Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1885. It is situated in the centre of the city on the corner of Mary Street West and Brown on the world; the church closed its doors, businesses shut down, people were without work, and gatherings were prohibited. The Campaign Committee suspended its meetings for three months. With such uncertainty, one would expect that the Campaign would also trickle to a stop. Yet, a strange and unexpected thing happened; donations continued, slowly but surely.

When the church re-opened in June 2020, the Campaign thermometer in the foyer had risen to 50% of its goal! Support from parishioners was heartwarming and inspiring. There came a resurgence of energy to push ahead towards the goal, with innovative fundraising ideas. An online auction and a C.W.L. 50/50 cash draw raised more

The new church roof took shape over the summer in a manner that was non-disruptive, professional, timely, and below budget. The contracting firm, in a kind gesture, also donated generously towards the campaign. The Raise the Roof Campaign topped out at $ 209,520.77 in December 2020. Parishioner contributions accounted for the majority of funds raised. Everyone had done their part to put a new roof on their church. For many parishioners, the church feels like home to them, offering a place of sanctuary, peace, support, and spiritual warmth. Thanks to the Raise the Roof Campaign Committee of Sylvia Kayzer, Brian DePiero, Al and Gerri Tennant, Debbie Migay, John Schelling, Marcel Gagnon, and to Father James Panikulam for his leadership.

WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY ©2021 Brian Babcock Does your business still use a fax machine? Until the beginning of 2021, Ontario

law firms pretty much had to, as the most practical alternative method to legally serve documents during the course of a law suit (after service of the originating document by personal serv-

ice or an alternative) was via fax. Among the most useful changes to our Rules of Civil Procedure effect January 1, 2021 is establishing email as the primary method of service, replacing the fax. Welcome to the 21st century. Too bad it took a pandemic to get here. Other changes also reflect lessons learned by the shift to virtual practice during the pandemic. “In person” is no longer the presumed default for hearings- instead, a party must specify the proposed method of hearing, with a mechanism added to resolve disagreements about the method, and penalize parties through cost orders if they unreasonably require an in person hearing. Though many lawyers value the intangible benefits of “in person” sessions, experience with virtual hearings suggest that the differences are slight at most. The savings in terms of time, travel and delay may be greater than the “loss” of the face to face connection.

The option of virtual examinations for out of court examinations, such as discoveries and cross-examinations on affidavits, should similarly speed up proceedings, and save a lot of travel costs.

Legal Matters In person attendance of clients may no longer be mandatory at pre-trial conferences. I must say that this is one I have mixed feelings about – the cost and time savings are great, but it is much easier for a stubborn client to resist accepting reality if they are not in the room – I have done a lot of meditations where it was the need to look the mediator in the eyes that sealed the deal. The amendments also recognize the use of electronic signatures on court documents, twenty years after Ontario’s Electronic Commerce Act facilitated their use in business, and five years after they became acceptable for real state transfers. Electronic or remote swearing of affidavits is made permanent. Although these amendments are a modest beginning at fully bringing the courts into the 21st century, they are a good start. Weilers Law has long embraced the value of technology to better serve our clients, and we would be happy to help you save cost and time too.


Publisher’s Note Scott Sumner It’s been about one year now since the onset of COVID-19 in our world which has affected much of the economy. The first case in Canada was admitted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto after the 50 year old male had just traveled from Wuhan,China.Canada as of January 15th, 2021 has had 681,328 cases and 17,383 deaths. On January 13, 2021 Thunder Bay District Health Unit area has had 689 confirmed case with 83 active, 583 resolved and 23 deceased. There were 3 patients hospitalized with 2 in the ICI. So what have we learned in the last year I tend to ask a lot of questions to business people that you meet and there are always a wide variety of answers. Generally though COVID 19 has had far reaching implications for most people and business. Air Canada is back in operation with jet service flying people to Toronto with it looks like 2 flights a day. On the other hand Porter Airlines has extended their complete shut down to March 29,2021 which will mean over a 1year complete shutdown for them as they first grounded their planes on March 21st, 2020. Westjet seems to have 1 flight a day to Toronto.


