Page 1

June 2014

Inside! Thunder Bay Economy Looks Good: Government Sector Top Employers

Ring of Fire Training Alliance Initiative Begins Program Delivery of Tiers 2 and 3 See Inside Page 8!

Northern Policy Institute Announces First Advisory Council

Thunder Bay’s economy has been buffeted by the changes in the world

Thunder Bay Event & Convention Centre Phase 3 Update

North Superior Publishing @tbay25

Thunder Bay Businesses Get RETROFIT and Get Awarded



Thunder Bay’s economy has been buffeted by the changes in the world economy by T. Douglas Murray, CEO CEDC Thunder Bay’s economy has been buffeted by the changes in the world economy. In the last decade, the seasonally adjusted employment in the City peaked at 66,200 employees in 2003 before bottoming out to 59,400 in 2011 and since has recovered to 62,000 in 2013. The attached chart below shows Thunder Bay unemployment rate versus Ontario and Canada. For April 2014 we had an unemployment rate of 5.8%.

Changes have occurred to our economy to diversify it from its past strengths. Examples such as the Northern Ontario Medical School, Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre becoming a regional health/science/education hub for Northwestern Ontario and, most recently, Lakehead University’s new law school that opened in September of 2013. All examples of Thunder Bay and Northwestern

Ontario demonstrating the capacity to build and sustain a knowledge- based economy that provides a diversity of good jobs and academic opportunities for our citizens. The pie chart below, received from the CMHC, from the 2011 National Household Survey, shows % employment by sector and the diversity of the Thunder Bay economy. According to reports from Statistics Canada and the Conference Board of Canada Thunder Bay scores a 0.83 on economic diversity vs. 0.72 for Sudbury. A score of 1.0 is considered a highly diversified economy.

There has been a decline in the size of the forest industry throughout Northwestern Ontario that has greatly impacted Thunder Bay’s labour force directly and indirectly through suppliers and service providers. The forest products business is starting to

pick up again. The completion in March 2013 of the $65 million condensing turbine project at Resolute Forest Products has greatly increased the demand for biomass in Northwestern Ontario. In the sawmill business Resolute completed its expansion of its Thunder Bay sawmill, announced the start of construction for the reopening of the Ignace sawmill and the start of construction in 2014 of a new sawmill at Sapawe and a pellet plant in Thunder Bay. Ontario Power Generation announced the conversion of

the Thunder Bay Generating Station to advanced wood pellets for 5 years however, more work needs to be done on this to extend this time frame and integrate this facility fully into our local forest economy. With the grain crop last year of 75 million tonnes we would expect the Port of Thunder Bay to be busier than the last few years as the railways and grain terminal companies try to move this record grain crop to market. Thunder Bay’s Bombardier plant received firm orders for a further 65 GO Transit

two-level suburban rail cars and options for 75 more from the Ontario government in January 2014. In March 2014 TTC ordered 60 more Rocket subway cars to be added onto the original contract for 420 Rocket cars. Both of these orders build on existing contracts the plant is working on. Continued on page 5


Publisher’s Note Scott Sumner Thunder Bay seems to have a pretty stable economy over time. In fact in the years I have lived here, beginning with attending Lakehead University in 1974, you really sense the stability. There have been some ups and downs, especially with the forestry industry, but for the most part we keep moving along with small growth. I was wondering why we remain so level in our economic activity and you get a hint of why when you realize almost all of our top employers are government or primarily government funded. In fact according to Thunder Bay CEDC stats only Bombardier crack the top 9 list of employers and they rank 8th. In many respects it is ok to have such as government focus on our jobs here in Thunder Bay. They tend to pay well, have great benefits and working conditions for their staff and can withstand the ups and downs of the economy. Sometimes the private sector can expereince more difficulty keeping their staff levels up when the economy is weak. So the 15,000 plus government sector jobs we have in Thunder Bay go along way in smoothing the ups and downs in our economy. There are some signs that we may be on the cusp of an economic boom in Thunder Bay. When you look at housing costs here, including resale pricing, you can’t not be amazed at current pricing. New housing such as a bungalow in a nice subdivision can be around $500,000 which is the highest ever I think. The demand for housing is great and that must be for a reason. Even apartment rental rates are high and in short supply. I asked one building manager about rental rates,where I used to live long ago while attending university here, and she told me a 2 bedroom rents for $1200 to $1500 per month and they have a 2 year waiting list! What will affect our economy in the years to come? I think Thunder Bay is becoming more and more of a regional hub for Northwestern Ontario. We have great retail shopping opportunities. There is excellent health care available with many specialized services here. Educational

