Northern Round Up

News from Around The North

 Northern Ontario School of Medicine grads stay in North

 Northern Ontario School of Medicine is graduating doctors who are staying in Northern Ontario. Photo courtesy of NOSM.A new report from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, show 94 per cent of NOSM graduates who have completed their doctor of medicine and residency programs are now working in the north.

The deputy dean at the school says doctors stay in the north because they understand the health needs of these communities. Dr. David Marsh is the Deputy Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

“NOSM graduates understand the northern Ontario context, who understand Francophone and Indigenous populations and rural communities, and can deliver health care in the way that meets the needs of those communities,” said Dr. Marsh.

Marsh says although NOSM hasn’t fully met the needs of northern Ontario, its graduates are helping to address gaps.

“We still have many communities who are struggling to recruit and retain enough physicians to meet the needs of those communities,” he said.

75 new hospital beds in Northeast Ontario and 61 in  Northwest 

Across Ontario, more than 1,200 additional hospital bed spaces are being added and 75 of those will be in Ontario North East 57 in Ontario North West.

North Bay District Medical Centre received  8 new beds. Photo courtesy of NBDMC.

The 75 beds in Northeastern Ontario will be divided among four hospitals in northeastern Ontario. Health Sciences North in Sudbury will get 16 beds, the Sault Area Hospital will get eight, the Timmins and District Hospital will get eight beds as well and the North Bay Regional Health Center. In addition, four short-term transitional care spaces will be added in Sudbury.

The breakdown for each hospital in the northeast is as follows: Sudbury Regional Hospital 16;    Sault Ste. Marie Hospital  8; North Bay Hospital 8; Timmins District Hospital 8. Another 31 additional beds will be added in the future. Also four short-term transitional care spaces will be provided in the Northeast.           

  In Northwestern Ontario, the hospital beds will be distributed as follows:Lake of the Woods District Hospital 4; Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 12. Another additional bed spaces will be added in the future. Six short-term transitional spaces will be added in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care; Ten short-term transitional spaces are ear-marked for Kenora and 10 short-term transitional spaces are for Thunder Bay.

Smooth Rock Falls wants you 

The tranquil life in Smooth Rocks Falls can be yours, as Town offers lots for less. Frank Giorno for

                      Smooth Rock Falls, a town about 100 kilometres north of Timmins, Ont., on the Mattagami River wants you to settle in its community, and help rebuild it, by offering low prices on land, and discounts on building permits.

The collapse of the local paper industry in 2006 led to the town’s population drop by half and  revenues shrink to 40 per cent.

That was the year the Tembec pulp and paper mill that was the town’s sole major employer shutdown and with it 250 jobs were lost.

Since Tembec’s closure Smooth Rock Fall’s population dropped by almost half from 2,400 in 2006 to 1,330 in 2016 according to Statistics Canada’s census reports.

Smooth Rock Falls implemented a 20-year strategic plan to breathe new life into the town by attracting new investments.

The town is rebranding itself with a catchy new slogan “near north, near perfect.”

The city has 17 vacant lots available for between $4,700 and $6,800. That’s before the 90 per cent discount is applied. Once the discount is applied the price for the land will be lower than that one months rent on most apartments.

Prospects in the town have taken a turn for the better recently with a grocery story and a hotel opening.

The town will waive up to $2,500 on building permits for people want to build a home or business on the lot they purchased.  And there is more, for the first three years those that build homes or business will get three years reduced property taxes -100 per cent the first year, 75 in the second and 25 for the third.


Canada’s only Children’s Peace Prize nominee hails from Manitoulin 

Autumn Peltier, a grade 8 student from Manitoulin Island is Canada’s nominee for the 2017 Children’s Peace Prize. Photo courtesy of International Children’s Peace Prize.

Autumn Peltier is the only child from Canada nominated for the 2017 International Children’s Peace Prize out of 169 globally.

Autumn Peltier, a 13-year old, from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island has been advocating for “sacred water” for the last two years.

Autumn, a Grade 8 student at Pontiac School in Wiikwemkoong, attended the Children’s Climate Conference in Sodertalje, Sweden, where she delivered her message about the importance of clean drinking water. The Assembly of First Nations Youth Council passed a resolution supporting Autumn’s advocacy, with the creation of a fund to assist First Nations people across Canada dealing with water crises.

Her work continues with talks and presentations to young people and First Nations communities across her territories. Autumn also makes bracelets to raise money for a First Nation community with no clean drinking water. She hopes to finish school, travel and study law and political science so that she can advocate for her people at a higher level in the future.



Kenora , Thunder Bay Hydro, talk merger




Kenora residents heard about a possible merger between Kenora Hydro and Thunder Bay at a public meeting at the Clarion Lakeside Inn and Conference Centre on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield, Councillor Rory McMillan, city executives, interested citizens and officials from Kenora Hydro and Thunder Bay Hydro were present.

Citizen turn out was not very high, but those present were positive and believed a merger was the right move for both utilities.

The merger was probably necessary because it’s becoming more difficult for any small hydro utility to operate independently under the current provincial regulations, said one member of the public.

Both Dave Sinclair, president/CEO of Kenora Hydro and Rob Mace, president of Thunder Bay Hydro, agreed that operating a hydro system was becoming increasingly complex regulatory and technological perspective.

Disruptive technologies like electric cars, solar wind, microgrids, really changes the nature of the business, it changes things like protection schemes, instead of having one source now it’s coming from multiple sources.

The prospect of electric cars on Kenora’s streets electric cars by 2025 is becoming a reality.

The utility company presidents plan is to get a proposal to their respective city councils by the end of 2017 and have approval and a deal in place by the end of 2018.

Kenora Hydro has 12 employees working to deliver electricity to 5,600 customers in Kenora.  Thunder Bay Hydro has 130 employees and serves 50,700 customers.

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Frank Giorno

Frank Giorno lives in Timmins, Ontario. He is a graduate of York University (Honors B.A Political Science) and Ryerson School of Journalism (B.A. Journalism). Frank has worked as a city hall reporter for the Brandon Sun; freelanced for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. He is the past editor of and the newsletter of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers. Frank has also worked as Research Director for the Canadian Environmental Law Association; Senior Communications Advisor on Water Quality Issues for the Ministry of the Environment; Public Affairs Associate for Region of Peel Public Works; and Media Relations Officer for Toronto Public Health. In Timmins, he served as the Communications Manager for Mushkegowuk Environmental Research Centre/Five Nations Energy Project on Energy Conservation. He freelanced for Frank is a published author of essays on the internment of Italian-Canadians during World War 2, “Internee 328: Camp Petawawa” co-written with James McCreath appears in “Beyond Barbed Wire” (Guernica Editions 2012). He has published four books of poetry, My Nation is a Train...Wreck (2017, Northern Voices Publications), MoPoPoMo (2016, Northern Voices Publications), “Elvis in America,” and “Arrivederci! Plastic Covered Couch ( 2006, 2008 Lyricalmyrical Press)”.

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