Covid 19 and Our Economy 1 Year Later! Overall the Thunder Bay airport traffic was tremendously down which is quite an economic barometer. Hotel occupancy is down and some major hotels have had shut downs completely. Restaurants have indoor seating restrictions again and can only offer take out service which will be very difficult if in place for a long time. Retail was coming back but the new lockdown means mostly curb side pickup. Gyms had reopened with very strict protocols in place, but now are closed again. It is sad so many deaths from COVID 19 have occurred across the world including Canada and our neighbour to the south.We have had most of our local deaths in a senior living home, which experience a significant Covid 19 outbreak The most promising news for everyone is the arrival of Covid 19 vaccines. As reported last month in this publication they have started to be administered to high risk groups in Thunder Bay. It has been announced by Prime Minister Trudeau that they expect all Canadians

will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by September of this year.That is great news although seems quite far away from today. I continue to be impressed with the job done by our governments. Prime Minister Trudeau and his government have done quite a bit could to try and soften the blow for Canadians. To have over 8 million people at one time receiving the CERB benefit and it being followed up by the Canada Recovery Benefit has to have been a big help to many families. The wage subsidy benefit of up to 75% of wages has helped businesses move forward as best as possible. It has been extended. The loan program of $40,000 available to some small businesses is a good program and has been extended. There is a top up of an additional $20,000 for some applicants. There are many other financial programs which have helped many. It is nice to see many press events with Canada and Ontario. The Thunder Bay municipal government have made many good decisions to respond to Covid 19. Our government leaders have worked well together!

lent results during this time. Their services are in high demand and created decades high tonnage this year So what’s next? What can we expect? It’s sort of hard to tell I think. How will the consumer react after all of this isolation protocol? Will they feel comfortable going to a restaurant, concert or movie again? Will you be able to socially distance 6 feet for the future? How will that affect the cost of doing business? Can a restaurant make it until normal conditions return? If you are flying to Toronto will you want to be on a packed flight. Could the airline make it on low occupancy and how will that affect ticket pricing? It is definitely somewhat unknown and will require new ways of doing things specific to your business. The best answer will be the vaccine for everyone which would allow for somewhat normalcy. Even then the average person may not want to return to the old ways. I guess all of us will be watching as we continue on in this COVID 19 environment

We are lucky to have the Port of Thunder Bay which continue to experience excel-

The Concept of Energy Giving and Energy Taking For many of us this past Christmas season was different than usual. A lot less visiting and socializing meant we stayed at home, in our homes for most of the season. My first thought was that I decided to make the best of it and take this as an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. However, I must admit that what I ended up doing was a lot of nothing, except staying up late and eating more calories than I burned. After a week of this I felt more tired and less healthy than before. It was far too easy for me to get lazy. Lazy physically and mentally. The irony did not escape me. Here I am a health profes-

sional making all the wrong choices when daily I am encouraging my patients on active living, positive outlooks and heathy eating. What really surprised me was the complete lack of motivation I had to change, until I went back to the office and started my regular routines. I now have a much stronger understanding on how difficult it must be for many of you who either are not working at all or are working from home for all these months. The concept of energy takers and energy givers has been circulating for a long time. If you google it, most references are made towards the workplace and an individual’s aura. Are they contributing in a positive and selfless way or negative and selfish manner? However, we can extrapolate this to more than a mindset or aura. There are things in our environment and actions that we take or do not take that can also be categorized as energy giving or taking. Energy giving includes: sunlight, whole foods, consistent sleep patterns, nature, movement, music, dance, resting, fresh air, decluttering, hydration, future planning. Energy taking includes: negative thinking, no physical movement, alcohol, fear, resentment, inconsistent sleep, mess and clutter, overworking, dehydration, junk food, excess screen time, stress. The more of the energy giving actions and lifestyle habits we incorporate the more energy giving we become overall. When we are in an energy taking environment, it

may seem overwhelming to do everything on the giving list. You might even get fatigued just thinking about it. The beauty of it is that by just picking one thing on the giving list will give you more energy. Enough that you want to do another and then another as each action increases your energy. Take a simple example such as enjoying the sunlight. Go to the sunniest window in your home and just stand in front of it with your eyes closed for several minutes. Notice how you start to smile. This will give you motivation to feel the sunlight outside. Now you are also getting fresh air. Your energy increases to the point where you want to walk a bit and start moving. Movement will greatly increase your energy and give you better sleeps, etc., etc. Of course, the opposite is true on the negative side. We all have moments, days or even weeks of being in a rut. What is important is having the knowledge and a bit of discipline to be able to recognize it and take the initial small step in the opposite direction. Staying bunkered in our homes with little sunlight and fresh air, excessive screen time and no routine is a recipe for ill health and the worst thing we could do. Give yourself a break and start doing some energy giving actions. It is amazing how much more you will smile.