President Miranda Bolt Graphic Designer

Sonia Rutter @ 807- 631-4244


Thunder Bay Economy Looks Good: Government Sector Top Employers opportunities are excellent with a full range of training from medical doctors, engineers, technicians, trades skills- the list is endless. Perhaps that is why the health care and educational sectors are such large employers. I think the business sector of Thunder Bay is and will always remain the most prominent factor in the economy. It may have a different look with fewer large scale operations with hundreds of employees but many smaller entrepreneurs that can be in the 1 to 10 employee level. In fact I know Thunder Bay Business is mailed out to almost 4000 businesses so we have a large and vibrant small business sector here. On the horizon for us all is the Ring of Fire mining opportunities. We are seeing the build up to it right now. Many large operations are gearing up to participate and once this complex project starts off with some needed components like access roads, electricity and environmental approvals we will see great economic activity here in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. In general I like what I see in 2014 in Thunder Bay. If we all have a little patience things will only get better! Thunder Bay Top Major Employers Employers Business Type Employees Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Acute Care Hospital 2,694 Lakehead District School Board Elementary & Secondary Education 2,200 Lakehead University Education 2,100 City of Thunder Bay Municipal Government *1,855 Government of Ontario Provincial Government 1,849

St. Joseph's Care Group Complex Care, Rehabilitation, Mental Health & Addiction Services, Long Term Care 1,700 Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board Education 1,500

Bombardier Transportation Mass Transportation Equipment Manufacturing 1,300 Confederation College Education 785



WRONGFULLY QUITTING?? ©2014 Brian Babcock Courts have long refused to force unhappy employees to continue working, even if they have a contract requiring them to do so. “Wrongful quitting” in breach of

Legal Matters contract is so rare, few have even heard of it. However, a recent Ontario court decision takes this old thinking out for a fresh spin. “Wrongful dismissal” is when an

employer fires an employee without cause or notice. In the non-union sector, it leads to court claims for damages. In the unionized sector, reinstatement is the normal remedy.

the next day, the cycle starts all over again. Courts also hate to force people not to work and as such, an order prohibiting going to work for a competitor is rare.

With a union and a collective agreement in place, there is a structure to make the reinstatement work. Courts, on the other hand, hate making an order that requires supervision, because the court system lacks the resources to make relationships work smoothly.

In this recent case, Blackberry acquired a smaller company because it wanted its patents. Blackberry also wanted to retain at least one senior manager, with whom they signed a contract to be an Executive Vice-President, after the employee also considered an offer from Apple. The contract required that the employee give six months’ notice if he planned to quit - reasonable time to find a replacement for that type of job.

For similar reasons, judges worry that if they force an unhappy worker back to the job, the employer will soon be back before the court. Poor work performance or lack-of-effort are very subjective complaints that are difficult to sort out, and

He gave his notice. Blackberry said they expected him to work the six months and took him to court - not for an order forcing him to work, not even to prevent him from going to work for Apple but simply for a declaration; a court order saying that he was required to give notice. The judge gave Blackberry its order. Since the employee is required to work for Blackberry, he cannot start at Apple. If he does, he is in contempt of court and the court may impose a penalty. For every right, there should be a remedy. The courts reward creative thinking. At Weilers, we are creative lawyers.

The ink was not even dry when the employee decided to go to Apple instead.

Economic Drivers We all know deep inside that we have the right ingredients in our City for a strong economic revival but we question why it isn't happening like it should.

"Qualified") . We can almost taste the forestry indus-

Yet, we know something must happen. The wealth of the Ring of Fire will be at least the equivalent of the Tar Sands without the environmental impacts.

Firstly, I believe that we are on the right track. Business, governments, organizations seem to share the desire to see more happen, and happen quicker. Our assigned agencies in economic development are working quite well in concert with each other.

The knowledge-based assets we have already can produce the skilled people to manage that boom but how long can they wait before they move on to work elsewhere.

