TBB November 2021

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Long Time Local Business Northern Turf Equipment Expands to Excellent New Location!

INSIDE 2021 Thunder Bay Ventures Thunder Bay and Area Business Confidence Index Ignace and NWMO strengthen relationship with MOU Life Is Movement

North Superior Publishing


The Salvation Army Journey To Life Centre




Please Pause to REMEMBER! The FIGHT for FREEDOM! By Sherry Hanes It is not much to ask for when you come to think of it. ‘Pause to Remember’? Take a moment or give a moment. But please have one clear thought for true appreciation for the freedoms and liberties that we all enjoy today in our great nation! Canada is known to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world but, when called to defend and fight for the right for freedom…fight for the oppressed, fight for justice and liberation for those held in political captivity and are murdered and tortured, Canadians from all ethnicities, answer, as they always do, to the desperate call! The horrific wars that were fought in the past and the gruesome conflicts that are still

being fought around the world today, are too much for anyone to imagine. Canada and other nations try to intervene and try to bring peace, or enforce it, if you really must know. Their days and night are filled with danger and uncertainty. Any second could be their last! Try to imagine yourself being the victim of political ethnic cleansing, brutality, torture, murder of your families right before your eyes…rape, extortion, public beatings, abductions? Must I go on? On this Remembrance Day, take the time to be grateful! Take the time to honour the fallen and the veterans who remain, and honour their families too, for they have also

made great sacrifices, missing their loved ones and having them return home broken and misunderstood or…or not at all! Thank them for all man-kind. Thank them because they gave something we couldn’t and didn’t have to…their lives, their time, their freedom, their health, their limbs! Thank them because without them, you would not be standing here today…Thanking them! It is not much to ask for, one moment of silence, or just an expression of gratitude, for even just one moment …just think how it might be if you were there yourself? … where they ARE or WERE? Please remember the message in the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea: In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. We thank you for standing up and giving your best hearts’ salute to all who gave theirs, when they made the decision to defend.


Publisher’s Note Scott Sumner After years of deliberation, Thunder Bay Ventures and its advisors decided to revise the Small Business Survey into a Business Confidence Index (BCI). The purpose of


2021 Thunder Bay Ventures Thunder Bay and Area Business Confidence Index the BCI is to gauge the overall business confidence level in the Thunder Bay and Area, and also explore the impact of individual elements of overall confidence levels. The current plan is for the BCI to be

administered biennially to allow for a time-series (changes in Thunder Bay and Area’s BCI over time) and cross-section analysis (comparison of Thunder Bay and Area with other regions). The full results of survey can be found on the website listed below. There is a lot of information on their 67 page report. In general things are improving with some businesses but business confidence has declined 6.92 % over 2019 before the pandemic. Most businesses have experienced decreasing revenues since before the pandemic but feel the Thunder Bay and Area’s economy is moving in a positive direction. There were 270 business respondents to this survey, which is a higher sample size than in the past, with 1874 answers to questions. 1159 answers were positive

(47.7%) while 715 were neutral (29.4%)

Here’s the link to the survey on the Thunder Bay Ventures website. https://www.thunderbayventures.com/project/business-confidence-index/

Life Is Movement Good health can only be achieved with regular movement. Movement of your joints and muscles. Movement of your blood through your arteries and veins. Movement of neurotransmitters from your brain through your nerves. Movement of nutrients and waste constantly entering and leaving every cell in your body. It is not an over statement to say that without movement our cells and body will die. Thus, even thought I have discussed this topic in the past, it bears repeating. The most recent guidelines recommend that people do 150-300 minutes of moderated exercise like brisk walking, cycling or dancing, per week and strengthening exercise such as yoga, weightlifting, resistance bands, aerobics, etc., twice per week That breaks down to at least 30 minutes 5 days per week. If you prefer to do more intense exercise like running or high intensity interval training, then 75-150 minutes per week is all that is needed. Sadly, most people are not meeting these targets. By doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week there are a whole slew of positive health effects and dramatic