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



Nine tips for getting paid without creating hard feelings Nine tips for getting paid without creating hard feelings Ever experience the awkwardness of having to call a customer to remind them to pay their bill? You walk a fine line of diplomacy. Being a pushover won’t get the customer’s attention. Being too pushy can offend risking losing not only money that’s due, but future business as well. Most of the training I do is on choosing words that enhance trust and differentiate your service to make price less relevant. You can use these same trust building principles to gain cooperation with customers who aren’t paying. Consider these nine tips… 1. Do your homework

email sent soon after payment is due. Keep the tone light and conversational: “Pat, I was looking through our receivables and noticed we haven’t received a payment yet on this invoice. I want to make sure you did indeed receive it and there’s nothing you need from our

should be aware of?” Listen. Gather facts. Take notes. This isn’t the time to state your position. Instead, summarize you’re understanding of the facts you collected. “So if I understand this correctly, the situation at your end is…?” A huge part of building trust with any-

expressing your grand intention. It sets a positive tone and implies that you’re interested in achieving a long-term mutually positive outcome. Again, the goal is for them to feel motivated to pay. 8. Summarize your understanding

end. Thanks.”

one is demonstrating that you get their circumstances.

3. Stand up for yourself

Before hanging up, clarify what you and the customer have decided, “For my notes and to make sure I have everything clear, here’s what we’ve agreed upon moving forward…” Then send them a written summary confirming what you discussed. That way if you end up in court you’ll have documentation. 9. Last resorts

5. Empathize Start by gathering details about the invoice and about how much overall business the customer does with you. Any large volume customer isn’t going to be happy about receiving a collection call over a relatively small invoice. In fact they may rethink continuing to do business with you. On the other hand, a first time customer with a large overdue bill should be contacted sooner rather than later. When it comes to collecting, it makes sense to give long term customers special consideration. 2. Begin with a courtesy email The first reminder can be a friendly

If the email doesn’t receive a reply, it’s time to pick up the phone. If you’re feeling anxious, stand up when you phone. Your voice will have more resonance and authority, and you feel more confident and in control. 4. Share facts not accusations Certain phrases can inadvertently sound like accusations that put customers on the defensive. Telling people they are late or overdue sounds like a generalization. Instead give specific dates and encourage them to talk, “Payment was due on the 17th and as of today we haven’t received it. Is there something about the payment I

After you’ve summarized your understanding of their situation, if they have indeed been experiencing financial setbacks, then empathize. Begin with two magic words: sounds like. “Sounds like you’ve had a run of unfortunate events. I’m sorry to hear that.” Those words make you sound humane and go a long way towards making late paying customers want to cooperate. 6. Don’t make it personal This is the opposite of what I normally share in my Trusted Advisor seminars. Typically, we personalize the service by using the word “you”, as in, “Let me check for you.” In the case of collections however, the last thing we want is for this to be taken personally. So rather than asking, “When can you pay?” Instead ask, “When can we expect payment?” Speaking of word choices, avoid asking if they “want” to pay by installments. Few people want to pay bills. Instead ask, “Would it be helpful if we set up a payment plan?” 7. Express your Grand Intention© If you are indeed dealing with a normally reliable repeat customer, explain that you value their business and want to help them through this. I call it

If you conclude there’s slim hope of collecting all monies or that you no longer want to continue doing business with that customer, consider settling for less than the full amount. In most cases, you’ll be further ahead financially than what you’d receive by either suing them or engaging a collection agency. Speaking of unpleasant customers, some business owners have told me they meet once a year with their staff to ‘fire’ their one or two worst customers. These are individuals who create more stress than they are worth. In that case they send the customer a letter along the lines of, “It appears you have not been satisfied… we are therefore asking that in future you use the services of (competitor).” Bottom Line– While phoning customers to get paid may be daunting, fortunately by simply being a strong listener and choosing your words more thoughtfully, you can make collecting from customers less unpleasant and more rewarding. Good luck! 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

Visit www.thunderbaybusiness.ca

for business information on the Thunder Bay area!