Secondly, we are not as predominant on the resource industries as previously but they still represent viable and valuable opportunities. Thirdly, the smart businesses we have incubated are doing well but also seem, as a group, to have levelled. Fourthly, labour for a wide range of skills has a wide amplitude in being able to supply or be over-supplied (read

mining sector have opened with a flourish and then quietly returned to head offices in other cities.

tries poised for a strong resurgence and know it will happen. The question is when. We can quantify and qualify energy requirements and project huge demand but current requirements are seeing layoffs. We can see the signs for houses for sale and see the construction of multi-unit structures so we know that someone is buying these but yet our population still can't jump its numbers. There has been talk of 10-12 mines, "guaranteed" to be opening soon even with the commodities markets where they are. This has been going on for at least 4 years. The studies have been done and many new offices to support and supply the

People are getting cynical that the only mining activity is the monthly conference to see the same people confirming that it's going to be happening soon. Although it is easy to become doubtful and negative we know some things for certain. So predictively, it's gonna come. Whether sooner or later it will be months not years before another mine breaks ground. What we have been doing in our preparedness is kind of like training for combat. You can prepare and hone your skills but when it hits then all heck breaks loose. And..... the winners are inevitably those who trained. Why, because they have minimized the issues that would delay success. No one individual or group can perfectly plan ahead but those who are laying the groundwork will have a greater chance of succeeding.

For us in the City it is much wiser to lay out the welcome mat than to suppose we can deal with situations later. Better for us to let mining, forestry, research, construction, manufacturing, transportation, systems and investors in general that we have the combinations that can make for profitable operations. As a City we have to become receptive to accepting good advice and ideas from groups like the Chamber, from Business Improvement associations, from tourism organizations, from young enthusiasts such as SHIFT, from those who have prevailed and from those whose dreams are not quite there yet. We must respect our LOCAL business owners and the surrounding communities who all can contribute to a vaulting upwards of our economic position. It will take cohesion, it will take readiness, it will take willingness and above all, it will take leadership to turn economic planning into financial success.

Hope you agree, Respectfully submitted, Ken Boshcoff HBA MES CIP AAIC Director of Business Strategies Crupi Consulting Group



Thunder Bay’s economy has been buffeted by the changes in the world economy Continued from Page 2 Below are some pictures of significant and notable private sector projects that were built or started construction in the last year.

Pitch etc. We can also help with digital media, business plans, business retention and expansion. We will shortly launch a business for sale section on our website to promote the succession planning of some

Below is a snapshot of Thunder Bay building permits issued in last few years. Notable public sector building projects underway are the St. Joseph’s Care Group Long Term Care facility, two fire halls and the new Childcare Facility at Lakehead

of our businesses whose owners fall in the baby boomer category.

University to name a few. So we can’t say that Thunder Bay is idling.

We do have more opportunities coming at us with the mining sector. Rubicon Minerals Phoenix Gold Project in Red Lake is scheduled to start production in the 1st quarter of 2015 and Thunder Bay companies have been involved in the construction of this facility and some employees of this mine live in Thunder Bay and some supplies will come from Thunder Bay. Towards the end of 2014, New Gold’s Rainy River Project will hopefully announce they have all their environmental and First Nation agreements in place and will be able to start construction on that $700 million plus project in 2015. They will employ about 400 contractors during the construction phase and up to 600 people during the operation phase. Other gold projects are also on the horizon for Dryden and Greenstone in the coming years. With the framework agreement between the First Nation Communities and the Government of Ontario signed and hopefully final negotiations completed soon and follow-up on the announcement of $1 billion for infrastructure, we might yet see some development in and around the Ring of Fire in the next few years. Here at the CEDC we continue to work with small businesses, start-ups, students and youth at our Entrepreneur Centre (EC) running various programs such as Starter Company, Summer Company, Make Your

Our economy is not stalled, but we agree with a Conference Board of Canada report issued earlier this year that our economy

will grow slowly by 1% in 2014. We will continue to work on attracting new businesses and opportunities to Thunder Bay

as we still have 3,700 people (April 2014) unemployed and others not fully employed.



Celebrating 20 Years of Design Excellence own. For Dusk to Dawn Interiors, 2014 is an especially big year. Not only are they celebrating 20 years in business, but this multifaceted, interior design firm will be setting up shop permanently in a building of their

