Sept/Oct 2009

From business to pleasure

CIM Northern Gateway Branch works hard and plays hard

By R. Slack


Tracy Watkins and Charlie Toeppner cruising on the Chief Commanda

In its quest to improve the industry’s image and extend its public outreach the CIM Northern Gateway Branch hosted Paul Hébert, executive director of the Federated School of Mines, on May 20. The objective of the Federated School of Mines — a collaborative effort between seven post-secondary institutions in northern Ontario is to attract people to the region, strengthen communities and assist the industry in meeting its educational needs.

Hébert, who was formerly the executive director of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR), has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of mining industry human resources needs and trends. His presentation, “Human Resource Requirements in the Mining Industry,” examined the problem of forecasting human resources supply and demand in our industry. He described the role the Federated School of Mines will play in addressing some of the mining industry’s future requirements. Although the present economy has taken some immediate pressure off the recent labour pool shortfalls, all major indicators point to an upcoming rise in skilled labour shortage.

Sponsored by the City of North Bay, the lunch meeting drew many attendees who, in addition to being enlightened by Hébert, were treated to the Davedi Club’s famous Italian buffet.

Although the branch is usually tirelessly involved in painting a more accurate public image of the industry, it sometimes gives its members the chance to unwind and hit the deck, so that they may return to their tasks refreshed.

On June 5, over 170 people boarded the Chief Commanda for the branch’s annual Lake Nipissing Boat Cruise Social. This year’s theme, PartiGras, featured fiery music and a flaming hot barbeque. The balmy weather and gentle breezes set the stage for a fun-filled and festive evening, which gave new meaning to the term “rock the boat.” A 50/50 draw was held, where half the proceeds benefitted the North Bay food bank and the other half was awarded to the winner of the draw. 

At the end of the evening, as the boat returned to the dock, the group was treated to one of North Bay’s famous Lake Nipissing sunsets, bringing the event to a glorious conclusion.

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