Excellent Shipping Season Highlights Importance of Grain to Seaway The Port of Thunder Bay shipping season closes today, marking the completion of the Port’s most successful year in over two decades. Annual cargo volumes tallied 10.2 million metric tonnes (MMT), exceeding the ten million mark for the first time since 1997. Much of the success in 2020 is attributable to the port’s strategic position as Western Canada’s gateway to Eastern markets for grain. Thunder Bay is the western terminus of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System, a 3,700 kilometre marine highway for shipping bulk cargo to and from North America

via the Atlantic Ocean. Overseas grain demand drew over 150 foreign ‘saltie’ vessels to Thunder Bay for grain in 2020 – the second-highest tally at the Port since the Seaway opened in 1959. Several factors contributed to the grain surge, including significant carryover of grain stock from the large 2019 harvest, and worldwide stockpiling of staple foods during the pandemic. Greater diversification of crops, particularly in Manitoba, is having an impact in Thunder Bay as well, as markets demand more variety. Canola and soybean orders in Europe, for instance,

have grown at a higher rate than those for traditional durum wheat. The grain story bucks the downward trend of virtually every other cargo on the Seaway in 2020, signaling the important role the Port and Western farmers play on the System. Late-season developments have port officials optimistic for further growth and diversification in 2021. The first import shipment of phosphate fertilizer was handled at Keefer Terminal in early December. The fertilizer is being stored inside and railed to Prairie farms to cultivate the grain that will be exported from Thunder Bay elevators in the next harvest. Says Heney, “This shipment required considerable planning between the freight forwarder, the Port, and Logistec Stevedoring who was responsible for the safe and efficient discharge and handling of the fertilizer at the terminal.” Given the success of the arrangement,

forwarders are planning to send further shipments in the spring. “This cargo represents an opportunity to increase inbound shipments in Thunder Bay, capitalizing on the large volume of outbound shipments and available capacity, improving the bottom line for shippers. We have invested heavily in infrastructure and marketed a two-way route that adds value for businesses shipping to and from the West. This cargo fits the model and affirms our strategy.” The season’s last vessel, MV Saginaw, will depart Thunder Bay this afternoon with a grain cargo to be discharged at an elevator in Windsor, Ontario. Four vessels will undergo winter maintenance and repairs in Thunder Bay: MV Algoma Guardian, MV Algoma Strongfield, and MV Frontenac have laid up at Keefer Terminal; MV Blair McKeil is berthed at Heddle Shipyard.



COVID-19: City Assessing 2nd Provincial Emergency & Stay-at-Home Order January 12, 2021 – The City of Thunder Bay is assessing impacts on municipal services in response to Ontario’s declaration this afternoon of a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

“Today, the province asked that everyone stay home and only leave for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise, or for essential work,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “It’s a strong reminder that although we have vaccines, the road ahead is still a long one until the distribution of those vaccines are widely implemented.”

He also urged residents to remember local businesses and restaurants, and continue to shop local using curbside pickup, take-out and online as much as possible.

Effective Thursday, Jan. 14, at 12:01 a.m., the Ontario government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes only. The Province’s order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

“The City of Thunder Bay is assessing Ontario’s orders and will provide further information in the days ahead on the specific impacts on municipal services, amenities and facilities,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “We know residents have questions about the impacts related to our outdoor amenities and gathering numbers, so we are looking at these new regulations carefully.”

Next Issue: Thunder Bay Business Main Topic Forestry & Mining Ad Copy Deadline February 19,2021 Contact Sylvia @807-629-7095 www.thunderbaybusiness.ca

If residents have concerns about businesses and individuals who are not following Ontario’s COVID-19 related orders can phone (807) 625-5900 or tollfree 1 (888) 294-6630 to report any instances of non-compliance. This phone line will be monitored between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, and between 9 am and 1 pm Saturday and Sunday. This includes residents gathering in large groups.

For more information: • www.thunderbay.ca/coronavirus - read the latest City news releases related to the virus. •

www.TBDHU.COM/coronavirus - the Health Unit’s website contains links to credible sources of information for both the public and local health care providers.