In 1993, co-owners and Interior Designers Theresa Russell and Brenda Parhiala designed their business with a strong local focus. Starting as a bedding and bath bou-

tique, Dusk to Dawn has flourished, providing high-end products and design services for every room in the home including kitchen cabinetry. “We strive to provide our customers with a full design experience, everything for the home,” says Russell. “By working closely with local businesses and trades, we help clients realize their dreams - big or small, while strengthening our ties in the community.” Both graduating from the accredited Interior Design program at Confederation College, Russell and Parhiala have been a part of the local design community for over 25 years. “We love the whole design process, seeing a job through from conception to completion, and witnessing the transformation with and for our clients,” adds Parhiala. “We make a point of attending various

design and industry shows across North America and Europe to keep current in this ever changing market.” Russell and Parhiala share a passion for design and embrace forward thinking. They are always looking for ways to improve, and offer the latest design trends to their clients through implementing, coordinating and executing a collaborated vision. Working with a variety of clients, both residential and commercial, Dusk to Dawn has a dynamic team of experienced and knowledgeable designers in many different fields. From kitchen and bath design, to custom closet specialists, to furniture and window covering experts, their professional sales staff has what it takes to execute beautiful interiors. With state-of-the-art software, Dusk to Dawn also offers clients 3D renderings of every room in the home or commercial space even before construction begins. Russell says it is invaluable for the client, as most people have difficulty visualizing the finished product. “It allows the client to wrap their minds around it,” she said. The team will be hosting a grand re-opening and 21st anniversary celebration this fall. The new store will feature state of the art kitchen displays inspired by the latest trends, fine furniture brands from Canadian and international manufacturers, custom closets, blinds and window coverings and accessories for the home. “We believe strongly in our community and we fully enjoy our work, which is why we have persevered for over 20 years,” says Parhiala. “We have very strong, local relationships and represent some of the best clients in Thunder Bay!” For more information visit or follow them on facebook.



JANZEN’S PHARMACIESFirst there was one…now there are four!! And there is another on the way!! Our Pharmacy Phamily is Growing!! By Sherry Aalto It is a m a z i n g what ‘shop local’ can do for just one business, let alone a community and a region! Located here in Thunder Bay, with pharmacies stores at Bay and Algoma Street…Westfort Village…Thunder Bay Medical Centre…and Northwood Park, Brenda Adams, owner and also pharmacist of Janzen’s Pharmacies, currently employs just nearing 100 people. That is quite a number since Brenda Adams opened her doors just 13short years ago. Brenda explains that, when she bought the pharmacy from Fred Janzen, “Why change the name?” Janzen’s has been and remains today a very well known and obviously very well trusted name of 25 years at the time of purchase, for faithfully serving the city and region when it comes to customer care and their pharmaceutical needs. Both parties, Fred Janzen and Brenda Adams, share pride in knowing the Janzen name

stood for trust in the community and continues to do so today! Brenda Adams, Cathy Pratola G.M., and Gail McKay, Director of Operations, can’t say enough about shop local and just what it can do for families, employees and commerce in our community. All three explain that because of loyalty and trust, on the parts of both customers and shop keepers, business can expand and when business can expand, people can have employment opportunities and at this particular business, family members work right alongside each other. Brenda and her team believe that this is a direct result of ‘shop local’! Some family members have to leave the city to gain viable employment. But here at Janzen’s, growth in business has made impossible…possible! Just a few 24 hours ago, when everyone else was selling out their business to another well known name in the drug store business…Brenda, with some very well thought out plans and strong belief in her community, took the leap of faith…and faith won out!! Now almost 14 years later, with four pharmacies operating in the city and a 5th

on the way…that’s right…another pharmacy is proposed to open in the fall of 2015, on Lillie Street just off of Arthur Street. The newest Janzen’s Pharmacy will be more than just a pharmacy! It will have Health Care Practitioners, a Dentist, a little Café, Hair Dresser… and Brenda and her team cannot say enough about just how wonderful and loyal the community has been. They can offer more because people shop here faithfully! Brenda also talked about the vital importance of serving the customers well and equally important is, observing the needs of a community. Brenda Adams, of Thunder Bay, started out working in hospital pharmacy, then worked as a pharmacist at a local pharmaceutical chain (Crooks and Burkes) and then bought Janzen’s Pharmacy. During her years in this fast paced industry, Brenda developed a key sense of what the needs of the community were and not just here in Thunder Bay, but in North Western Ontario as well! As

Cathy Pratola explains, “The pharmaceutical industry in constantly changing and keeping up with change is what we do best!” “For example, we saw a need for nurse practitioners, so we brought them in on staff!” “Also, language barriers are becoming a thing of the past for this pharmaceutical company. Janzen’s now provides service in 10 different languages!” Wow! After hours calls for prescriptions and a host of other well needed services. And one other very important aspect of servicing the needs of a community is…We work with North Western Ontario Hospitals to train staff in technology, that they become effective for their own needs!” This is all done without the bottom line as a focus, financially speaking.” The spin-off from shopping local is not just a theory. It is a proven phenomenon! Shopping local…it is a choice! Did you shop local today?



