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Dianne Saxe
Environmental Law Specialist 
Dianne Saxe, PhD 
 To view Dianne's Columns

Kevin Gaudet
 Canadian Taxpayers Federation 
Kevin Gaudet, Ontario Director CTF -  
View Kevin's  Columns

Maggie Chicoine
 Maggie Chicoine
Master Coach and Professional Speaker
 “Experience Speaks, with a twist of ingenuity”
To view Maggie's Columns

Elle-Andra Warner
Elle Andra-Warner
 Travel Writer
To view Elle's Columns

 Millie Gormely
Millie R. Gormely, CFP, EPC
Investors Group Financial Services Inc
To view Millie's Columns

Mike Shusterman
Mike Shusterman
Musings from Big Lake Country
To view Mike's Columns



Musings from Big Lake Country


Mike ShustermanMike Shusterman was born in Halifax, raised in Toronto.
Chose Lakehead University Forestry Program where I graduated in 1975.
I have worked in the forest products industry in northern Ontario since 1977, and still do!
My duties have taken me from Woodlands through to Mill Manager positions throughout northern Ontario and as to get ahead one had to move, so promoted through MacMillan Bloedel from Nipigon, Sturgeon Falls, Pembroke, Wawa, and back to Nipigon to manage mill prior to fire.

Throughout my career I have also been elected to two Municipal Councils, was Executive Director of the Ontario Forest Business Association, NWO member of Ontario’s Smart Growth Panel, President Elect of NOACC, and President of the Land of the Nipigon Chamber of Commerce.
I also operate a small Forestry Consulting Company, Boreal Resource Strategies, which has completed a number of Feasibility Studies.




Looking back at 2010, tells us much about 2011 for NWO

THUNDER BAY, ON   ----  December 5, 2010   ---  ‘Tis the season for reflection, with the calendar quickly counting off the remaining days until the end of 2010. It is therefore, an appropriate time for us northerners to look back over the past to gauge where we are heading for 2011.

We can agree that we started off 2010 with not a lot of anticipation of good news. A number of mills across the region had recently closed with no signs of positive news approaching to get us back to any sense of prosperity.

I can think of many sad stories that were associated with almost every town. It was a sad visit to these towns as they struggled with continuing unheard levels of unemployment. Many of our workers headed out west yet some came back, learning that the grass isn’t always greener. Families were unfortunately separated with the shift in employment opportunities. Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman  read more......>

 Forestry Update in the Northwest

THUNDER BAY, ON ----  August 9, 2010  -----  Encouraging news is starting to filter out of northwestern Ontario regarding some new and exciting forest product ventures. Any news these days would be welcome and finally we are seeing signs that these new ventures are close to becoming a reality, and in forestry –related businesses.

The Greenstone area is one area that has been in the news recently with an increase in mining activities, and now news out of Longlac shows that  new partnerships have developed that see both First Nations and business groups working together to create new sustainable employment, both on and off reserves, in value added forest products. Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more........>

If Rocks were Trees

THUNDER BAY, ON   ----   May 30, 2010 ----  Have you ever considered the absurd notion of our rocks switching places with our trees, specifically with regards to our rocks coming under the same profile and proposed changes as our trees in Ontario?

Maybe it’s just me but I always try to rationalize one situation with another. An example of this thinking; I always try to come to terms with the fact that we are a large landmass in northern Ontario with an abundance of rocks, trees and water, with 90% on non-private lands. These are our natural resources and they are owned by us, the public of Ontario, and our First Nation neighbours. It is us, and we are defined by these resources. These resources are what our small communities depend upon for their prosperity.  Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more.....>



NWO and NFLD, “Have Not” vs “Have” & Reversed Roles

THUNDER BAY, ON - March 2, 2010 - Remember back to the 70’s when Northwestern Ontario was booming, and we were firing on all cylinders?  We were living prosperously due to our resources, while over in Newfoundland it was the exact opposite and they were known as a “have not province”. Lake Superior News  Mike Shustermanread more...>

Next Crop of Foresters Impress 

THUNDER BAY, ON - January 21, 2010 - Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to participate in Lakehead University Forestry Association’s (LUFA) 42nd Annual Forestry Symposium.
I was invited to present my thoughts on LUFA’s Symposium’s topic which is dear to my heart, and thankfully an upcoming opportunity, that being “A new Approach-Tenure and Reform in Ontario’s Forests”.Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more...>

A New Forest Inventory Required-NOW!