decreases in disease and death. If you exercise over 300 minutes per week, you still receive health benefits but the ratio of effort to better health becomes less. Staying Sharp. Several studies show an immediate relationship between exercise (especially aerobic exercise) and improved cognitive function. So, if you want to be focused for a test or big meeting, doing some exercise earlier in the day can make a significant positive impact. Exercise has also shown to reduce the risk of dementia. Heart. Everyone should know by now that exercise improves your cardiovascular health. Walking just 30 minutes per day can reduce heart disease by 15%. However, more recent studies show that besides being active, we just need to stop sitting so much. Sitting more than 8-9 hours per day really starts to increase your risk of heart disease. This would include sitting at work, while you eat, in the car, watching television etc. The average person sits for 12-13 hours per day. So even if you are doing your exercises daily, you will need to find strategies where you are simply just doing more standing and less sitting. Diabetes. Type two diabetes can be reduced by 25-35% just by meeting the recommended activity targets. In fact, a single bout of exercise has an immediate payoff which can last for a few days in terms of improving insulin sensitivity and controlling blood sugars. Mental Health. It is well established that a bout of exercise has immediate positive effects on a person’s level of anxiety and depression. Repetitive exercising also appears to help those who are clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders by as much as 50%. Cancer. High levels of exercise are consistently linked to lower risk of many cancers including colon, breast, endometrial,

kidney, bladder, stomach and liver cancers. Men’s reduced risks seemed to be more than women, but both were significant. Muscle. As we age, we tend to loose muscle. By age 40 both muscle mass and strength are on the decline. By age 70 there is quite a significant drop. Other then needed strength to keep you active and reduce chances of falling, muscles also play a major role in removing blood sugar. All though nice to use, gyms are not necessary to improve muscle mass. Stair climbing, squats, pushups, lunges, or any other body weight exercise will do the trick. Sleep. The more sedentary you are the more difficult it is to get a good night’s sleep. People who sit for more than 11 hours per day have a 60 percent greater chance of suffering from insomnia compared to those who sit for only 6 hours per day. Life Span. The World Health Organization states that physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death.

Regardless of age or ethnicity, the more active you are the less risk of dying. People who take 12 000 steps per day where 65% less at risk of death than those who took under 4000 steps per day. That should be a real eye opener for most of us. With all the possible ways to die how can simply doing nothing be that lethal? But it is. It is not an exaggeration to state that your life depends on movement, literally. 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



ARE YOU AN OCCUPIER? ©2021 Brian Babcock As the seasons change and frost is upon us, ice and snow are not far behind. If you are the occupier of premises, you are at risk of being held at fault for injuries on your premises, even if you did nothing wrong. Under Ontario’s Occupier’s Liability Act, in simplistic terms, it is control of the property, not ownership that creates the responsibility to keep the property reasonably safe for people that you might expect would enter the property. Either a property owner or a tenant might be the occupier, in most cases. This is a positive duty, unlike the old law of negligence which requires proof by the injured person that you did something wrong. Under the Act, the onus shifts to

you as occupier to prove what you did right- that you took all reasonable steps to eliminate existing or anticipated risks.

Legal Matters In Thunder Bay, that means clearing walkways, salting, even sanding in parking lots or icy patches. And following up to do it again when needed. But those are not the only risks. We also see claims from other causes including: · debris · wet floors • abrupt changes in flooring • poor lighting

• uneven sidewalks • lack of railings • poorly designed or built stairs or decks • hidden hazards, such as a gap or hard to see hole in the ground. Most homeowners and commercial liability insurance policies cover slip and fall accidents, but you need to be careful to comply with all policy terms, in particular those regarding timely notice of the claim. Your best protection is not to get sued in the first place. If you might be an occupier (that is, if you are a property owner or tenant): • fix any hazards • review your maintenance and inspection policies – are they current and complete? • document your policies • train your staff in the policies

• maintain good records of your efforts • review your insurance coverage If an accident happens at your property: • take pictures: • preserve any video evidence; • take details from the injured person and any employees or witnesses • never admit liability • remedy any immediate hazard after taking pictures • notify your insurer At Weilers Law we have experience in slip and fall claims in Thunder Bay and throughout Northern Ontario. We are pleased to advise clients on avoiding a wide range of risks. Or, if you are unlucky enough to be injured, give us a call to discuss whether we can help you.