Professor Mohammad Nasir Uddin named Fellow of the IEEE Dr. Mohammad Nasir Uddin has been elevated to the status of Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his outstanding contributions to control techniques for alternating current (AC) motor drives. He is the first IEEE Fellow at Lakehead University. Uddin joined Lakehead University in 2001. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He also serves as Coordinator of the Electrical Engineering program with the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, and is the Director of the Renewable Energy, Power Systems and Drive Research Lab located in Barrie, Ont. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement. “I am honoured to be considered amongst the worlds’ leading authorities within the field of electrical engineering,” said Uddin. “Out of all the awards and honours that have been bestowed upon me, this one is the most rewarding and gratifying, especially since it was supported by my peers.” Uddin has made outstanding contributions on the modeling, simulation and

real-time application of intelligent algorithms such as fuzzy logic, neural network, neuro-fuzzy, nonlinear and loss minimization controls of AC motor drives, to achieve fast and accurate speed response with high efficiency under system nonlinearities/uncertainties. As a pioneer, he developed and applied fuzzy logic controllers for both induction motor (IM) and interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM) drives in real-time that improved the dynamic performance of the drives compared to traditional controllers. His 2002 paper published in IEEE Transaction on Industry Applications is considered one of the ground-breaking articles in this area. These works have influenced many researchers worldwide and prompted a high volume of subsequent research in intelligent algorithms-based AC motor drives. He also developed a novel online machine loss minimization algorithm that improved the efficiency of IM drive by nearly 10 percent. It was an original contribution in machine loss minimization that led to the real-life adoption of this technology by industry (e.g., Rockwell Automation, Canada) to save energy and associated cost. Uddin has shared his findings in 235 papers that have published or accepted

in refereed journals and conferences including 54 papers in several IEEE Transactions journals that are considered the top-ranking journal in his area of research. In 2010 he won Lakehead University’s Distinguished Researcher Award. “This is a well-deserved honour for Dr. Uddin and recognizes the incredible contributions that he has made to sustainable energy and motor drives technology,” said Dr. Janusz Kozinski, Dean, Faculty of Engineering. “Our students are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from the foremost experts in their fields.”

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. To learn more about IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit www.ieee.org.



Ontario’s doctors provide facts, promote confidence in COVID vaccine to counter misinformation on social media. Ontario’s doctors voiced concern today about the urgent need to combat misinformation spreading on social media that may discourage people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Doubts and misinformation about how thoroughly the vaccines were tested or the extent of side effects are being shared widely on social media, especially among people under 25 and those between 25 and 34, according to new data released by the OMA. The OMA plans a media briefing at 12:30 today to counter those myths and fears and turn vaccine hesitancy into vaccine confidence. “We, as doctors, want to do everything we can to address every patient’s concerns,” said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill, speaking on behalf of the province’s 43,000 physicians, including those working on the front lines of the pandemic. “If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other health issue, ask trusted sources such as doctors who have the facts to turn vaccine hesitancy into vaccine confidence. This

report helps us better understand where some of the fear and hesitancy is coming from so we are better able to respond.” According to data collected by Advanced Symbolic Inc., misinformation about the COVID vaccine is spreading among all age groups in Ontario on social media. ASI uses artificial intelligence methodology to build a representative sample of Ontarians from publicly available social media information and obtain insights into public discussions about vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine misinformation by age groups: Under 25: Misinformation within this group includes strong doubts about the vaccine on social media, emphasizing they believe it is dangerous, “untested” and “largely experimental.” They speak, almost aggressively, about “it’s not your business whether I get the vaccine.” Those in this age group who are more open and accepting of the vaccine still have negative views about following government measures and advice aimed at curbing the pandemic, saying if the do so, they will be considered low risk and have to wait longer to get

a vaccine than people at high risk. Ages 25-34: More conspiracy theories are seen in this age group, in particular the belief that COVID is a genetically engineered virus so no vaccine can be trusted. This group is outspoken about refusing to have any “mandatory health tag” to prove they have been vaccinated. They want to make sure human rights are supported during the pandemic and question employers’ abilities to force employees to get the vaccine. Ages 35-44: This group is more supportive of a vaccine and is circulating less misinformation. But they are unhappy with the way the government rolled out the vaccines, especially the shutdown over the holidays and want the government to speed things up. This age group is talking a lot about vaccine safety and the need for public health campaigns that address vaccine hesitancy. Specifically, they are seeking more information about the effect of the vaccine during pregnancy. Ages 45-65: This age group is using social media to voice their opinions about government actions. Many are frustrated at the slow roll out of the

vaccine and want clarification about where the vaccines have gone and more transparency about the next steps. “Ontario’s doctors are committed to helping everyone make an informed decision by providing accurate, evidence-based facts,” said OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “The facts will help us all make the right decision for ourselves, our families and our communities.” The OMA has been active in combatting misinformation online about topics such as vaccination since 2019. For more factual answers to COVID vaccine questions, click here.

