Atikokan chosen to host 1978 NOACC convention

Atikokan will host the 43rd annual convention of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce in September 1978. The decision was made at the most recent convention held from Sept. 21-23 in Thunder Bay.

From Atikokan’s standpoint the convention was a great success throughout. The convention passed a resolution urging the provincial minister of Transportation and Communications to construct a road from Atikokan north to Highway 17. The future of the proposed road depends to a large extent on Steep Rock Iron Mines’ plans for development of the ore body at Bending Lake. Steep Rock president L.J. Lamb hopes for a final decision to be made sometime around the end of this year.

The convention also resolved to urge the provincial government to speed up its job of upgrading and resurfacing Highways 11 and 622. The delegates pointed out that with the building of the Marmion Lake generating plant traffic in this area will increase significantly.

The problems of health care were also addressed by the Atikokan delegation. It was pointed out that there was a shortage of doctors in Northwestern Ontario, including optometrists and opticians. It was recognized that the Ministry of Health is aware of these problems and has offered incentives to medical men to set up practices in the north. Further assistance, both physical and financial was requested from the government.

The proposed Bending Lake scheme was touched on in yet another resolution which called on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to study the application of slurry pipeline technology  to transportation in northwestern Ontario. The Bending Lake operation would use such a pipeline to ship its ore to the processing plant here in Atikokan.

Changes in the Mining Tax Act were sought by the Atikokan delegation. At present contributions to communities by mining companies are not tax deductible.

Both Caland Ore and Steep Rock have made large donations to the Atikokan General Hospital and it was felt these and similar donations should be considered as tax deductible.

Atikokan’s delegation was one of the largest at the convention with 10 people taking part. Those present were Ray Gowriluk, Al Earis, Cecil Leif, Jack McTaggart, Irene Martin, Alec Broski, Bud Dickson, Bruce Davidson, L.J. Lamb and Marvin Kelly.

Mr. Kelly was elected vice-president of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce for the coming year. In that capacity he will be present at Toronto in November when the convention’s resolutions will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration.

Vice-president elect Kelly was pleased with the outcome of the convention. “We(the Atikokan delegation) had every one of our resolutions passed, so we’re naturally very happy about that. And we got next year’s convention too. People from out of town don’t know what Atikokan’s all about and the convention next year will give them a chance to appreciate our situation and our problems.

September 28, 1977
David Byrne
Atikokan Progress