The Humility Advantage How Less Ego Creates More Sales See if this applies to you or your team members in your organization: You’ve been working in your industry for several years. Your responses to requests from customers, prospects and co-workers are fast and accurate. You know your stuff and your product knowledge is one of your greatest strengths. If this is the case, then the bad news is that your extensive knowledge may also be one of your greatest weaknesses. The reason – you may be inadvertently coming across as being arrogant and insensitive.

to their needs (even though you have). In other words, the greater your expertise, the more likely it is that you are unintentionally rubbing people the wrong way. The good news is that there’s an easy way to prevent this misconception that I call The Humility Advantage ©. Working with over a hundred sales and service teams over the years, I’ve found there are at least seven key opportunities where a little employee humility pays-off substantially. Here are three that I often share in my Influence with Ease ® speeches and seminars. Mention your Homework

I’m not suggesting that you have a holierthan-thou attitude or that you are unfriendly. It’s just that you are so quick with your answers and recommendations that others feel like you haven’t really been listening

Several years ago, a couple of branding consultants approached me about enlisting their services. My first thought was that these folks knew nothing about my compa-

ny or my industry, so why on earth should I pay their sizable fees. I only agreed to meet with them because a colleague said they’d done good work for his firm. When I sat down with the consultants, they did not start asking me lots of questions about me and my industry. (That would have confirmed to me that they really didn’t know my business world and would have ended their chances of selling me their services). Instead, they began the meeting explaining that, by way of preparation, they’d been chatting with some of my colleagues and customers to find out their impressions of my company’s services. Then, they asked if I would like to hear the word-on-thestreet. As you can imagine, that got my attention. And the ensuing conversation led me to engage their services. When you talk with potential customers, do you begin the conversation by mentioning the homework you’ve done on their company? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to let them know that you are truly interested in them. Rather than starting a sales conversation by asking about their needs, try commenting on something you saw on their website or read about them in an industry journal. It’s a powerful way to confirm to others that you’re knowledgeable without coming across as one who brags. It’s one of the first steps in applying the humility advantage. Confirm your Understanding If you’ve participated as an audience member in one of my live presentations, you might have seen me step off the stage pretending to be a waiter taking food orders from several audience members as if they’re at a restaurant. During this skit, rather than order directly from a menu, each patron has a special request such as, “I’ll have the salad with the meal.”or “I’d like to have fruit instead of fries,” etc. As the waiter, I don’t write any of this down, and as you’ve likely guessed, when I walk away, the patrons assume that there is no way I’m going to get all the orders straight.

There’s the problem. I may have listened accurately to each request, but the emotions I left with my customers are worry and lack of confidence in my service. As an experienced professional in your industry, you may be a great listener, but are you perceived as such? Being regarded as a poor listener is a surefire way to kill a sale or curtail your career. Fortunately, by using a little humility, this is easy to correct. In the waiter demonstration, I redo the same order-taking scenario, except the second time after taking the orders, I say, “Let me make sure I’ve got this straight. You would like yours with fruit instead of fries…” (I then confirm everyone’s special request accurately). Suddenly, the restaurant patrons feel good about the quality of my service. Here’s the key; I repeated my understanding of their needs with the phrase, “Let me make sure I’ve got this straight.” Fact is, I knew I had it straight, but the customer didn’t. The catch is, if my ego were running my life I’d never say, “Let me make sure I’ve got this straight.” Hence the Humility Advantage. Here’s one more application: Ask Permission to Present You’ve probably heard the expression that people don’t like to be sold-to, but they love to buy. That means that before you present the benefits of your products or services, remember to ask for permission. When you thread all these techniques together, a sales conversation might start by pointing out the homework you’ve done on the other person. Then ask about their needs, confirming your understanding with, “Let me make sure I’ve got this straight…” Later, ask permission to present with, “Based on what you’ve told me, I do have some thoughts. Would you like to hear a couple of options that I think would fit for you?” Once the other person agrees, they’ll feel less like they are being forced, and more like they are being helped.

