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Upcoming Events

Date: August 21, 2019 10:00 am

North Bay Farmers' Market Summer Market - Wednesdays

The Summer Market Grand Opening starts Saturday, May 18, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Market then runs every Saturday to the fall – from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm; and every Wednesday to the fall – fr…

The Summer Market Grand Opening starts Saturday, May 18, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Market then runs every Saturday to the fall – from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm; and every Wednesday to the fall – from 10 am to 2 pm.

Saturday Market is located off Oak Street in Parking Lot 10 (behind the bus terminal) and the Wednesday Market is located off Oak Street in front of North Bay Museum.

For more information visit their website at http://northbayfarmersmarket.com

Date: August 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Business After Hours @ THE BOAT

Join us for Business After Hours hosted by The Boat on Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Great networking opportunity with other Chamber members.

Date: August 24, 2019 8:30 am

North Bay Farmers' Market Summer Market - Saturdays

The Summer Market Grand Opening starts Saturday, May 18, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Market then runs every Saturday to the fall – from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm; and every Wednesday to the fall – fr…

The Summer Market Grand Opening starts Saturday, May 18, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Market then runs every Saturday to the fall – from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm; and every Wednesday to the fall – from 10 am to 2 pm.

Saturday Market is located off Oak Street in Parking Lot 10 (behind the bus terminal) and the Wednesday Market is located off Oak Street in front of North Bay Museum.

For more information visit their website at http://northbayfarmersmarket.com

 

 

News

Back from holidays and a huge thank you to Patti Carr, VP Policy and Communications and our Administrative Assistant, Sue Adams for holding down the fort, while I was gone.  Lots of things happening while I was gone including, preparing for our 123rd Annual General Meeting, held last Thursday evening at the Chamber offices.  One hundred and twenty-three annual general meetings have now taken place and I am sure that even at the initial meeting, business persons have consistently shared a belief that together they could advance businesses in our community and have been doing it ever since.

The Board was informed last week that one of their colleagues and as well, a member of the Executive Committee, John Strang, Past President, had submitted his resignation.  John tendered his resignation with regret and a tremendous amount of thought noting that business and family concerns, needed more of his time.  John has been a Board member for 15 years, serving as President twice and always being involved in every Chamber activity and function over the years.  John has been a stalwart in moving the Chamber forward in our District, advocating always that the Chamber was the voice of business.  We thank John from the bottom of our hearts for his years of sound advice and his community volunteerism.  You will be missed.

The Board also were informed that one of its Board members, Bobby Ray from the North Bay Granite Club has been nominated for the Richard Dolphin Community Service Award which recognizes Chamber Board Members whose dedication to their communities and the Chamber network, has led to Chamber success.  Bobby is the lead of the Young Professionals arm of the Chamber and has been doing an outstanding job not only with his real job (remember the Women’s World Curling Championships last year?) but for spearheading an initiative known as “52 Cups of Coffee”.  The idea was to network with other Young Professionals within the Chamber, and this has worked well beyond original expectations.  Congratulations on the nomination Bobby and good luck.

Finishing off with more good news this week, is the impending move of the DIA into our co-location space at the Chamber.  It looks like May 1, 2019 will be the official move to the 205 Main Street East address.  What started out as a casual conversation a few years ago, will become a reality on that date.  The co-location of the DIA to The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce offices will allow continued focus on the sharing of ideas and energies with our other community partners that presently share our offices.  Discovery Routes Trail Organization, Tourism North Bay, Creative Industries and The Chamber are excited by this news and look forward to working together at our co-located space.  Many thanks to our landlord Mr. Rob Jamieson of Century 21 Blue Sky Region Realty Inc.  Could not have happened without your support.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

Are you looking to hire? Graduates of this program will be ready for job placement starting on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Kudos to all those involved with Workforce Week 2019.  In particular, the Labour Market Group, who organizes this week annually and includes numerous employment service teams to ensure that job seekers have the necessary skills and up-to-date resumes to put their best foot forward when meeting with employers.

To all the employers that attended the job fair, a huge thank you for your time to allow job seekers to see a number of opportunities available all in one location.  We hope you found some quality new employees to fill your positions.