About the OMA The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day but it is about LOVE! By Sherry Hanes Heart Disease and Stroke can happen . . .At Any Age. Take charge of your health, for the love of yourself and your family! What are YOUR methods of prevention? Research in understanding and preventing heart decease and stroke, have made huge advancements over the years, none of which, would have been possible without the generous and personal donations by ordinary, everyday people, like yourselves. Along with donations from businesses, and the hundreds of volunteers that hold fund raisers across the country each year, plus, contributions from our tax dollars, all helps in the continuation of research and promoting prevention awareness! As we are all extremely grateful to everyone who is committed in medicine and scientific research, and volunteers to contribute thousands of hours, to such a great cause. We must also realize, the initial onus is upon us as human beings, to take the first measure of precaution in the interest of prevention for these health initiatives. Is it not said that, “an ounce of precaution is worth a pound of prevention’ (or cure, if you will)? Heart decease and stroke are not one in the same. They both cause insurmountable damage and/or death. Each has the capability to seriously alter ones’ mental and physical faculties which, also greatly affects one’s independence, and creates an immediate need for emergency short and/or long-term assistance.

So. Let’s talk Prevention! Prevention! Prevention! This is a huge key to saving our own life and that of family members. So. Here it comes! The words almost no one wants to hear, . . . PROPER FOOD CONSUMPTION and SOME REGULAR FORM OF EXERISING! The straight forward facts are: A generation ago, most of us were quite active and most of our parents made sure that we ate healthy, received the proper rest and exercise. With the constant pressures of life styles today, we must be vigilant in our own pursuit to act in the best interest of our own health, now and for the future. It could mean the difference between quality of life … and life itself. We consumers are inundated every day, with constant subliminal messages, about what will make us happy or what is most convenient, and with enough regular participation in these scenarios, it becomes OUR life style. This includes, everything from what we eat to, what activities we participate in, which contributes to health consequences that we and others, could and do suffer. When it comes to heart and stroke, we, in most cases, fail to see the overall progression of health deterioration due to the choices we are making daily. Therefore, we must look at what choices we are making, that contribute negatively to our long-term health. The great news is… you/we, can take steps towards greatly reducing the risks, right now this very minute, maybe even, as you are reading this article right now. We can turn back the clock to a healthier ‘us’! Who doesn’t love that?! We all make damaging choices. We do this unknowingly and most innocently. After all. Who deliberately goes out and tries to do harm to themselves and their

family? So. Here are some of the ‘hooks’, or triggers, to identify where we might be going wrong, if you will. Let’s, for the time, use the example of going out to a fast food restaurant. We all know that regular consumption of any fast food is very unhealthy for us. We can’t blame the fast food corporations. They are in it for the money, as anyone would be. Corporations base their sales upon ‘supply and demand’… and in this case…it is the demand that drives the ‘supply’. The subliminal hooks/triggers, happen in our minds, and it usually goes something like this: They’re (the fast food outlet) offering great deals this week. The menu says, ‘FRESH’. They’re open late. It’s only 10 minutes away. It takes me longer to make it. There’s nothing in the fridge. Everyone knows that a lot of the food is filled with steroids, anti-biotics, hormones, artificial colours, sweetener, and preservatives, (MSG (monosodium glutamate)). Even when we purchase our food at the grocery store, we have to be aware of these things so, we have to be a little more discriminating, to avoid these life-threatening chemicals and substances, in the food we feed to ourselves and our families. O.K.! Time for change! Here are some facts: Arteries and veins are types of blood vessels in your body. Arteries carry blood, rich in oxygen and nutrients, to your organs. Veins carry waste products away from your organs. Cerebral arteries are the arteries of the brain. Normal brain function needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. When a stroke happens, the blood flow is disrupted. Some brain cells do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need. When the cells die, that area of the brain cannot function as it did before. And speaking of being straight forward … think of your body as a machine and how important it is to keep that machine running in top condition? It’s simple: Keep the lines

