Echo Essentials North Bay Edition

Nov 1, 2023

We amplify local voices
and provide timely context
about important issues.

North Bay’s first snowfall of the season was perfectly timed for the city’s ban on overnight parking, which began this morning. On a positive note, potholes were filled in for a few hours. Check out the ‘Bay Cams’ showing live video of McIntyre Street and the intersection of Worthington and Wyld (looking down from the top of City Hall).

Top Shelf

  • DNA test would clear up Buffy Sainte-Marie dispute
  • Oktoberfest this Friday, brewery has history on tap

Coffee Mug

Today’s Orbital

Temperatures for North Bay in November begins with a range between 7 C and -1 C and ends with an average range of 0 C to -6 C. Not by coincidence, that is perfect for having wet, slushy roads in the daytime and frozen hellscapes at night. Maybe next year you won’t wait until the snow flies to find out your mechanic has a three-week backlog for installing snow tires. Drive safe.


DNA test would clear up
Buffy Sainte-Marie dispute

Fans of Buffy Sainte-Marie and Indigenous people concerned about ‘pretendindians’ are upset after a CBC Fifth Estate investigation on Sunday disputing her Indigenous origin story.

One group, the Indigenous Women’s Collective, has called for her 2018 Juno to be rescinded so others with documented ties to Canadian Indigenous heritage would have a chance to be honoured. In recent years, there have been numerous people exposed for their exaggerated or non-existent heritage after building up careers and winning awards at the expense of those who have true roots.

“We acknowledge that Buffy Sainte-Marie was traditionally adopted into the Piapot family 60 years ago under the sacred Cree laws of Wahkotowin. We respect the privacy of her family, friends, colleagues and fans, and their decision to remain supportive and loving toward her,” the collective said in the statement covered by the Canadian Press and published by BayToday.

“We understand that traditional adoption comes with great responsibilities, it does not provide anyone permission to falsely claim Indigenous origin identity. Being adopted into an Indigenous family and community does not authorize anyone to speak on behalf of our all of our people.”

Sainte-Marie, 82, who has performed in North Bay many times, stands behind her story that she was born in Saskatchewan before being adopted by an American family and issued a birth certificate there. Members of her American family dispute that claim and say she is of Italian descent.

Curiously, despite the debate extending many decades, no one has publicly suggested that the issue can be cleared up by DNA test.

Oktoberfest this Friday,
brewery has history on tap

Plant of New Ontario brewing Co. - 1905 - 1915

Lisa Boivin learns all about the craft brewing world while chatting with Mike Harrison of New Ontario Brewing Co. during Thursday’s ‘To North Bay With Love’ episode. Everything from the roots of the company’s name to the art of brewing to the heavy provincial taxation that’s hampering the growth of small business in Ontario.

Harrison describes how they named his company after the New Ontario Brewing Co. Ltd. that was located near the Lake Nipissing waterfront (just north of the Chippewa Creek mouth) from 1905 to 1915. It was an ideal site because it needed fresh water from the lake and was a barrel roll from the CP Rail line for exporting goods and receiving supplies. They brewed German suds and supplied the local hotels with ‘Nipissing Lager’ but a fire razed the building in 1915 and due to First World War against Germany, the owners probably thought it wasn’t prudent to test their luck again.

“Topographical changes in Lake Nipissing and the Chippewa Creek bed indicate that if it were still standing today, the brewery would be located behind the Wastewater Treatment Plant,” reads the historical plaque near Memorial Drive and Regina Street.

On Friday, New Ontario Brewing celebrates Oktoberfest by offering $5 pints of its Vienna Lager – Hopfenmuncher with the Bear Claw Blues band on stage.