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



The Salvation Army Journey To Life Centre Ribbon Cutting Ceremony The Salvation Army officially opened the new Journey to Life Centre with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

During the ceremony, a time capsule was buried with instructions to open it 50 years from now in 2071. The residents and staff provided memoriabilia to include in the capsule. Three students

the capsule is opened. The ceremony concluded with the ribbon cutting by of the dignitaries present. After the ceremony, guided tours were available attendees. This facility replaced the aging, former hotel that was home to our residential and community programs for 50 years. The 30,000 sq. ft. three story building doubled the size of the old

building and provides enhanced programming and a greater sense of privacy and dignity for the clients. The building has been designed by i4architecture and their team that includes TBT Engineering, Lisa Sandham Interior Designs, and Werner Schwar Landscape Architect. M Builds is the construction manager for the project.

Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Journey to Life Centre, hosted the event which included remarks from Patty Hajdu, MP Elect (Thunder Bay – Superior North), Michael Gravelle, MPP

(Thunder Bay – Superior North), Kevin Holland, TBDSSAB Board Member, Sue Prodaniuk,, NOHFC Board Member, Mayor Bill Mauro, Chief Peter Collins, Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum, Joe & Barbara McEachern (Capital Campaign CoChairs), and Janet Sillman (The Salvation Army Thunder Bay Social Services Community Council Chair). “We are very grateful for our community partners who have helped make The Journey to Life Centre a reality,” said Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Journey to Life Centre. “This stateof-the-art centre will help our communities’ most vulnerable who are struggling with food insecurity, homelessness, addiction and unemployment.” Lieut. Colonel Shawn Critch, The Salvation Army Ontario Divisional Commander, brought greetings on behalf of The Salvation Army. Major Lori Mitchell, Executive Director from 2015 – 2020, brought good wishes to the clients and staff whose lives will be impacted by the new facility.

from the St. Ignatius Common Bonds class - April Burridge, Amanda Pacholczak, and Veronica Pacholczak assisted with this part of the event. It is our hope that they will be present when

Funding sources include The Salvation Army Territorial and Divisional Headquarters, CMHC – National Housing Co-Investment Fund,

Province of Ontario’s Investment in Affordable Housing program through TBDSSAB, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, and the City of Thunder Bay About The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory The Salvation Army is an international faith-based organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and every day in over 400 communities across Canada and in 131 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.



Long Time Local Business Northern Turf Equipment Expands to Excellent New Location! BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

Thunder Bay BUSINESS If you have ever needed a supplier of lawn mowers, riding lawn mower equipment, trimmers and all related accessories, chain saws and safety equipment as well as various small motors and parts you probably know about Northern Turf Equipment. This well known family business of the

School and it was a very short walk to work so we went to work everyday, cleaning the shop etc.- learning from the ground up,” said Tom. “ First I got my automotive repair license and also wrote an exam for motorcycle repairs. I also went to many factory schools in the US for the small engines.”

“ My father started a shop on Red River Road called Red River Service in 1933. They did a lot of work in the winter time and built up the business with doing tune ups, brakes and exhaust, alternators and generators. They also started doing work for people in the logging business back then. In the late 40’s and early 50’s he got involved in the lawn and garden business to keep the staff busy in the summer and that eventually developed into a lot of business,” said Tom Suttie of Northern Turf Equipment. “ At the end of the 60’s and early 70’s we got out of the automotive business and strictly into lawn and garden. My older brother Richard, who was quite a sports figure with skiing, started selling cross country skis there and bikes in the summer.” Tom Suttie left the original family business in 1983 and started up his own business at age 33 at 815 Simpson Street. His brother Richard sold his business to another fellow and it lasted about 4 or 5 years after that. “ We were at the 815 Simpson Street location for 38 years. Overall I have been in the lawn and garden business for close to 58 years. I started working for my dad at age 13 or 14. We went to Hillcrest High

add other displays enhancements. Right now we have a Dickies Workwear display which is new for us.” said Tom. “Today at Northern Turf Equipment we have a staff of 15 in the areas of mechanical, parts,

the staff working here as they are not so closed in shoulder to shoulder with better breathing room.”

and sales and administration which is done by my wife Celina. My daughter lives in Milton but she does our HR and Covid stuff.”

