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North Superior Workforce Planning Board - Ring of Fire Discussion

Councillor’s Corner - Wednesday October 18th, 2017
Last Wednesday evening it was my pleasure to attend the North Superior Workforce Planning Board’s (NSWPB) 20th Anniversary Celebration in Thunder Bay. First things first, what is the NSWPB and why is it important we know who they are. The Board was created to bring about strategic planning in workforce development for Northern Ontario. It was my pleasure to sit with one of the founding co-chairs at the event and I was able to learn a bit of the history of the entire process.
· The vision of the Board: “Our human resource pool will be strategically aligned, competitively positioned and progressively developed to meet future social and economic demands across Northwestern Ontario.”
· The mission: “Connecting community partners to improve the quality of life in our communities through workforce development.” The North Superior Workforce Planning Board will build a strategic workforce readiness plan, create a dynamic, responsive process to satisfy current needs and prepare people for emerging labour market opportunities within a global economy and leverage community alliances to maximize labour market capacity and competitiveness.”
The above information is taken from the board’s website which I encourage you to visit at
It is very important to see what the north is looking for in terms of jobs and careers that will be available to our young people but also to adults looking to change careers or to diversify. We need to start encouraging our young people to look and fill these jobs right here at our back door. There are many more opportunities developing over the next 5 to 10 years in mining, which will include all trade jobs, administration staff and labourers.
The dinner was followed by a panel discussion on the Ring of Fire, with the following speakers:
· David de Launay, Deputy Minister Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
· David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO Matawa First Nations
· Glenn Nolan, VP Government Affairs NORONT Resources
· Max Skudra, Director and Government Relations Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
· John Manson, Project Manager – Mining Services, CEDC
The panel discussion is exactly why it was important to attend and learn what developments are at hand and what are the next steps. It is so imperative to learn what our neighbours in the north are doing and try to see how Hornepayne can fit into the picture and be a contributing member to the developments. The area is described as “world class deposits like the Ring of Fire” by John Mason of the CEDC. The panel discussion was very informative and all players seem to be on the same page of continuing to build strong relationships between Aboriginal Communities, Government and Industry. The last questions posed to the panel was: What are the next steps over the next twelve months in the Ring of Fire development? My summary of the combine answers of this question is: Over the next twelve months the focus will be fostering the relationships to get the Specific Project Proposal completed for the Roads followed by an Environmental Assessment to workout the specific details of the Terms of Reference.
It was a great learning experience and there is a lot to learn. If anyone would like to discuss this further with me, please contact me as I would enjoy the discussion.
In summary and food for thought, there are good jobs to be had in Northern Ontario for our young people and we need to encourage and get involved in the process. Also, what other ideas do we have for growing our community and having a sustainable economy and future. I’d love to hear your ideas.
Cheryl Fort
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