Ring of Fire Training Alliance Initiative Begins Program Delivery of Tiers 2 and 3 BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

Thunder Bay BUSINESS Recently an event at Confederation College celebrated the start of Tiers 2 and 3 in the Ring of Fire Training Alliance (RoFATA) initiative. Approximately 60 learners from nine Matawa First Nations communities gathered for the first day of the 12-week Tier 3 programming offered

within five pre-trades programs, including: · Pre-Trades Carpentry · Pre-Trades Electrical · Pre-Trades Plumber · Pre-Trades Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic · Pre-Trades Construction Craft Worker

Diamond Driller Helper program at the Firesteel Camp in Ignace. 10 students are

people. Funding for this initiative has been provided through the Skills and

enrolled. An environmental monitoring and Pre-trades welding program are also being scheduled.

Partnership Fund.

Tier 2 programming will commence on May 28, starting with the Surface

Launched in October of 2013, RoFATA represents a partnership between Matawa First Nations – Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. Its key objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations

Tier 1 of the RoFATA initiative saw the successful delivery of Mining Essentials/Mining Readiness programs to approximately 160 students in the nine Matawa First Nations communities and locally in Thunder Bay. Tier 2 and 3 programming will continue through the summer and fall of 2014. Continued Next Page



Ring of Fire Training Alliance Initiative Continued From Previous page Quotes: Jim Madder, President, Confederation College “Our future depends on our ability to ensure all learners have the opportunity to reach their full potential to contribute to their communities and the economy. The next two phases of training will establish the foundation for the development of a future workforce in the Ring of Fire or beyond. We recognize that partnerships are imperative to the success of this initiative. KKETS and Noront Resources have provided extensive support and leadership to reach a common goal in ensuring graduates are employment ready. “ Morris Wapoose, Program Manager, KKETS “We are pleased with the outcomes and progress we are making in training our membership from the Matawa communities. The pre-trades programming will provide the necessary skills to enter an apprenticeship within the industry and be better prepared in entering the workforce.” Alan Coutts, CEO, Noront Resources Ltd. “Noront is focused on developing a skilled local workforce to support our Eagle’s Nest mining project which we expect to be the first mine in the Ring of Fire. We are encouraged by the level of participation and look forward to hiring graduates from the program in the near future” Leanne Hall, Vice- President Human Resources Noront Resources Ltd. based in Toronto with its head office as well as an office in Thunder Bay and in the Ring

of Fire with their mining camp is 700 km north of Thunder Bay. Their first project is the Eagles Nest Mine which is a nickel and copper project but they also have have chromate, platinum and palladium deposits in the area. “ Across Canada we have a shortage of people working in the mining industry. Over the next 10 years there will be a

into our alliance. The first phase was a mining essentials 8 week program and 170 people participated.” “ The Ring of Fire is a world class project. The biggest part is we have to develop the infrastructure going into the mine, the roads, the power line and mine itself. We are hoping by early 2018 to be in production- about 3 1/2 years from now.

Jim Madder, President, Confederation College 145,000 people short fall. Looking at our long term workforce development we decided the best way was to invest in the local communities and from a partnership with Matawa First Nations, KKETS and Confederation College. We worked closely with the Federal Government to invest in skills development.” “ Today is a very important day because 72 people from the Matawa communities are taking the first step forward in their long term career path. Minister Rickford made the announcement of investing $ 5.9 million over the next 17 month timeframe

Everyday we are doing work to advance the project such as the environmental assessment, accessing financing and getting all the permitting in place and then we can start building this project. It will be approximately a $660 million investment including all the infrastructure into the Ring of Fire for the first project. We have been waiting for Ontario to tell us what their investment in the infrastructure would be because we can’t build the property without the proper infrastructure. As the election moves forward we hope the commitments remain in place.”