clean and the machine runs perfectly! If we treat our bodies like a machine, we should do whatever we have to, to keep it running smoothly and efficiently, for as long as possible. You wouldn’t put steroids, antibiotics, hormones, artificial colours, sweetener, and preservatives, (MSG (monosodium glutamate)), sugar, or other destructive substances in your vehicle’s gas tank, would you? So. Why would you put such destructive substances in yourself? Something to think about? All of these things and others not mentioned, interfere with proper the functioning of our blood vessels? Just because we can’t see the inside of ourselves, does that mean we should ignore the functionability? Of course not! So, pay attention to changes in your body and mental health. Another thing we do is, we tell ourselves, ‘what we don’t know … won’t hurt us.’ Heart decease and stroke are silent. If you wait until something happens to you, you will definitely get to see the inside of yourself at the doctor’s office, through the results of your MRI, and/or brain scan, or anything else the requires X-ray vision. And if you have made it that far…you should seriously be initiating healthier choices or, well, need more be said? The focus is all about you and the efforts are being made, to bring you information that will help you to live a longer and happier life BECAUSE you took care of your health. Many risk factors are within your power to control. Find out what they are. Learn the steps to lower your risk. Be proactive! CHOOSE, better health. Your family will love you for it and you will be around longer to share that love with them. https://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy



My Snowmobile Trip To The Eastern Townships Region of Quebec: Valcourt and Lac Megantic! BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

Thunder Bay BUSINESS Travel has become more difficult in COVID 19 times. This is my report on a snowmobile trip to Quebec a few years ago.I hope to go back again soon!

Many people dream of getting away in February to a warmer climate to spend some time on the beach and relax. Personally I enjoy the winter season and this year was fortunate to visit the Eastern Townships area of Quebec to ride and see snowmobiles from February 9th to 14th!

My journey began with two Porter flights to Toronto and Montreal. I like that the flights are direct, meaning you

ting on the border. Newport, Vermont is the closest city.” One of the main reasons for the trip would be to attend the 2018 Grand Prix Valcourt, the 36th edition where 30,000 visitors attend over the weekend. 500 will ride to the event on snowmobile. In addition I would have the opportunity to ride snowmobiles for two days in the Lac Megantic area. “ We have many trails here and Valcourt is the cradle of snowmobiling, where Mr Bombardier invented the first snowmobile which was like a car before the snowmobile we know today.” said Danie. “ We have a good circuit of trails that are linked to the Quebec main trails. There

Townships. One is lit at night- Bromont. It is in fact the largest lit ski resort in North America. Over half of their 120 plus slopes are lit at night so it is very popular with night skiing. “ We have many Montrealers visit each year, some for the day with skiing, golfing, fishing etc. We are the fourth largest visited area after Montreal, Quebec and the Laurentians.” said Danie. “ We are doing well and are growing. Last year the economy from visitors was

stay on the plane at the Toronto Island Airport. This speeds up the process for sure. After leaving at 9am and arriving at Montreal before 1 pm it was off to Discount Rent A Car to begin the under 2 hour drive to the Eastern Townships.

It was fun staying at the Auberge 4 Saisons Hotel which was quite luxurious. Auberge 4 Saisons is a 10 year old property that was enlarged two years ago from 28 to 82 rooms. It has an indoor outdoor pool, spa and a good restaurant that we enjoyed that night - Bistro 4 Saisons. Danie Beliveau is the Media Relations person for Tourism Eastern Townships. “ We are a pretty big area situated just north of the border with Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for an area of 12,000 square kilometers from Lake Champlain to Lac Megantic. We are sit-

As an avid snowmobiler I was really looking forward to visiting the Museum of Ingenuity J Armand Bombardier, some 40 minutes away from the hotel. “ It reopened in May 2016 after extensive renovations. Previously the display was mostly about Ski Doo and snowmobiling as a guided tour. Now it is more about the whole history of the company beginning with the life of Mr. Bombardier and then about the overall company. We get 30,000 visitors per year.” said Alexander Hince, Head of

are a variety of trails that are well maintained by the club. In Lac Megantic there are some elevations that make it a pretty setting.” Most of us are familiar with Lac Megantic as the area was in the news so prominently. In 2013 the Lac Megantic rail accident occurred where 47 people died. There were not enough brake put on the train and it started moving and gained speed down the hill. In Lac Megantic there is a curve and the train missed the curve. Lac Megantic is recovering and starting to rebuild and will change the way it is done. They want to develop some attractions near the lake. There is a plan to build a hotel and a small convention centre. In addition there are 4 major ski resorts and 2 smaller ones in the Eastern

$875 million and we had 9 million visitors.” You can visit www.easterntownships.org for more information with different activities listed including spa, food and wine. There is a blog that tells what is happening each weekend.

Education. “ Many people will start with the 15 minute theatre presentation with moving objects about Mr Bombardier in the original garage and then see the 15 minutes video of the over all evolution of the company.” Continued



My Snowmobile Trip To The Eastern Townships Region of Quebec: Valcourt and Lac Megantic! Continued

their seats.”