Last week’s provincial budget, his first by our MPP Vic Fedeli as Minister of Finance, was delivered at Queen’s Park.  The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to see that reasonable steps are being taken to balance the fiscal sustainability of the province and a plan to return to a balanced budget by 2023-2024.

Investments in skills and workforce development are very important to our members for hiring and retaining employees; as it is currently the number one factor indicated in their ability to remain competitive.

Infrastructure investments are also critical and the Chamber was pleased to see investments in not only roads, bridges and electricity but also the critical infrastructure investments to address the broadband and cellular deficit.

With a number of measures already aimed at reducing red tape and growing the economy through acts such as Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, the Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018, and the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019, the budget will ensure that businesses can compete on the global stage.

The Chamber is pleased to organize a breakfast with our MPP and Minister of Finance on Friday, April 26 for members to hear more details on what the budget means to businesses in our region and Northern Ontario.

A special welcome to North Bay to Inspector Michael Dazé who will join the North Bay Police Service as Deputy Chief while the current deputy Scott Tod takes on his new role as Chief.   We wish Chief Shawn Devine well in his new endeavours.

It was my pleasure to be your guest columnist last week and this week, so may I end off by wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter holiday.  Mr. Chirico will be back with his Nugget column next week.

Patti Carr is the VP of policy and communications for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce

For more information visit: www.thelabourmarketgroup.ca

We are now well into April, but for those that are tired of the snow like I am, there are a couple positive outcomes to this unusual winter.  The Ski Hill has enjoyed a longer season that usual and was open this past weekend for those enthusiasts to get in a few late runs in the year.  The snowmobile season was another great success with many travelers enjoying our trails well into last week. 

This coming week we are celebrating 2019 Workforce Week.  The Labour Market Group (LMG) of Nipissing Parry Sound present a week long series of events highlighting our local labour market needs.  On Tuesday, they host Get Job Ready for job seekers wanting to build basic skills in preparing for employment.  On Wednesday, Connect is professional development for front line staff to maximize their impact on the community they serve.  Thursday is the Job Fair with over forty employers looking to hire and provides the opportunity for job seekers actively looking for employment to see them all in one place.  Friday, LMG hosts high school students to discover more about skilled trades and the apprenticeship pathway.  For more information on these events check out their website at thelabourmarketgroup.ca

The ribbon cutting of the new North Bay Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (NBNPLC) expansion in downtown North Bay on Main Street East was celebrated last Friday.  The clinic is an expansion from the current West Ferris clinic that received funding from the province to expand their services in the downtown core.  The clinic will be open to the public in a few short weeks.  To clinic director, Jaymie-Lynn and staff, congratulations on the new clinic.  The clinic will be open Monday to Friday during daytime hours and will provide a team-based approach to health care for approximately 2,600 patients.  To apply to become a patient visit their website at nbnplc.com or visit one of the two locations: 524 Lakeshore Drive or the new location at 179 Main Street East to pick up an application.

I was quite surprised to hear the news of Joe Bradbury CAO of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) leaving his position; but I wasn’t surprised that he was being gained by the Parry Sound Social Services.  The Chamber has worked with Joe and his fantastic team at the DNSSAB for many years with a program called GetTrainedWorkers.  I wish Joe and his family all the best in their future endeavors.

Patti Carr is the vice president of policy and communications for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce

(Toronto – April 4, 2019) – Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its most recent report, Accounting for Ontario’s Debt, offering a thoughtful and balanced analysis of the province’s debt. Ontario’s debt currently amounts to approximately 41 percent of the provincial GDP or, when combined with the federal debt of $680 billion, represents a near 80 percent debt-to-GDP ratio for Ontarians. With talk of looming provincial debt top of mind, this timely report examines what Ontario’s debt means for the economy of today and tomorrow.

In a recent OCC survey, nearly 80 percent of respondent businesses stated they were concerned about the impact the provincial debt could have on Ontario’s economy. Managing the provincial debt has been a long-standing concern for the business community as Ontario’s fiscal health directly impacts the ability of business to remain competitive and capitalize on new opportunities.