“ We also believe it has to provide infrastructure into the aboriginal communities as well. Our east west corridor provides access to the project as well as communities. We operate on their traditional territory and want to be respectful.” Don Bernosky Vice President Regional Workplace Development for Confederation College. “ Today is significant as working together with the Ring of Fire Training Alliance Initiative we have 60 students starting training. They are from the 9 Matawa communities. This Pre Trades program starts out with foundation skills, literacy, work safety and basic hands on experience. We then do the equivalent of a Level 1 in school apprenticeship. After this program they can move on to be a apprentice which is 4 years in duration. That time goes fast as they are in the workforce learning, earn as your learn we call it with over 90% of it is on the job. There is a nationwide traded skills shortage. We will also be building in an entrepreneurship component into the program as we move forward.” “ It is an incredible opportunity for the Matawa First Nations and we are pleased to be a part of it and support them as they go forward. Once the corridor is announced to the Ring of Fire area it will be equivilent to the Alberta Oil Sands in term of economic impact.” Caitlin Cheecho from Thunder Bay is enrolling in the course and chose carpentry as a trade. “ The course will be 12 weeks and then I will hopefully get a job immediately after that. There are not many women here but it is a great opportunity for a female in the workplace, it is empowering.”

Northern Policy Institute Announces First Advisory Council The President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute, Charles Cirtwill, is pleased to announce the members of Northern Policy Institute’s inaugural Advisory Council. The six Advisory Council members are: Ron Arnold, Murray Coolican, Barbara Courte Elinesky, Brian Davey, Tony Dean and Don Drummond. Northern Policy Institute’s first Advisory Council members have been strategically selected for their experience, knowledge and connections in key sectors across the entire Northern Ontario region. The Advisory Council provides invaluable communication and access to sector-specific researchers and key stakeholders. Members also provide support and strategic guidance on the overall organizational direction of Northern Policy Institute. Further appointments to the Council are expected as candidates make their interest known and any identified gaps in representation and experience are filled in. Specifically, the six Advisory Council members are: - Ron Arnold is the President of a Sudbury-based construction company, Dalron Construction Limited; a position he has held since 1969. He has also a served on many local boards.

- Murray Coolican, a former Senior Ontario public servant, is the Deputy Minister of Energy for the Province of Nova Scotia. He has held numerous leadership positions in the not-for-profit, government, political and private sectors. - Barbara Courte Elinesky is the CEO of two drilling companies; Cobra Diamond Drilling and North Star Drilling. She is also a Board Member on Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. - Brian Davey is Executive Director of Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) and was previously Economic Development Manager for Matawa First Nations Tribal Council. He has worked for over 28 years on First Nation issues mostly related to economic and business development. - Tony Dean, former Secretary to the Cabinet and head of the Ontario Public Service, is a Professor at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. In 2010, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation. - Don Drummond was appointed to the Donald Matthews Faculty Fellowship on Global Public Policy at Queen's University in June 2010 and to Co-Chair of the C. D. Howe Institute’s Fiscal and Tax Competitiveness Council in March 2011.

Charles Cirtwill, President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute, says; “I am delighted to welcome these highly talented and well respected members to the Northern Policy Institute Advisory Council. Individually and collectively, these individuals bring an incredible wealth of knowledge in their respective fields, and their contributions will be vital for supporting Northern Policy Institute’s overall organizational direction and strategic actions.” Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario’s first think tank and provides

evidence-based research and recommendations to government and industry on policies and programs that have the potential to strengthen Northern Ontario economies and communities. To learn more about Northern Policy Institute and to read the full biography of each member of the Northern Policy Institute Advisory Council, visit

Our Next Issue of

Thunder Bay Business Ad Copy Deadline: June 23rd Contact Sylvia Gomez @ 629-7599 Sonia Rutter @ 631-4244



Thunder Bay Businesses Get RETROFIT and Get Awarded Recently Thunder Bay Hydro recognized four local businesses at its 2014 Retrofit Excellence in Energy Efficiency & Conservation Awards. Each business presented with the honour, has demonstrated leadership to save on energy and has participated in the Thunder Bay Hydro saveONenergy RETROFIT PROGRAM

over the past year. The RETROFIT PROGRAM provides incentives for commercial operations to install newer, more energy efficient solutions. Says Robert Mace, President of Thunder Bay Hydro; “Thunder Bay Hydro is proud to recognize the great things happening in our community and the local businesses who do more to save energy. At Thunder Bay Hydro, we understand that a saved kilowatt has value and it only makes business sense to encourage savings through our programs and offer incentives to those who participate. The businesses acknowledged today, are all committed to operate more efficiently and as a result are feeling the benefits.” The recipients of the 2014 Retrofit

Excellence in Energy Efficiency & Conservation Awards are as follows: • Badanai Motors Retrofit Measure: Lighting fixture replacements. Key Stat: Business is saving 44,000 kWh of electricity annually. • Dufresne