Northern Turf Equipment bought the Simpson Street property 35 years ago from

Tom Suttie, Stephan Suttie and Jim Wagar Sutties has been around for a long time and developed a large customer base.

or 3 places off site for storage whereas now everything will be on this property. Our supplies and any equipment we are ordering will all come to this location, so far more efficient. It is also way better for

the Witiluks of J and J Sports. The building was 2700 square feet and there were tents on property as well for the summer displays, but proved more difficult to use in the winter. The inside was renovated to use every square inch of the building and it worked well for the company until say 5 or 6 years when we they ran out of room stated Tom Suttie.

Northern Turf Equipment still own the old building and have a lease on it for few years. It will take a few more months of work to fully set up the new location.They mainly just had to do some painting and reorganizing stuff the way it works best for

“My son Stephan, spelt like his grandfather, took the lead on this new location to see a future with a bigger place which would be better for the customers and staff. He did a lot of research and planning

“Our business has grown over the years because we not only serve Thunder Bay but east to White River and west to Dryden and up north so it is a large area. We just needed more space so decided to move to our new location at 710B Balmoral Street. This indoor space in the new site is 8500 square feet and the outside space for storage is close to10,000 square feet so over 4 times the space of our previous location.” “We got possession of the building in July and had to do some painting and rearranging. We moved the last part of September and shut down the other side of our business for about 4 days and moved everything over. That was quite a job but we had quite a bit of help. We have moved all the bigger stuff and some smaller stuff with some still left to do,”said Tom. “ The new location wasn’t a far move but it is a little bit more traffic area and definitely way better for the customers to get in and out with better parking. Previously we had 2

the company. “We get people coming in and all they can say is WOW as we have so much more on display. We have secured a few displays for Husqvarna and Stihl so the customer can see the product better. We are going to

on this. His generation has a lot of different ideas than the older generation,”said Tom. “It is really a third generation business with my father and myself coming over here and now my son has pretty well taken over.” Continued



Long Time Local Business Northern Turf Equipment Expands to Excellent New Location! Continued “ Once I got my hands in the grease I couldn’t get them out. The business is a lot of fun. There are a lot of different situations and people.We have a very good working relationship with our customers here. Back in the old days at my dads service shop we would get people calling from say Marathon and asking if they could come on a Saturday to see us for work so we have a good reputation. We will go right to the customers house and if it is something minor we can do we will do it there to get the machine operating again. Many of our repairs are pickup and then delivery back. On all our new equipment we have a delivery service and once we drop it off we go through the in and outs of it.”said Tom Suttie. Northern Turf Equipment offers the brands of Stihl, Toro, Ariens, Husqvarna and on the engines side Honda, Kohler, Briggs and Stratton. They also offer many related parts for equipment sold at

the big box stores like Yardworks and Murray. “ In the winter snowblowers are our biggest thing. We always pray for the snow but it usually works out pretty good.We also do a lot of chains saw. A big service we have is where we do storage for people. We pick up their lawn and garden in the fall deliver their snowblower and then in the spring the reverse,”said Tom. “58 years ago I started in this industry and Thunder Bay has been great for our

business and a lot of other businesses. Many seem to thrive pretty well who work hard at it and Thunder Bay will support you. Before the Covid it was good for us and through the Covid it was very good for us as a lot of people didn’t travel so they did work on their yards. Other than the very hot weather in July and August our business was very good. I think there is still some speculation out there that it may get a

little tighter but in our business if it isn't super busy on sales it is busy on service. If a person doesn’t have enough money for a new machine they fix the old one.” said Tom. “We normally order our snowblowers in May and so far we haven’t seen any come in so there is a slowdown in supply. At this moment we are not too bad with inventory but we already have people looking into next year.”

