Echo Essentials North Bay Edition

Jan 30, 2024

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and provide timely context
about important issues.
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If you’re curious about the evolution of independent journalism, check out the coverage of a recent council meeting in South River (about the dog that drowned without rescue efforts by the firefighters on scene.) The video story is HERE. There’s also several poignant pieces produced by Rejean Venne for his West Nip Voice Substack blog, including this one about the Au Chateau woes (high illness outbreak rate despite strict vaccine policies for staff).

(Click on the Echo Essentials logo in the email newsletter for the updated website version, past editions and subscription form.)

Top Shelf

  • Mental health and addictions a complex issue
  • Nipissing Serenity Hospice featured in podcast

Coffee Mug

Today’s Transparency
by Allan Hirsh

allan hirsh open book on couch cartoon


Echo Essentials

Mental health
and addictions
a complex issue

It was pure coincidence that Small Town Times scheduled an interview with Mary Montgomery, chief operating officer of the North Bay District Canadian Mental Health Association, and former city councilor Dave Mendicino on Bell Let’s Talk Day last week. Watch a short clip about the options for seeking treatment and then find the full interview HERE.

Fluke or not, it was a timely connection because CMHA Ontario used the opportunity to bring more focus on the ongoing stigma of substance use and addictions, which often prevents someone from reaching out for help. It stated that northern Ontario has been hit hardest by the opioid crisis with related deaths at a rate three times the provincial average.

Mary noted that there were at least six opioid-related deaths in December alone and more than 100 in northern Ontario in the last three months of 2023. Dave described how some new programs offer part of the solution and made several suggestions about how to move forward.

Unfortunately, the interview didn’t address the waiting lists for both addictions and mental health treatment, which is a big reason many people struggle to find help. A follow up question for the CMHA received the response below:

“Like communities across Ontario, this area is also experiencing a growing demand for mental health and addictions support. The reality is that the needs exceed current capacity. There is a 3- to 6-month waitlist for residential addiction services offered by CMHA North Bay and District. Waits for mental health services can range from 3-12 months, depending on the program,” stated the CMHA.

This fact alone provides grist for the mill for future podcasts looking at how the government is dealing with such issues. Until then, there is the 9-8-8 support line.

There is no cost
to use the Nipissing
Serenity Hospice

In today’s episode of the ‘To North Bay With Love’ podcast, Lisa Boivin is joined by Gil Pharand, Executive Director of the Nipissing Serenity Hospice, to talk about the impact it has on their patients and the community.

Gil describes the difference between a hospital environment vs a hospice and how the 10-bed facility on the edge of Laurier Woods makes the experience for patients and families as positive as possible. He shares how the hospice came to be in the North Bay community, how the funding works and the fact there is no cost for using their services.

Today’s Zen Suggestion: Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today … like scratching chores off next week’s ‘to do’ list that are not really your concern.


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*

Echo Network

To North Bay With Love:

BayToday republished a short clip from last week’s ‘To North Bay With Love’ podcast, focusing on how the The Gathering Place helps a growing number of community members who can’t make ends meet without meal assistance.

Support The Gathering Place by donating to a team participating in their annual fundraiser, The Coldest Night of the Year, which is taking place Feb. 24.


Check out the YourTV video interview promoting the 2nd annual Jack Lyons Hockey Memorial Exhibition taking place Memorial Gardens March 21. Proceeds go to One Kids Place.

Cogeco has the big tilt between Mississauga and North Bay Battalion live on YourTV Thursday at 7 p.m. Rotary At Home TV Bingo is on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Lions At Home TV Bingo on Sunday’s at 7 p.m.

Backroads Bill:

Tomorrow on the Backroads Bill podcast, Bill and Ben ponder the “what if” scenario of The Georgian Bay Ship Canal. First proposed in 1837 and then surveyed in 1907, the shipping route was envisioned to bring resources and products from the west through the French River, Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake and then the Ottawa River to the St. Lawrence Seaway before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

Would this have improved our lives or ruin some things we take for granted? Sit back and open your mind to explore this fascinating “what could have been” scenario.

New podcasts drop Wednesday mornings. Listen on the Echo website HERE. You can also find the Backroads Bill podcast on Spotify, Apple, IHeart Radio, Spreaker, Google, and Amazon. Read the Backroads Bill column at

The Frontline:

The North Bay Mitsubishi After Action Report starts live immediately following the final whistle of each Battalion home game. Hear the episode after the Troops’ big win against Barrie last Sunday HERE.

The NFL Eh?! podcast dropped Sunday with a few tears and cheers as the playoff results decide which teams are going to the Super Bowl.

Powassan Voodoos Ryan Patrick and Dylan McElhinney talk about growing up in Pittsburgh, the road to the Voodoos, differences between Canada and America, and the bus leaving Dylan behind.

Art People Podcast:

The Art People Podcast is a five-episode series produced by actor Joe Drinkwalter, with interviews with Michelina Beam of Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, Brianna Lintner of BReal Studios, actor and director Rob McCubbin, singer and songwriter Hannah Grace, and Kelsey Ruhl, about the On the Edge Fringe Festival.

Cheap Seats:

Cheap Seats is an eclectic conversation between best friends, Drew and Nick, who love talking about movies and whatever else comes to mind. Awards top their talk in the 29th episode released Jan. 17.

Events Echo

Tuesday, Jan. 30

  • Play Readings for Seniors brought to you by Theatre Making North Bay at the North Bay Public Library 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Check it out on the last Tuesday of the month with future dates including: February 27, March 26, April 30, May 28 and June 25. For more info, email: [email protected]

Wednesday, Jan. 31

  • Taproom Trivia with Ricci at New Ontario Brewing Co. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 1

  • North Bay Battalion hosts Mississauga at 7 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 or check out their December newsletter HERE.)

First-time reader? Sign up for this free newsletter HERE. We publish Tuesday and Thursday.

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].


Does your group
or business want
to have a podcast?

If you want your North Bay and area podcast or YouTube video stories/interviews included on the Echo Community Podcast Network, there are a few basic requirements: Shows need a track record with at least five previously published podcasts or videos; Descriptions of each episode are needed, as well as a general description with artwork; plus a specific playlist of up to 15 shows (so new shows are added to the website listing automatically).

We’re interested in promoting shows that want to expand and grow by capitalizing on promotion through the network and the Echo Essentials newsletter. We also offer a new show development service where we help create, brand and market podcasts for a fee. Inquire by email with [email protected]

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