Retrofit Measure: LED lighting upgrades. Key Stat: Project cost totaled $32,000; payback period for installation is less than one year. • LMI Thunder Bay Retrofit Measure: Old lighting replaced with new more efficient lighting. Key Stat: Business is saving $25,000 on annual electricity bill. • Smith’s RV Centre Retrofit Measure: Old lighting replaced with new more efficient lighting Key Stat: Business is saving 35% of total energy use. Since 2007, Thunder Bay Hydro Conservation has completed over 250 Retrofits in the community, saving 8,600,000 kWh of electricity. This equates

Our Next Shop Local Section Ad Copy Deadline June 23rd Contact: Sylvia at 629-7599 0r Sonia at 631-4244

to enough electricity to power 900 homes. At the 2014 Retrofit Excellence in Energy Efficiency & Conservation Awards, Thunder Bay Hydro also announced three local businesses that are committed to “Get RETROFIT” over the next year. The 2014 Retrofit Recruits are: • Airlane Hotel & Conference Centre

Committed to upgrading to more efficient HVAC and indoor/outdoor lighting. • Dominion Motors Committed to replacing over 50% of their old inefficient light with more efficient models. • Naxos Grille & Bar Committed to replacing old lighting with more efficient and longer lasting LED models. Says Jake Allen, Energy Advisor of Thunder Bay Hydro; “Most of us need an extra incentive to get in shape and saveONenergy programs provide that motivation. Our new Retrofit Recruits are committed to improving the physical condition of their business. Every year more and more businesses are committing to find new ways to save energy and money for the long-term. We are encouraging other businesses to commit and get retrofit.” The RETROFIT PROGRAM offers incentives to upgrade to high efficiency equipment such as lighting, motors and heating, and for installing new control systems. Over 130 Thunder Bay businesses have already committed to participate in the program in 2014. Over the last seven years the saveONenergy RETROFIT program has

paid out over $1.3 million in incentives to local Thunder Bay businesses. “ Last year we did the awards out of 110 we completed in Thunder Bay. Since 2007 when the retrofit program started we saved about 8.6 million kilowatt hours. That equates to enough power to supply yo about 900 homes. We start off the process when someone has old energy electrical products and help get them better products in their businesses. The major one everyone does is take old lightning and replace it with energy efficient lighting. Old motors and processes. Some of the award winners today will recoup their costs n 8 months . We like to see 2 years on average.” Rob Coffey Dufresne Furniture. “ We were approached by Thunder Bay Hydro and shown the rebates offered. It made sense for us and we paid for the project in less than a year. We had 75 watt bulbs which we changed to 15 watt led bulbs so a huge savings per bulb with 800 in our showroom. One of the main costs for us is lightning in our showroom. The old style lights generate a lot of heat so in the summer the air conditioner was running more. We have our energy costs to 20% of what it was before.” Pat Spina General Sales Manager at Badanai Motors “ We were looking at our lighting and heard about the retrofit program for Thunder Bay Hydro. They came in and showed us the number of kilowatt hours we could save and they also give you a rebate. 44,000 kilowatts were saved with the new T 8 fixtures. We also get a brighter service and body shop as well as offices. We still have our showroom to do.” Ben Hettrick, General Manager at Smith’s RV Centre “ We replace all of our lighting to energy efficient T5 lighting in the showroom and the shop. We wanted to get more brightness in our showroom to recreate the camping experience inside the showroom with the T 5 lights. The goal was also to save energy and some money in the process. It is better lightning, conserving energy and working with another strong company in Thunder Bay. It will increase sales because it is giving us that nice bright light everyone is looking for.”



Thunder Bay Event & Convention Centre Phase 3 Update City Council recently ratified a Letter of Intent (LOI), which defines the working relationship with private partners Thunder Bay LIVE! for the proposed Thunder Bay Event & Convention Centre (TBECC). “This Letter of Intent is an important step and Phase 3 is moving forward well,” said

an hybrid model between a typical multi use building- but the convention component really makes this building unique and much more versatile. It’s going to be different than most facilities you see across the country. I have been designing these facilities for 25 years now with most of

Chris O’Reilly, Partner BBB Architects,Gary Green Senior Director of BBB Architects

