Pictured from left to right; Frank Hildebrandt, Evan Armstrong, Ryan Murphy, Kathy Durocher, Mikko Koivisto, Marcel Pelletier, Calvin Cloutier, Moe Lavigne, Marla Michel, and Dina Quenneville.
On April 21st GEDC hosted its AGM at Between Bridges Inn to a crowd of forty attendees. GEDC presented highlights from the year which included eight funding applications received with six being approved and a total of twenty-one loans issued totaling $1,694,768.00. The other part of the GEDC program delivery is business counselling. In 2016 they provided 165 in-depth counselling session and 9 business start-up/expansion/maintenance sessions.
GEDC, as always, had relevant speakers for the AGM which this year focused on Forestry. The speakers included Mrs. Marla Michel, Northern Development Officer, from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines; Mr. Marcel Pelletier, General Manager from Longlac Lumber Inc.; Mr. Mikko Koivisto, Woodlands Manager, and Mr. Ryan Murphy, Forest Resource Manager, from Aditya Birla, AV Terrace Bay.
Marla provided program updates from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Marcel spoke about Longlac Lumber Inc. and how it is currently providing approximately 120 direct jobs, with the possibility of opening the Nakina Sawmill in the near future, but there a lot of factors involved in that decision and the proposed Softwood lumber tariff is not helping. Marcel also spoke of the difficulties of finding skilled trades people in our region and how he hopes government will adjust the apprenticeship rules to allow for more apprentices to be educated under one millwright, or mechanic etc. Mikko and Ryan spoke about the direct relationship between the Terrace Bay Mill and all the other mills in the district and how they all rely on each to run at peak efficiency and how almost no part of a tree is wasted as a result. They also spoke of the economic effect of the Terrace Bay mill which employs 385 direct mill jobs, and 375 woodlands which all go to support 1771 indirect regional jobs. Aditya Birla, AV Terrace Bay regional payroll is in excess of 35 million dollars and the value of the wood fiber if purchases annually is approximately $100,000,000.00.
The business portion of the meeting is to provide the membership with the financial update as well as elect a new board. This years board consists of Frank Hildebrandt, Mary-Jane Dunn (missing from picture), Moe Lavigne, Evan Armstrong, Lori Belzile (missing from picture), Dina Quenneville, and Calvin Cloutier.
Press Release written by Times Star Publishing for the May 3, 2017 newspaper edition
To view the session notes from our AGM, visit our new Forestry web page.