“As the province heads into a time of economic uncertainty, coupled with the possibility of rising interest rates, we urge the government to focus on balancing continued investments in economic development with putting the province’s finances on steady footing,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Paying down the debt should not be at the risk of long-term economic growth or needed investments in infrastructure and services that will have a high return on taxpayer dollars, helping to bolster industry and our economy for generations to come. Our message in advance of Budget 2019 is about balance: accounting for our province’s debt in a reasonable manner while focusing on key investments and competitive taxation is critical to a stronger Ontario and competing on the global stage.”

The report notes Ontario is in a unique situation when it comes to managing its debt. Ontario has the debt exposure of a national government yet does not have generous lending fundamentals afforded to the federal government. With a GDP of nearly $850 billion, the province accounts for nearly half of Canada’s GDP. This means Ontario cannot rely on the protection of the national government when embarking on investments which aim to drive economic growth and prosperity. That is why the OCC has long called for investments in areas such as transit and transportation, broadband internet, health care, skills and education, and trade promotion. These key investments will help grow the economy and allow businesses to flourish, jobs to be created, and, ultimately, Ontario to be more competitive and prosperous.

“When discussing how to account for Ontario’s debt, our report calls on the public and government to have a frank conversation. Priority must be placed on understanding the opportunity costs stemming from deficit spending, tax increases and spending cuts. With that in mind, we ask that the government prioritize good debt maintenance by running an efficient government while also investing in growth and development,” added Rossi. “One thing is certain: government decisions in Budget 2019 regarding Ontario’s debt will have profound effects on industry and communities for years to come.”

When it comes to addressing the debt and deficit, the OCC’s breakthrough report will act as a reference for debate and change as well as inform thoughtful, evidence-based policies with an eye towards fiscal balance and strategic spending. As the independent, voice of business, the OCC will be working with leaders in government and the business community to help develop the necessary solutions in addressing Ontario’s debt challenge to drive forward a stronger and more competitive province.

Read the OCC’s report, Accounting for Ontario’s Debt here.

Congratulations to the Coach Stan Butler and the North Bay Battalion for an entertaining 2018-19 season.  Although the Battalion were eliminated on Friday night by the Niagara Ice Dogs, there were many highlights to the season, especially the play of Justin Brazeau and the season he has had.  The team provided some great entertainment over this past long winter and to all those players who will be moving on this year, thank you for being part of the community and doing what you do both on and off the ice.  There     appears to be a good nucleus of young and talented players that will return next season and the Chamber hopes that the community will return for the next season and support our OHL team through next winter.  With the winter we just experienced, it was a great way of getting out and making it through.

Staying on hockey, another local team the Powassan Voodoo’s have eliminated the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in the first round and will face Hearst Lumberjacks, in the East Division final.  The route to the Dudley Hewitt will be a tough one but the Voodoo’s have some strong talent and have had great support from its fans, at the Powassan Sportsplex.  Although our OHL club has been eliminated, there is still    some entertaining and great NOJHL hockey to be seen as the Voodoo’s move forward on their run to the Dudley.  If you still need a hockey fix, get down to Powassan and cheer them on in their quest.  Good luck to the players, coaching staff and management for another great season and we will be following closely as the post season continues.

April 11, 2019 will be the date for the Province of Ontario’s budget speech by our new Provincial government and more specifically, MPP and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli’s, first budget.  I don’t think that anyone who has followed politics over the past few years will be surprised if this budget does not tackle a number of items that have been ignored, by past governments.  How this government deals with the recurring deficits and growing debt load that has continued to accumulate, will set the tone for the next three years.  The governments’ promise of being open for business and the reality of the fiscal position the Province has in front of itself, will be challenging to   balance out.  Having worked with Vic for many years,   I have no doubt that he will tackle the difficult challenges facing his government and start to put this Province back on track. 

Just a note for all readers, the next two weeks will see Patti Carr, Vice President of Policy and Communications for the NBDCC, will be penning the Chamber article as I will be away on vacation.  Look forward to reading Patti’s articles over the next few weeks.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Last Wednesday in Ottawa, the City of North Bay and The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship (2018) event were centre stage at the Canadian Sports Tourism Association annual awards ceremony.  Dave Bennett, Mark Brown and Rick Miller attended the event which recognizes various events and categories that are hosted throughout Canada each year.  The North Bay curling event which captivated and energized our community, was up against two major cities for this prestigious award.

