Woodpecker Project

On October 3, 2008 starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Ginoogaming Band Office, Ginoogaming First Nation and Rocky Shore Development Corporation met with Woodpecker Project personnel and Greenstone Economic Development Corporation. The Ginoogaming meeting was set up by Greenstone Economic Development Corporation. It was billed basically as a site advisory selection meeting as a number of locations would be investigated by the consultants. In fact, they would be looking at some 20sites in north western Ontario. In this immediate area, two locations have been identified, as Longlac Wood Industries site and Ginoogaming First Nation site. Dina Quenneville earlier advised that three initiatives were offered as a Call Center, a food processing plant and a wood products components plant. They decided to pursue the latter as a wood products components plant, as Greenstone did not have a 25,000 population for a Call Center and a Food Processing plant was not in their books. A template indicating the wood products components plant was supplied earlier weeks to Ginoogaming. It showed what would be required on a typical construction and operation of a wood products plant such as number of workers, facility either leased or bought or a build-to-lease option, acreage of land required, electric power, fuel, water and sewer, natural gas, and infrastructure roads. We advised the group what we had at Ginoogaming to fit the template and conducted a tour of the site. To bump it up a notch to entice a plant, since most locations would have roads, water, sewer, etc., we advised the group of the potential offering of attractive hydro rates (off our Nodin project from which an additional wind turbine would be erected as a separate Ginoogaming-owned turbine initiative). The hydro would be offered at better than normal rates should they decide to locate on our reserve and would be a negotiating item. This was a selling point to present a favourable proposal to any plant wanting to locate here.

 

The brief meeting itself began at the Ginoogaming band office and then continued in vehicles to the former Ginoogaming pit road entrance off the Balsam Road (former Catlonite Road). Sergeant Derek Echum was present to ensure high-speed pulp trucks did not pose any danger to our slow vehicles travelling to the pit and back. The area, immediately to the north off the pit road, was red flagged and shown as the potential site for the Woodpecker Project development, representing 3 to 5 acres they require. The area is next to the Making Ground River and would be adjacent to the Long Lake Forest Products sawmill, should wood fibre (lumber) be a commodity they would be looking for in the possible wood products mill. After the group viewed the site and had knowledge from us on the services as road, water, sewer, etc., we continued to the powwow grounds to view the area where a METower would be erected for the wind measuring equipment. After handshakes led by Chief Celia Echum thanking the group and photo opportunity, the group disbursed and we were advised to meet in Geraldton at 11:15 a.m. to meet other proponents and the Greenstone Economic Development Corporation board members and other invitees. At 11:15 a.m. Calvin Taylor and I attended the Geraldton session and gave a brief presentation on Ginoogaming accompanied with a hand out. A copy of relative material is attached in this document. I did not capture a record of the people in attendance, but some noted were Dan Reinhold of LLFP, Paul Gignac of LWI, MNR and MNDM representatives, Harry Kelly and other jobbers. After our presentation, Mr. Ticknor took over and queried the group, including Dan Reinhold on the Longlac sawmill hiring, maintenance, pay scale, number of female people involved in the operation, number of apprentices (natives) and the fact that Longlac sawmill has First Nation workers in the 80% range at one time, but due to temporary downsizing the number is smaller. I advised Mr. Ticknor of our AWDMP training model that we have and the fact it has a maintenance or intervention component, he was surprised as to how the hiring, maintenance and intervention was handled. Mr. Ticknor pointed out that Ginoogaming should be getting an award for such progressive arrangements. After a short lunch, discussions continued and Mr. Ticknor closed the meeting by saying in due course some information would flow back to us after he completes his site cataloguing. It is my understanding that Mr. Ticknor represents a number of initiatives in the United States that are desirous of locating in Ontario, particularly in an area such as Ginoogaming reserve with its huge potential for development.

I did mention that Ginoogaming was open for business, we have our minerals development, land availability, wind energy production, office complex and construction of a new bridge and upgrading of our water, sewer and roads. Mr. Ticknor commented that Ginoogaming was a very progressive band and I saw that he was extremely pleased.