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THUNDER BAY BUSINESS OCTOBER 2012

Publisher’s Note Scott Sumner It will be a great addition to Thunder Bay air service when we get the direct flight with United to Chicago! Last week it was fun to visit Chicago, primarily to spend some time at the 39th Ryder Cup Matches held at Medinah Country Club located some 20 minutes west of downtown Chicago.

The Ryder Cup is the biggest sporting event in golf, held once every two years alternating between the USA and Europe. As an avid golfer, it was definitely fun to see these exciting matches between golfers like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy up close and personal along with 50,000 others! This was the biggest event I have ever been to with over 1800 media there including 900 in TV and 900 in print. I was told there were about 5 media members from Canada, which made it quite unique for me! They know how to do things in a big way in the USA and it was a very thrilling atmosphere to be in with two teams, the USA and Europe playing a series of team and individual match play events over three days. The venue was big with many corporate tents and a 50,000 square merchandise store that did over $10 million in business for the week. Pretty good sales! Some major corporate players were there

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Chicago Will Be An Exciting Destination! including American Express which provided media with a portable hand held TV unit that allowed you to get the NBC feed while out walking on the course. That was amaxing and made me wonder where will our technology end? The matchs started with the USA taking what was thought to be an insurmountable lead on Friday and Saturday only to lose by the closest of margins at the 17 hole on Sunday in the second last match. It really was an electric atmosphere and one I will

always remember. The chants of USA, USA or OLA, OLA from the US and European fans on site was fun to be a part of and makes me want to plan to be at the next Ryder Cup in Scotland in 2014. The destination of Chicago is onee I will definitely come back to when we get the new direct flight. This is a world-class city that will be about two hours away from us in Thunder Bay!


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THUNDER BAY BUSINESS OCTOBER 2012

PROVINCE LAUNCHES NORTHERN POLICY INSTITUTE — Dominic Giroux, President and ViceChancellor, Laurentian University A search is underway for the founding Chief Executive Officer, who will oversee the institute’s preparation of a five-year business plan. In April 2011 a questionnaire was sent to over 1,400 individuals and organizations to provide input on the role and mandate of the Institute. The Institute will play a role in monitoring the implementation of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, which the province delivered in March 2011. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will provide $5 million to establish the institute.

Ontario has launched an initiative that will allow Northerners more input into government decisions that affect the North. The Northern Policy Institute is proceeding with the help of special advisors, Lakehead University President Dr. Brian Stevenson and Laurentian University President Dominic Giroux. The institute will be based at the two universities in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, and will work with northern post-secondary institutions and research organizations. Investing in Northern Ontario’s communities is part of the McGuinty government’s Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. A strong Northern economy creates local jobs and protects the services that mean the most to families – health care and education. QUOTES “One of the guiding principles of the institute is to stimulate public engagement and dialogue and promote the viewpoints of Northern Ontarians. The institute will provide valuable and welcome opportunities to members of the public to share their ideas.”

— Bill Mauro, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines “In extensive consultations across the North during the development of the Growth Plan, Northern stakeholders were highly supportive of establishing a Northern Policy Institute. I am pleased to launch a policy institute that will provide input from a northern perspective for provincial policies and programs that affect Northern Ontario. As a Northern Minister and as a life-long Northerner, I welcome any tool that ensures the unique needs of the North are understood and met.” — Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines "I'd like to give special thanks to NOMA and Common Voice Northwest for their strong advocacy of a Policy Institute throughout the Growth Plan consultation process as well as all Northerners who shared that vision and, of course, to Presidents Stevenson and Giroux for their continued commitment to seeing us achieve this important goal for Northerners". — Michael Gravelle, MPP, Thunder Bay-

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Superior North “The Northern Policy Institute’s mandate complements the themes of the Growth Plan and sets the tone for a collaborative, evidence-based multi-sector approach engaging public and private sector partners to conduct research. The Institute will provide a Northern perspective, grounded in quality research to guide the policy development and economic decisions of governments, communities, business and industry. Input from First Nations leadership will be an important part of NPI's work, by including an Aboriginal perspective in developing policy recommendations affecting their communities as well as communities across the North.” — Dr. Brian Stevenson, President, Lakehead University “The Northern Policy Institute will focus on northern policy priorities in partnership with stakeholder groups from throughout Northern Ontario, including municipal associations, Francophone groups, labour groups, universities, colleges, Indigenous organizations and private sector industry. The Institute responds to the expressed intent of northerners having a stronger say in policy directions affecting the North. This investment over the next five years will allow for policies that are proposed for and by the North, leading to better community engagement in the decisions that affect the day to day lives in our communities.”