THUNDER BAY,  ON - December 11, 2009 - I participated in the recent WSCP (Wood Supply Competition Process), yes yet another acronym to add to your never –ending list. I was surprised at the turn-out, as the predecessor of this session was the RFEI (Request For Expressions of Interest) to acquire wood from the province, almost exactly one year ago.Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more...>

11 million cubic meters up for grabs!

THUNDER BAY, ON - November 26, 2009 - Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle announced today at Lakehead University’s Innovation Centre the release of 11 million cubic meters of wood to a new competitive process for new businesses that want to create jobs through value added forest products and the bio-energy sector.Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more...>

Olympic Volunteers in our Region-Nipigon’s Ava Walter is “Living the Dream”

THUNDER BAY, ON - November 25 - I had the distinct pleasure to interview Nipigon’s Ava Walter recently and if you know her, the best words to describe Ava, are “infectious enthusiasm”. That phrase is for her alone.

I stopped by her place to learn about her volunteer journey for the Winter Olympics which according to the count-down sign on her fridge, there are “only 84 days to go to Vancouver 2010”. She was baking for an upcoming Christmas Craft show to help defray her personal costs of participating in Vancouver.Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more...>


The Return of the Yellow Bottles!!

THUNDER BAY, ON  -----   November 21, 2009 -----  Yes it is that time of year again, when we start to see the return of those yellow bottles that find their way into the ditches along our highways around Thunder Bay, Ontario. It sounds like a Horror Film, and it is also like a reverse migration season. When the winter weather approaches the yellow bottles come back and although we occasionally see these containers during the winter months, it is the spring when we get our full glimpse of these bottles typically containing a certain body fluid. Yuck!   Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more......>

Province commits to forest renewal

THUNDER BAY, ON - November 10, 2009 - Ontario Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry announced yesterday that the province will be injecting the necessary funds to purchase approximately 13. 5 million tree seedlings for planting this coming summer.

This 1-year supplemental renewal program will make it possible for local greenhouses to return to the seedling business with this commitment to forest renewal. These seedlings are destined to be planted in areas that have been hit with natural disturbances such as fire, insect and wind damage. Lake Superior News  Mike Shustermanread more...>

Hospital Waiting Time Adventure a Solution

THUNDER BAY --- November 9, 2009 ---- My father-in-law who resides in the pretty town of Sturgeon Falls just became the owner of a new hip at Thunder Bay’s Regional Hospital. I was with him in August and realized that he couldn’t wait any longer for a hip replacement, as he was limping and I feared that one day soon he would fall, and make things worse, plus he was favouring his right hip more and more and he was beginning to show signs that this hip would be next to fail.  Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more......>


 $8 billion black liquor subsidy

THUNDER BAY, ON   ----  October 23, 2009 ---  A New Challenge to our Forest Industry and the Federal Government is Asleep at the Switch.

It is bad enough that the Canadian dollar has shown signs of reaching par again with our American counterpart, and now comes word that although the distorted $8 billion black liquor subsidy devised by the American paper industry is being phased-out by year’s -end in the U.S.; a new subsidy, yes it is a subsidy, is coming at us from our neighbours to the south at blinding speed, the result being another major blow to the sustainability of our pulp and paper, and other forest product facilities in Canada. Yet another blow to our resource –dependent communities. How much more can we endure?  Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more.....>

Public Forestry Consult Session results in Community Forest Demand

THUNDER BAY, ON - October 2, 2009 - Last night in front of a packed crowd at the Arthur Street Travel Lodge a mix of forest industry personnel, environmentalists and the general public eagerly listened and then spoke as the province outlined its platform of options to consider how the future of our forest will shape-up in regards to who gets the wood, how much you will pay for the privilege, yes privilege, as it our public wood, and how and who will manage these forests? Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman read more...>


Community Driven Recovery in Forestry Ahead

THUNDER BAY, ON - October 30, 20069 - As I travel around the north lately I am becoming encouraged by the very positive potential that is on the verge of being un-leashed in the forestry sector, as well as the increasing mining opportunities. Lake Superior News  Mike Shustermanread more...>





Will Community Wood Benefit the Community?


THUNDER BAY, ON ----   March 25, 2010  ------  In less than one week, after almost two years of back and forth with the province, the forest industry in Ontario will be meeting a deadline to submit applications for the 11 million cubic metres of newly available wood fibre. By midnight March 31st, requests for this fibre must be submitted.

This is not a small task and the rules and procedures to submit a proper request has been revised four times already. Revision # 4 came out yesterday only one week prior to the submission deadline! Lake Superior News  Mike Shusterman  read more....>