I know when I first visited the new Northern Turf Equipment site on Balmoral I felt the WOW factor myself. You should make a visit and check out this third generation locally owned business!



The PACKTALK Bold by Cardo Powersports Communication Device! BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

Great Outdoors My favourite sports activity in the winter is definitely snowmobiling! There is just something about being out in the fresh,crisp, clean white snow breathing fresh air- especially on a brilliant sunny day. It’s fun being out there on an adventure with your fellow snowmobiling friends! A new product innovation that has been developing over the years is a helmet to helmet communication device that allows you to easily speak to your friends even while riding.This is fun and also a good safety feature to keep your group heading in the right direction!

The Cardo company has been developing bluetooth headpieces for early cellphones from 2003 with unique wind suppressing technology. The eureka

moment for the company was when they decided to place the unit inside a sturdy waterproof shell and attach it to a helmet.

Today Cardo has partnered with JBL to create an ultimate listening experience. The Packtalk Bold can be used while snowmobiling with a unit to unit range of 1.6 km and an overall range of 8 km.The units have an all new, always on, natural voice operation feature which means you only have to say hey Cardo and you can begin communicating with your hands still on the handlebars. You can connect up to 15riders as well as to any Bluetooth headset and stream music from your smart phone. The system allows you to answer calls,make calls and control your mobile device.There is also built in FM radio! The sound level is adjusted automatically based on outside noise.You can share your playlist. You can choose to chat with only one member of your group. The battery will allow for13 hours of talk time. In the box you get Packtalk Bold,40MM Speakers by JBL,the Packtalk Audio Kit with corded microphone and hybrid microphone and a USB cable etc The whole package retails for about $340.00 US and will be shipped to Canada.



WEAK GRAIN HARVEST IMPACTS PORT SHIPMENTS The Port of Thunder Bay continues to experience reduced grain shipments, as Prairie harvest yields hit a ten-year low. Monthly grain loads were down 30% in September. This mirrors estimates by crop analysts of a 30% reduction in crop yield this season. Year-to-date grain shipments are now 5% below average. A highlight during September was potash shipments, which doubled the monthly average. Canadian potash producers earlier this year had signalled strong production for the second half of 2021. Canada is the largest potash producer in the world. Thunder Bay is on track to set a 4-year high for potash shipments in 2021. Delivery of a 220-tonne gas turbine generator took place at Keefer Terminal; shipment components were loaded to truck and rail for furtherance to Western Canada. This is the first in a series of heavy lifts and breakbulk cargo shipments scheduled at Keefer Terminal this fall.

Ignace and NWMO strengthen relationship with MOU The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the Township of Ignace are pleased to announce they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The goal of the MOU is to strengthen the working relationship between Ignace and the NWMO.

“Signing this memorandum of understanding with Ignace is an important step forward as we move towards selecting a site in 2023. Collaborating with communities is a critical component of Canada’s plan and to our success,” said Laurie Swami, President and CEO of NWMO. “There is plenty of work yet to do, but this agreement shows that we have accomplished a great deal in our engagement with Mayor Penny Lucas and the Township Council and helps us solidify next steps.”

The MOU focuses on the importance of creating a collaborative plan that would lead to the development of a potential hosting agreement should Ignace agree the project is a good fit for the community. Such an agreement would be implemented if Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation express their willingness and then are selected as hosts for a deep geological repository for the safe, long-term storage of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it.

“The MOU is a huge step in moving both parties towards the drafting of a potential hosting agreement should Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation become the willing host communities selected to host the deep geological repository,” says Ignace Mayor Penny Lucas. “It has been quite a journey to get to this stage. And while we still have much work to do, I am looking forward to positive future engagements with President Laurie Swami and the entire NWMO team.”

“We are appreciative of the time and continued commitment Ignace has put into the site selection process over the last ten years. This is a complex project that will bring with it many com-

munity benefits and it’s exciting to see we are advancing together,” said Ms. Swami.