During your visit you can see the original Ski Doo that made it to the North Pole, the B12, Metro Streetcars, Spyder, the Flex series and the new C Series jet simulator with fly by wire, the same units that pilots use to train. There are many interactive displays including a fab lab where you can build something in 3D eg. you could build a guitar or print something for a tee shirt .

“ Ski Doo is our main sponsor and help financially. There are many other sponsors as well including INTACT Insurance. The track is on BRP land. It is a good way to promote Ski Doo and have a big event for the area. We have some people who work full time almost all year and 16 members of the Board of Directors who look after different areas such as food service, paddock, race schedules and the family section. There are 250 to 300 volunteers this weekend and before,”said Sarah- Maude Boucher,Business Development Manager and a former Canadian National Team skier!

“ We want people to interact with the museum. There is an glassed area where you can see many reserve vehicles as well.” said Alexander. The costs to visit the museum are: Adult $12, Family $30 There are manufacturing plant tours Tuesday to Thursday with guides that cost $17 including the museum access at 10:30 am or 1:30 am for 14 ages or over with a maximum of 10 people with up to 3 or 4 groups daily. During my tour of the BRP plant the Spyder product was being made. In May it changes to Ski Doo. The other BRP products of ATV and Sea Doo are made in Mexico plants. The level of technology including robotic welders was impressive to see. I was not allowed to take pictures in the plant but I think you would enjoy seeing the process of manufacture over a 1:15 minute time period. Next up for me would be attending the multitude of races at the the Grand Prix Valcourt, which is 36 years old now, and a NON Profit organization run by 16 member directors. It began mostly as a snowmobilers meet up with the first edition, a blend of drag races and ice alone but not on oval. It grew quickly because it’s Ski Doo home town and being the biggest event many years for snowmobilers.” said Jean Collard, Social Media Press Room Manager “ Today it is a very unique race weekend with 9 different disciplines including Moto and ATV on ice oval and also inside the ice raceway and snocross. New this year is Snow Bike where some of our previous snocross racers came back to try Snow Bike. We have 1 kilometers of displays for family as well as rock concerts, drag races, fireworks and free entrance to the race paddock. We have a small ATV ride and slides for kids. Most of the people come from an area of 200 km around here. We have fans that phone in September to save

I really enjoyed the Grand Prix Valcourt, viewing some races, talking to some snocross teams I meet each year at Duluth, MN, listening to some rock music and seeing so many snowmobile displays! My next day would be at Lac Megantic, about 2 hours away by car. The first stop was to Summun Experience Location to meet my guide Bruno and get on the 2018 Ski Doo Grand Touring 900 ACE sled. “ It is our first year of renting sleds in the Lac Megantic area with 3 Grand Touring and 1 Renegade with more coming next year. The operation is owned by the local Ski Doo dealership, Performance NC.” said Pierre Marc Poulin Manager of Rental. The Lac Megantic Club was started in 1968 and currently has 160 kms of trail. They have 225 Trail Pass holders. The permit cost is $315 before Dec 9th after that $385. If caught on the trail with out a permit there is a $580 fine taken on the spot to help pay for the groomer costs etc. They also have a new bridge which cost $300,000 to replace the old one with funds coming from Canada, Quebec and the club. There are two John Deere tractor groomers and the operators are volunteers. The trails are groomed once per week and it takes 80 hours a week for both of the groomers said Bruno Giguere who is a Director of Lac Megantic Snowmobile Club. The snow came late to the region this year but normally there is good riding from Dec 15th to March 31st. We rode the Lac Megantic trails for two days putting on over 300 km. There

is a good diversity of trails through fields, at elevation and some through trees. We were 10 kms from Maine where the US riders can cross the border and obtain the trail pass.

the site of the Lac Megantic rail disaster. The area is being rebuilt and coming along very nicely. The people of Lac Megantic seem to be doing very well now.

The trails were in excellent condition with good levels of snow. It was fun to have 6 people ride with us, stopping for lunch and seeing the beautiful country side. The people here were so friendly and passionate about snowmobiling. The food in Quebec was amazing everywhere I went. It is so much fun riding snowmobiles here!

My trip to the Eastern Townships would be coming to an end and it was off to Montreal with a 3 hour drive to the airport for the trip home.

After our ride Bruno gave me a tour of

Special thanks to Danie, Bruno, Sarah, Collette and Myrtle for their help on this adventure.



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