Bill Mauro, MPP “ I don’t think it has taken a long time to establish an organization like this as there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scene to establish things like the board make up and so on. The two founding presidents will be on the board and begin the hunt for the other 8 board members and the hunt for the CEO. There will then be the creation of the business plan. I think we will see them develop policies that are researched and have a broad base of support across Northern Ontario. When they bring forward ideas that will help Northern Ontario primarily in economic development, they will already have positioned themselves through research to make a really strong case and hope that the government of the day wil be positioned to respond quickly. This institute will be independent of government and located at Lakehead University. We have created an institute that was requested by northerners that was felt to be important to them to get the ear of the government to develop policy.” Michael Gravelle, MPP “ I feel incredibly excited and really also emotional about this announcement today. It is really a historic day for Northern Ontario. Really it is the best example you can find of northerners speaking directly to the provincial government saying this is what we need, a non profit, independent non partisan organization that will provide recommendations to the government of the day. It has ben a dream for many like Common Voice, NOMA and Chambers of Commerce. I believe this organization will work for everyone here in Northern Ontario.”


THUNDER BAY BUSINESS OCTOBER 2012

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12 Things to Know About First Nations Joint Ventures © 2012 Brian Babcock and Fhara Pottinger Doing business with First Nations is just like doing business with anyone else, all the normal rules apply, except when they don’t. Here are some tips on a successful joint venture: 1 Determine who you are doing business with – a First Nation; a Tribal Council; an Economic Development Corporation; some other not-for-profit corporation; a for-profit corporation; or some other group of individuals who happen to be First Nations people. 2 A First Nation has internal self-government, a Chief and Council, but the structure may vary. A contract with a First Nation must be passed by Band Council Resolution (“BCR”) to be effec-

tive. 3 Even if you have already obtained a BCR, it is important to know if

Legal Matters the First Nation is under Third Party Management or other funding restrictions. 4 Determine the funding source for the First Nations side of the venture. 5 Unless INAC or AANDC sign the agreement, do not count on their participation. 6 A Tribal Council is formed by a group of First Nations. Some tribal councils are strong, central organiza-

tions while others have very limited power. It is difficult but crucial to find out with which one you are doing business. 7 An Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a separate legal entity from a First Nation or Tribal Council, though they often have similar names and overlapping leadership. This is a vehicle for accessing funding, tax advantages, and to operate outside the formalities of the First Nation. 8 The finances and independency of these EDCs varies, and so, as in doing business with anyone, do your due diligence. 9 There are other not-forprofit corporations operated by First Nations, or their people. As they may lack the funding and tax advantages of an EDC, it is important to consider what advantages they may bring.

10 For-profit corporations created by First Nations are a business like any other. Their access to land, resources or funds is unique in each case. 11 First Nations people individually can be great business partners, but like anyone else, they can also be lousy. People are people. First Nations people have few automatic rights that transfer to non-aboriginals. 12 A Joint Venture may be the perfect vehicle to meld business concepts of enterprise for profit with First Nations traditions, but it is not ideal for every situation. Weilers is a leader in creative legal solutions for businesses and First Nations.

Managing Multiple Customers 5 tips for juggling customers, callers and walk-ins tion, and as you leave, thank the customer for their patience.

by Jeff Mowatt You know the scenario... your workday is running smoothly and manageably when suddenly you find yourself dealing with one customer in front of you, another on the phone, while a third arrives with just a quick question. When organizations bring me to conduct customer service seminars, I find this is one of the most frequent challenges frontline employees ask me to address. While there are no absolute rules for juggling customers (you need to adapt to your workplace's business realities) here are 5 tips that we find work well for our clients in reducing stress and boosting customer loyalty. Tip #1 Remember, this is good

Tip #3 Walk-ins take priority over phoneins If you already have a visitor in front of you when the phone rings, the visitor gets priority. The visitor took the time/spent the gas money to arrive in person. Unless you have callers with genuine emergencies, don't interrupt a visitor to pick up the phone. That's what voice mail is for. If you must take the phone call, ask the visitor's permission, explain that you want to focus on them, so you'll quickly take a message and get back to your conversation. Then tell the caller that you are with another customer but will look into their request and call them back. That way, even if the caller insists on immediate service, the visitor sees that you are at least trying to make them the priority. Tip #4 Acknowledge walk-ins right away