Mayor Keith Hobbs. “Council looks forward to a full status report coming back in August.” The City can now move forward with the remaining steps in the process to explore developing the facility with the partner consortium including the schematic design for costing purposes and in-depth business plan, which are components for the submission to the Federal and Provincial governments for funding. “We are pleased to have the Letter of Intent in place to continue moving forward with Thunder Bay LIVE! on the next steps which include some exciting community engagement opportunities this month,” said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities, Fleet & Transit Services who is the City’s lead on the project. “It’s important to note though, that even with an LOI to define how we work together, there is no guarantee on either side. It is non-binding. The remaining pieces, including funding, need to be in place and Council has made no final decisions.” The Thunder Bay LIVE! consortium is made up of Stadium Consultants International; Global Spectrum Facility Management; True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd.; Lakehead University and the Lakehead Thunderwolves; PCL'S Constructors Canada Inc.; and BBB Architects Toronto Inc. Chris O’Reilly, Partner BBB Architects, Toronto ( His brother is famous former NHL Boston Bruin player Terry O’Reilly!) “ A highlite of this project is the exterior of the building where we really tried to capture Thunder Bay with the materials to be used including masonry, a lot of glass to promote the amazing views over the waterfront as well as wood. We want to identify each main entrance with those main elements. On the inside of the building we have tried to reenforce it is not just a hockey arena but a convention and event centre capable of hosting a multitude of events from family shows to concerts or hockey.” “ The site has contributed to what we call in the business, a split level configuration, which is a great starting point for the building. It has allowed us to have a very steep bowl with excellent sight lines that contribute to the vibrancy and excitement of the space. It will be a very exciting place to be and watch an event. As a 5700 seat facility for hockey, so a very good size, there won’t be a poor seat in the whole place whether you are a hockey fan or concert goer.” “ This will be a world class facility as it is

my career focused on these types of buildings. I love doing it! They are amazing to watch getting developed and interacting with all these people, all over the world, and then going to opening day with the opening event and seeing all the faces.” “ The structure isn’t elaborate. Our experience in design and PCL'S experience in construction means we will have a very well outfitted building but not going overboard. We will spend the budget where it needs to be spent. You have a very demanding climate here so it is important to put high quality materials on the outside of the building. You want your facility to last for a generation, basically. We have given a very attractive design that is functional and will work very well.” “ The overall affordable cap is $100 million which included a pedestrian bridge as well as the removal of the hydro sub station and the equipment you need in the building to make it useable. The VIP suites will rival those anywhere with 23 planned now, but we will study what is the right number for this market.” “ By having an operator like Global Spectrum as well as BBM Architects and PCL Construction we find we can be efficient in our design time and there is less risk in having to go back and value engineer things out because you stay inline with the costs right from the get go. It is a win win win situation. The city is part of the team that gives us feedback as well.

Our team resume includes the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Rogers Centre in Vancouver. BBB just completed the redesign of Madison Square Gardens in New York, which was a $1 billion project that took about 5 years to complete and was complex. We do work from 20,000 seat professional buildings all the way to 1 or 2 ice sheet community projects.” Frank Russo Senior VP of Global Spectrum “ We will manage, market and operate the facility as a turn key set up. Currently we run three in BC and several in Southern Ontario including the Ryerson facility in the old Maple Leaf Gardens.” “ Our job is to book a good mix of trade show, convention, meeting, sporting events and 10 to 12 concerts. As we run 125 venues and 53 arenas across North America we have a network and are in touch with all of the acts that tour. You could see visually all type of attractions here such as say Sir Elton John, Canadian artists or country western acts. Gary Green Senior Director of BBB Architects Gary was the youngest coach of the Washington Capitals in the NHL at age 26 and also did broadcasting with TSN and some international coaching. “ I am excited about the location selected here. The late Mr. Jim Johnson and I stood

on that site many years ago. He worked very hard in planting those seeds. The site will be a great beauty shot but also a site with potential economic development. Over 25 years I have seen these type of facilities being a great economic engine for the area.” “ The number of people who will come to the facility will be for many different events including much more than just ice sports. Every man, women and child will go to a event at least once a year. It could be a convention, conference and many other events.” “ It will change the dynamic of the city. I have enough experience to know that site is the right site and you will see a great amount of activity through the years. An American Hockey league will fit well here with the history of hockey in the community. The American Hockey League will give Thunder Bay exposure like they have never had before- continual exposure year after year. It is the second best league in North America behind the NHL. The Winnipeg Jets are doing research and want their AHL team here. You will have the opportunity to reach so many other cities with their radio broadcasts and media coverage. The name of Thunder Bay will get incredible exposure. This will attract business and the exposure means far more in terms of imaging.”



Business June 2014  

Read about local businesses in our Shop Local section, Ring of Fire training at Confederation College and Economic Report on Thunder Bay!

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you