Both Ignace and the NWMO acknowledged the importance of reflecting on community priorities and objectives including project safety, community understanding of the project, and to advance community well-being. While the MOU celebrates the successes this relationship has had to date, it is not intended to be legally binding and imposes no obligations upon either party.

About NWMO The NWMO is a not-for-profit organization implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2023, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Ignace area and South Bruce, both in Ontario.



Ontario Native Women’s Association Celebrates 50th Anniversary Commemorating and reflecting on the journey of Indigenous women’s leadership Today, the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) proudly celebrates 50 years as Canada’s oldest and largest Indigenous organization. During ONWA’s 50th Annual General Assembly and Leadership Conference this weekend, ONWA is commemorating three generations of Indigenous women in leadership, premiering the ONWA 50th Anniversary Documentary and launching the 50th Anniversary She Is Wise magazine. At the ONWA, we celebrate and honour the safety and healing of Indigenous women and girls as they take up their leadership roles in their family, community and internationally, for generations to come. ONWA works to empower Indigenous women’s lives and address the challenges they face, for themselves, their families and their communities. Co-founded in 1971 by Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell, Indigenous women connected, assembled, and an organization was born. Jeannette first blazed a trail by speaking her truth through her battle with the Supreme Court of Canada regarding Bill C-31. Together, Jeannette and ONWA awakened Canada to the challenges and realities of violence experienced by many Indigenous women.

For the last 18 years, Jeannette’s daughter Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard has championed ONWA as Board President. An educator, teacher and leader, Dr. Lavell-Harvard has moved the organization to the point where Indigenous women are reclaiming their voices, traditional decision-making roles in their communities, and legitimacy in their own lives. As Dawn steps down, the ONWA legacy is now being passed on to the next generation, further strengthened by Jeannette’s granddaughter Autumn Sky Cooper. “Carrying the legacy of leadership from my mother, Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell, it has been my mission to support and advocate on behalf of Indigenous women’s rights, always working toward the empowerment of Indigenous women and their families,” says Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President, ONWA. “In doing so, I hope that I have honoured her and those who have walked with me and mentored me on this journey.” From a crisis intervention approach in the 1990’s and the start of the campaign to end violence against Indigenous women in the 2000’s, to the Sisters in Spirit and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) movement of the 2010’s, the momentum of ONWA and its mission

continues to grow. Through research, advocacy, policy development, and programs at the local, regional, and provincial level, ONWA’s wholistic approach fosters environments in which Indigenous women and girls are respected and their safety is supported. ONWA provides easy access to inclusive, trauma-informed, culturally based programming and services that are informed by Indigenous women and their immediate needs. This work currently addresses eight areas of focus: MMIWG, child welfare, family violence, sexual violence, justice, health, human trafficking, and housing and homelessness. “ONWA has listened to Indigenous women for half a century now. We know the priorities and needs of our community and we continue to lead the way in creating solutions to address them,” says Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA. “While our work is far from over, the love, resilience, and strength that Indigenous women hold is creating healing for themselves and their communities.” ONWA believes when women are healthy, they raise healthy children which builds healthy communities. Reconciliation with Indigenous women includes addressing the issues impacting their lives. The reclaim-

ing of Indigenous women’s leadership, voice and restoration of identity is key to addressing ongoing systemic issues and crises, leading directly to improved safety and wellbeing. ONWA will continue to play an important role as the organization brings critical knowledge, expertise, leadership, and community voice to the table — now and through future generations. The Ontario Native Women’s Association The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is a non-profit organization that empowers and supports all Indigenous women and their families in the province of Ontario through research, advocacy, policy development and programs that focus on local, regional and provincial activities, since 1971. Ending violence against Indigenous women and their families and ensuring equal access to justice, education, health services, environmental stewardship and economic development, sit at the cornerstone of the organization. ONWA insists on social and cultural wellbeing for all Indigenous women and their families, so that all women, regardless of tribal heritage may live their best life. www.onwa.ca | Twitter: @_ONWA_ | Facebook: ONWA7 | Instagram: onwa_official | LinkedIn: Ontario Native Women's Association