  • Mike Joins the show to talk about craft beer  2:10
  • Why does Mike love making beer  8:00
  • The complexities of crafting beer 15:00
  • Taxes on breweries 19:00
  • Lisa, Ben and Mike taste test some craft beer 24:00

Mike Harrison New Ontario Brewing Co. Podcast - To North Bay With Love

Thanks to our sponsor Services. Visit and mention “Echo Podcast” to get your first 3 months of your water heater rental free  *some restrictions may apply*

Today’s Zen Suggestion: There should be an over-under betting pool for how many “snow days” are called each winter. It won’t lower the frustration felt by parents who depend on schools for daycare services but at least one person will feel like a winner.

Echo Network

Backroads Bill:

The Healing Powers of Labyrinths with Nazneen Mehdi - Backroads Bill Podcast

Bill is joined by Nazneen Mehdi, a labyrinth enthusiast, in his latest podcast to talk about how labyrinths can be a powerful tool to help with spiritual and mental healing. Bill discusses how he created one at the Canadian Ecology Centre and Nazneen tells us about working as a nurse and how labyrinths have helped her patients.

Last week, Bill and producer Ben Sargent talk about the Wolverine Heritage Canoe company in Wawa and how the ensuing Oba Lake Drug Bust sunk a well-designed watercraft.

Backroads Bill has six other podcasts with video versions linked here: The ‘Art’ of Wildlife Photography, The Man Buried in Two Places, Bill Takes a Trip to Red Lake, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Bashin’ Bill Barilko and The Legacy of Terry Fox.

You can follow Bill Steer’s Backroads Bill on Facebook & Instagram: @backroads_bill and on Twitter: @steertonorthONT

The Healing Powers of Labyrinths with Nazneen Mehdi - Backroads Bill Podcast

Small Town Times:

The latest Small Town Times podcast is about the City of North Bay being in the process of buying the building beside The Gathering Place soup kitchen on Cassells Street. In case you missed it, there’s also a recent interview with Taijon Graham, a Nipissing University Business Administration student, who is Shooting for Change.

3-Day Events Echo

Thursday, Nov. 2

Jon Carter is playing at Lou Dawg’s from 8 to 11 p.m.

NDA junior football semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Second place West Ferris hosts third place Algonquin at the Mike O’Shea Field (Omischl)

Friday, Nov. 3

Nipissing University Lakers women’s hockey team hosts Ontario Tech at Memorial Gardens. Puck drop is 7 p.m. It might be a sell-out though with the North Bay Jr. Lakers girls minor hockey tournament in town on the weekend. If so, watch on the livestream at OUA.TV

Oktoberfest at New Ontario Brewing Co. offering $5 pints of its Vienna Lager – Hopfenmuncher with the Bear Claw Blues band on stage.

Peter Cliche is playing at Lou Dawg’s from 8 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Davedi Club’s Artisan Craft Show with more than 40 vendors 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Scollard Hall Bears senior football team hosts St. Mary’s of Sault Ste. Marie for the NOSSA semifinal at Cundari Field, kick off at 2 p.m.

(For more events further out on the calendar, check Tourism North Bay’s comprehensive events listing guide. On Facebook, check out Creative Industries North Bay.)

Welcomed as the first Echo Network sponsors are Wagepoint, a national payroll software company, Services and Cogeco.

First-time reader? Sign up for this free newsletter HERE. We publish Monday and Wednesday evenings and Friday morning.

If you have something to add to the discussion or an idea for one of Echo’s podcasters or affiliates, email Content Director Dave Dale at [email protected].

We would love to hear from you!

Please record your message.

Record, Listen, Send

Allow access to your microphone

Click "Allow" in the permission dialog. It usually appears under the address bar in the upper left side of the window. We respect your privacy.

Microphone access error

It seems your microphone is disabled in the browser settings. Please go to your browser settings and enable access to your microphone.

Speak now


Canvas not available.

Reset recording?

Are you sure you want to start a new recording? Your current recording will be deleted.

Oops, something went wrong

Error occurred during uploading your audio. Please click the Retry button to try again.

Thank you

Send your recording