Having lots of customers wanting to do business with you is wonderful. It means you and your organization are in demand. The obvious solution to juggling multiple customers is just to hire more people. Of course that's oversimplified, and may make no economic sense - especially when there may be only one or two rush periods during the day or week. When you see more customers arrive, don't let them see you sweat. Take the professional approach and broaden your smile - even though it may be slightly forced. Keep in mind the adage of LL Bean who said, "Customers are not interruptions to your work, they are the purpose of your work." Tip #2 Don't make things worse One of the most frequent gaffs in frontline service is when a customer needs to ask a question but the employees are preoccupied - talking with each other. Even more aggravating is when the staff congregates to socialize while customers are left to fend for themselves. The place for employees to chat and hold meetings is in the staff area; not in front of customers. When you're on the floor, make yourself visible and available to customers. Of course, that also means not interrupting your co-workers who are talking to customers. If you need to talk to a coworker who's taking care of a customer, give your colleague a quick nod, then let him/her come to you when they've finished with the customer. If you absolutely must interrupt, then excuse yourself and apologize to the customer for the interrup-

If you are on the phone or face-to-face with a customer when a visitor walks-in, acknowledge the visitor immediately with eye-contact, a smile and a quick, "I'll be with you in just a few minutes (or however long it will be)." By acknowledging the visitor, you are conveying that you are aware of them and that you are working quickly. And it tells the person in front of you that you have other people waiting. Usually, they'll get the hint that you need to wrap-up. A common challenge is how to politely interrupt a phone caller to acknowledge a walk-in visitor. Here's a quick tip - say the person's name. "John, excuse me. I just had someone walk into my office, may I put you on hold for a moment? Thanks." Beginning with the person's name gets their attention immediately without being rude. For new arrivals who have just a quick question... If it is indeed quick, that's great; give them the ten seconds they need and then get back your first person. If it's going to take more than ten seconds then tell the person, "That's going to take a few minutes to go over, so I'll finish taking care of this person which will take me about x minutes, then I'll be happy to help you. Meanwhile, if you'd like to sit, grab a coffee... Thanks." Tip #5 Address chronic staffing/line management issues In tip #1 I pointed out that hiring more staff may not make economic sense. However,

when customers constantly get the impression the organization is disorganized, understaffed or uncaring about customers' time, that's a problem that requires more than just having staff work faster. Managers need to either hire more staff, consider moving phone calls to a call centre, or implement line management practices. Speaking of which, you'll find tips on handling waiting lines by clicking on my related article, Yes, I Mind Waiting. Meanwhile, be thankful that business is so good. Here's hoping that this helps makes managing multiple customers less frustrating for everyone concerned. Customer service strategist and profession-

al speaker, Jeff Mowatt is an authority on The Art of Client Service . . . Influence with Ease®. For Jeff's other tips, self-study resources, and training services on managing multiple priorities, click Managing Multiple Priorities.

This article is based on the critically acclaimed book Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month, by customer service strategist and professional speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com or call 1.800.JMowatt (566.9288).


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THUNDER BAY BUSINESS OCTOBER 2012

Expansion Completed on Highway 11/17 Near Thunder Bay Ontario has completed a six-kilometer expansion of Highway 11/17 east of Thunder Bay nearly a year ahead of schedule. The project supported about 400 jobs and included building a new interchange at Hodder Avenue and relocating the access road for the Terry Fox Scenic Lookout. The new four-lane divided highway will strengthen the northern transportation network by improving travel times and making travel easier and safer for families and businesses. Another 14-kilometer section of the highway from Mackenzie Road to Birch Beach is currently under construction and scheduled for completion next year, with four more expansion projects planned. Investing in Northern Ontario’s roads, highways and bridges is part of the McGuinty government’s Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. A strong northern economy creates local jobs and protects the services that mean the most to fami-

lies – health care and education. QUOTES “The completion of this first section of the four-lane highway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon is a proud moment for me as MPP. I began the campaign to see this happen when I was first elected in 1995. Today, as we celebrate the opening of this first stage of the new highway, several other four-lane sections are under construction and more will follow. I couldn't be more pleased that the McGuinty government is committed to the completion of this vital highway project — one that will dramatically improve safety and increase the economic viability of the region" — Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay Superior North “The completion of this section of fourlaning is further evidence of our government's ongoing commitment to major highway improvements in the northwest. Since 2003, we've made record-breaking

investments in our northern highways that have strengthened our local economy and created jobs. We're looking forward to more progress in the months ahead.” — Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay Atikokan

significantly in four-laning projects that are making our northern roads safer while supporting economic growth and job creation for northerners.” — Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines throughout Northern Ontario