First Ever Local Athletes Join Team Canada for Special Olympics Canada World Winter Games Special Olympics Thunder Bay celebrated the incredible achievement of two local athletes Friday, athletes who will join Team Canada at the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Amy Cizmar (Alpine Skiing) and Tyler Rissanen (Snowshoeing) earned their spots on the team during the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games hosted in Thunder Bay in February of 2020. Travelling to Kazan, Russia in January of 2023, they will be the first athletes to compete on the world stage from the Special Olympics Thunder Bay chapter. “This is an historic accomplishment within our Thunder Bay chapter,” said Rob Neff, Community Coordinator. “Amy and Tyler are the first of our athletes to qualify for a World Games, putting us on the international stage for the first time. Their achievement is the result of their hard work and dedication, and also a credit to their coaches, families and fellow athletes who support them. We are so proud of them and know they will be wonderful

ambassadors for our chapter, our city and our country.” Amy Cizmar, Alpine Skiing, has been a part of Special Olympics for almost 11 years and is happy with how far she’s come. “This is such a joyful moment for me because this is my first time going to Worlds,” she said. “To get ready for the competition, I do bounce [trampoline] every day in the morning and go to the gym sometimes. I work with my training coach and am happy to have help from my family too. Soon I’ll get to be back on the hill and will hope to go three times per week.” About her new global adventure, Cizmar added, “Russia is a new place and a new mountain for me, so I’m pretty happy and excited for it. I’m hoping to get on a podium, so I have to be extra strong for that. There is not a mountain that I cannot conquer, so I know I can do it!” Tyler Rissanen, Snowshoeing, has been involved with Special Olympics for about

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eight years and has a lot he’s looking forward to. “I am super excited to go to Worlds!” he said. “It will be my first time flying internationally and I’m really looking forward to meeting new friends and the actual competition to see what the other countries have to bring.” Like Cizmar, Rissanen has been working diligently to prepare for the international event. “I’ve been working weekly with a running coach, a personal trainer and a conscious living coach—cross-training, running, hiking, golfing, swimming— everything you can name, I’ve done it. I’ve been busy,” he laughed. “I’ll be able to get back to snowshoeing soon and will do that once or twice a week.”

Throughout his training, Rissanen has been grateful to have a lot of support. “It means a lot to have my family and friends behind me, including the coaches, volunteers and athletes from Special Olympics.” One such person, Denita Minoletti, Treasurer/Event Coordinator for Special Olympics Thunder Bay, admires both athletes’ ongoing commitment to their training. “The World Games was postponed by one year, and Amy and Tyler have both managed that with incredible grace. They have remained diligent in their training for this extended wait and pivoted when needed during pandemic shutdowns. Their resilience and enthusiasm is an inspiration and we know they will continue to inspire us as they finish their training and move on to compete in Russia. Our entire Special Olympics community will proudly cheer them on in 2023, and we invite all of Thunder Bay to do the same.” The celebration ended with a surprise donation of $87,500 to Special Olympics

Thunder Bay. The contribution comes from the proceeds of the successful Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020 and was presented by Games Chair Barry Streib. “This gift has been made possible by our entire community coming together to support the 2020 Games in record form,” said Streib. “There were so many people involved in the event in so many ways, from sponsors and donors, to fundraisers and volunteers, that we exceeded our fundraising goal and are thrilled to pass these extra funds on to the local Special Olympics chapter. Our goal for the Games was to provide the best experience possible for the athletes and this donation is an exciting legacy that extends that effort beyond the Games.” For more information about the Team Canada athletes, visit www.specialolympics.ca/SOTeamCanada22/athletes.

For more information about the World Winter Games Kazan, Russia, visit www.sokazan2022.com. Special Olympics Thunder Bay provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities. It has been a part of the Thunder Bay community for over 32 years, with more than 100 volunteers providing 18 sports programs for over 400 athletes, as well as the Active Start program for athletes as young as two years old. Special Olympics Thunder Bay is part of Special Olympics Ontario, which has promoted opportunities for athletes to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and develop skills and friendships for more than 50 years.




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