Competing against North Bay were Vancouver, which hosted the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and Edmonton, for hosting the 106th Grey Cup and 2018 Grey Cup Festival, in the category for events with budgets greater than $1 million.  Pretty good company to be competing against and although North Bay did not take home first prize in this category, it certainly was a respectable runner up and put this area on the sports tourism map.  Congratulations to the committee and volunteers for bringing out the best in this area and showing the world what we can do as a community, when we work together.

Ottawa was a busy place last week with not only the CSTA awards but as well, the 2019 Federal Budget speech by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.  The 2019 budget contains approximately Twenty-Two Billion Dollars in new spending over the next 6 years and beyond, with dollars being allocated to a number of programs spread across many sectors of our economy.  Many budget analysists have called this budget “a pre-election budget” given the levels of spending announced and the fact that the present government seems to have failed to address previous budget promises for a balanced budget, by 2019. From a Chamber and business perspective, the spending is a great stimulus to many municipalities through the doubling of the Gas Tax, however it falls short of the promised tax reforms to ensure competitiveness.

When we talk about tax reform and competitiveness, it is important to look at the ‘why” this issue is important.  With the Federal and Provincial combined tax rates losing ground to our direct competition south of the border given the recent reductions in combined tax rates in the US.  This is especially troubling in border states where competition between Canada and the US is high.  These reductions have made Canada/Ontario less competitive in the North American market and less attractive for investment in our country.  It will be interesting to see what measures will be tabled in the Provincial Budget on April 11 regarding business taxes, as being “Open for Business” will surely need some relief for that community.  The Federal budget missed that opportunity and it will need to be dealt with soon, if we are to remain competitive.

Congratulations are in order for the North Bay Battalion and New Liskeard’s, Justin Brazeau for his accomplishments this season.  The club has made the playoff’s and are in good position to make an impact on the Niagara Ice Dogs as demonstrated on the weekend, with a convincing win on Saturday night.  Brazeau and crew will be returning home tonight for the third game of the series with each side, taking a win in what is shaping up to be some excellent hockey.  If you want to see some great hockey, get a ticket, pack the arena and be that “seventh man” at the Gardens tonight and Thursday night.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

The month of March is flying by and the first signs of spring have begun to show.  The temperature fluctuations over the past couple of weeks, although welcome after this long winter have made it challenging for getting around this region.  Many thanks to all the municipal maintenance crews for trying to keep up with the road and sidewalk maintenance and keep us moving.  It has not been an easy task.

Earlier this month, The Chamber along with numerous community partners, were invited to attend a round table discussion with MP Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Immigration Minister and MP Anthony Rota. The groups were asked to provide the community input on how immigration into this region, is important for our future.  The Parliamentary Secretary provided his experience with a prior successful pilot project, that took on the east coast.

The visit was timely given the application for a similar pilot project, which was previously announced by the Federal Government.  The project is open to applications for rural and northern regions throughout the country and it is expected to be a highly sought-after program.  Declining populations and difficulties in attracting specific professional and trade designations, are a few of the issues facing Northern Ontario and this area as well.  Patti Carr, Vice President of Policy and Communications co-ordinated the application with Erin Richmond, Manager of the Economic Development and her team, with the City of North Bay.  Great team effort and thanks to the many stakeholders who provided input and support.

A tremendous amount of time and effort was put into this application within a very limited period, given the short application timeline that was provided.  It was important enough for the future of this area, that it was an “all hands-on deck” attitude from the many partners that see this as an integral part of our future success.  From the education sector, the health care sector and the business community, the need for this type of project is essential.  The ability for this region to hold its own against other regions, maintain its population and grow, we need this program as an additional tool for future economic development.  Most of the groups that met with MP’s Rota and DeCourcey provided feed back to them that supported this integrated approach. 

The Chamber will continue to support, collaborate and innovate when it comes to these types of initiatives that have potential to expand this region’s capacity and to grow our business community.  Except for our indigenous communities across this continent, we are all immigrants to this country.  Immigration is not a new concept and the past century is evident to that.  Opportunities, possibilities, and new starts, through immigration have existed for past generations and have proved to work as evidenced by our existing communities and infrastructures.  History has a way of repeating itself and we hope that our application for this pilot is successful, as we look to grow a strong future.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.