“Through the Northern Highways Program, our government has invested

RESPECTABLE HIRING CLIMATE EXPECTED FOR THUNDER BAY (Thunder Bay, ON, September 11, 2012) – Thunder Bay area employers expect a respectable hiring climate for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. “Survey data reveals 20 per cent of employers intend to hire in the upcoming quarter (October to December) while 10 per cent anticipate cutbacks,” stated Florentine Bahlieda of Manpower’s Thunder Bay office. The other 70 per cent of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels for the remaining months of the year. “Thunder Bay’s fourth quarter Net Employment Outlook of 10 per cent is a considerable decrease from the previous quarter report of 40 per cent,” said Bahlieda. “Although it is also a 10 percentage point decrease from the Outlook reported during the same time last year hiring opportunities for the upcoming months remain optimistic.”

“Job seekers in all regions are likely to benefit from a positive hiring climate from October through December, with employers in Western Canada reporting the most upbeat Outlook,” said Byrne Luft, Vice President of Operations, Staffing Services for Manpower Canada. “Although regional Outlooks have experienced moderate decreases compared to the previous quarter, job seekers should maintain confidence in the labour market as employers throughout Canada anticipate the hiring pace will remain steady through the autumn. Most of the new jobs created in Canada this year have been full-time, high paying positions. Many of the job reductions have come from part-time employment. This movement from part-time to full-time employment is an encouraging sign.”

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Canadian Employers Expect Respectable Hiring Pace to Continue in the Fourth Quarter of 2012 (Toronto, ON, September 11th, 2012) – Canadian employers expect the hiring climate to remain respectable for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world. With seasonal variations removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook of 10 per cent is a slight decrease when compared to the Outlook reported in the previous quarter. This Outlook is also a three percentage point drop from the Outlook reported during the same time last year. However, results for the fourth quarter do represent one of the more modest employer forecasts in more than two years. The survey of nearly 1,900 Canadian employers reveals that 16 per cent of them plan to increase their payrolls in the fourth quarter of 2012, while seven per cent anticipate cutbacks. Of those surveyed, 75 per cent of employers expect to maintain their current staffing levels while two per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter. “Job seekers in all regions are likely to benefit from a positive hiring climate from October through December, with employers in Western Canada reporting the most upbeat Outlook,” says Byrne Luft, Vice President of Operations, Staffing Services for Manpower Canada. “Although regional Outlooks have experienced moderate decreases compared to the previous quarter, job seekers should maintain confidence in the labour market as employers throughout Canada anticipate the hiring pace will

remain steady through the autumn. Most of the new jobs created in Canada this year have been full-time, high paying positions. Many of the job reductions have come from part-time employment. This movement from part-time to full-time employment is an encouraging sign.” Mining Employers in the Mining sector anticipate an upbeat fourth quarter in 2012, reporting a Net Employment Outlook of 18 per cent. This is a five percentage point reduction from the Outlook reported in the previous quarter. The Outlook is respectable, with a moderate decrease from the Outlook reported during the same time last year. ManpowerGroup research reveals that employers in the Mining sector have reported the strongest forecasts in six of the last seven quarters. Transportation & Public Utilities Employers forecast a favourable hiring climate, reporting a Net Employment Outlook of 15 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2012. This quarter’s Outlook is a three percentage point decrease from the forecast reported for the previous quarter; it is also a five percentage point decrease from the Outlook reported during the same time last year. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Employers report a Net Employment Outlook of nine per cent for the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating a cautiously optimistic hiring climate. This Outlook is a moderate decrease from the forecast of 14 per cent, which was reported for the previous quarter, and is a decrease of three percentage points when compared to the Outlook reported during the same time last year. Wholesale & Retail Trade In the Wholesale & Retail Trade industry sector, employers anticipate a hopeful hiring climate, reporting a Net Employment Outlook of 12 per cent. This quarter’s forecast is unchanged from both the previous quarter’s forecast and the Outlook reported during the same time last year.

Thunder Bay Business October 2012 part 2  

The Port of Thunder Bay and other business topics