Echo Essentials North Bay Edition

Nov 24, 2023

We amplify local voices
and provide timely context
about important issues.
Sharing this newsletter
helps us grow.

Lake Nipissing’s hard-water jiggers will be glad to know that the KOKEMACHINE, 4EEL Fishing show is getting ready for its seventh year covering all things ice. There are 3,300-plus subscribers to his “zero-budget informative comedy” productions and a short teaser reel shot at the shoreline this week has almost 500 views already. Don’t take life too seriously, the host sure doesn’t. He just likes to fish.

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

Top Shelf

  • Legislative changes needed to address addictions/mental health challenges
  • West Nipissing wants more help with homeless from DSSAB

Coffee Mug

Today’s Highlight

Bill Steer photo of a northern ontario beaver pond and spruce trees

Backroads Bill Steer, of the Canadian Ecology Centre, is publishing a series of photographs of this same vista almost every day on his personal Facebook page. Different times bring a variety of shadows and the weather sets a new mood every time. This one is #23 named, ‘WANNA?” with a note to go with it: Energy and inspiration from my new dancing partner, Nature. If you are taking a series of photos in an artistic way, perhaps share it with the Essential readers. Email [email protected]

Echo Essentials

Legislative changes
needed to address
health challenges

There’s debate about how far society should go when treating people with severe addictions. Some advocate for changing legislation to recognize it as a mental health condition, which doctors can then act upon. And some say minor crimes involving addiction or mental health should be diverted toward health care remedies rather than easy bail release leading toward an escalation in violent crimes.

The latest Small Town Times podcast interview with guest Rod Bilz goes down that road. But the homelessness issues don’t come up until the 11-minute mark. The interview begins with Bilz giving an update on cycling as eco-tourism and several potential trail designation opportunities…if they can strike a deal with a private land owner or two up on Airport Hill.

Bilz is a board member with Discovery Routes Trails Organization and member of Building Blocks, as well as other groups, focused on community betterment through strategic development downtown and Active Living planning. He says there are two new directors added to the board and there’s also a plug for a fatbike event he organizes at the Stepping Stones Trails in East Ferris (a fundraiser in the name of the late Jack Lyons for autistic causes).

But then the subject turned to dealing social issues many communities are facing.

“As it stands right now, if a person doesn’t want treatment they aren’t required to take have it,” Bilz says, noting the easy bail access promotes repetitive and escalating crime until it becomes a crisis.

“We believe the capacity is there,” he says about the mental health and addiction services through the North Bay Regional Health Centre. “The problem is we can’t get people into the system because of the way the judicial system is set up right now. So if we get these two pieces of legislation changed that should change the picture and hopefully the agencies can look after the servicing part of it.”

The video interview can be found on the website under the Echo Shows tab where the top-15 Small Town Times productions are listed.

West Nipissing wants more
help for homeless from DSSAB

West Nipissing’s challenge with homeless made headlines this week. David Briggs, BayToday’s Local Journalism Initiative reporter, covered the council voting down a motion to halt the removal of an encampment from public property.

Read the municipality’s media release republished as a news story describing how they shut down the encampment.

And then check out the column by independent journalist Rejean Venne in his Substack blog The West Nip Voice.

Today’s Zen Suggestion: If you’re looking down at other people they’ll see your double chin.


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:

22 wing band promo pic with scott barons and lisa boivin

Listen HERE.

Katie Bevan from the farm. reducing carbon footprint. shopping local

Listen HERE.

Small Town Times:

Behind the scenes of making a 2NBWL podcast about the 22 Wing Band to promo its Nov. 25 concert - Small Town Times with Dave Dale

If you have three minutes, check out the promo video produced in conjunction with North Bay Echo highlighting Lisa Boivin’s offsite podcast recording at the 22 Wing Band rehearsal for the Nov. 25 show.

Also released this week, Helen Eng and Lori Laporte talk with editor Dave Dale about the late Ed Eng, a local restauranteur and internationally renown advertising photographer. Helen remembers her husband for his humble ways and passion for learning regardless of his achievements. See the BayToday feature about his 2017 passing HERE.

The Sunday podcast features former North Bay event coordinator Larry Tougas and former city councillor Dave Mendicino talking about the potential for Sports Tourism if the city funnels in more seed money to secure events. See the podcast interview HERE.

The Frontline:

The North Bay Mitsubishi After Action Report goes over the North Bay Battalion’s 6-3 loss to the London Knights at Memorial Gardens, Thursday evening. The Troops started cold allowing three goals in seven minutes yet bounced back to make it 4-3 after two periods. The empty-netter after a London powerplay goal to cap it off makes it seem worse than it was.

“Lots of room to grow, tough test (with the road trip this weekend),” says Battalion captain Liam Arnsby after the game, adding it’s a short window to bounce back as they face off against Guelph within 24 hours and then take on Owen Sound Saturday. And they do three in a row again the next weekend when they head to Kingston, Peterborough and Ottawa.

See the latest Frontline podcast with Kortney Kenney and Ben Sargent discussing the Powassan Voodoos with General Manager Chris Dawson. Afterward, West Ferris co-op student Kelsey Milne talks hockey with the crew and finds out what a ‘Pete’ is.

In episode 7 of NFL Eh?!, Brooksee and Calvo dole out their picks for mid-season awards of the 7 most notable honours that the NFL bestows upon its players. The boys then give out the much-coveted “Bralvo” Stamps of Approval which they definitely did not just make up and are very much a thing that all NFL players are striving for, so congrats to our winners and good luck in the second half of the season!

The gents also touch on a few key moments in week 10 and discuss briefly a few things to look forward to in week 11, including a Monday night Super Bowl rematch.

Backroads Bill:

Backroads Bill Steer and his dog wearing goggles

How far north can you drive a vehicle in Ontario (without using winter roads)? Find out in this week’s Backroads Bill podcast.

In other episodes this month, Bill and his road trip partner Brian Emblin share their quest to find the four corners of the province and Finding the Geographic Centre of Ontario.

From the Backroads library of podcasts: LabyrinthsWolverine Heritage Canoe company in Wawa 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.

Events Echo

 Cautionary Tales | Alex Maeve Campbell at 176 Lakeshore Drive

NOVAH Gallery exhibition Cautionary Tales by Alex Maeve Campbell at 176 Lakeshore Drive (former Tweedsmuir school).

Friday, Nov. 24

  • Old Fashioned Christmas Walk in Downtown North Bay starts at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree at the parkette on the corner of Main West and Fraser Streets. The evening ends with fireworks by the North Bay Museum on Oak West at 9 p.m.
  • Extended deadline ends at 4 p.m. for the Housing Needs and Supply Study survey being compiled by the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB).
  • Davedi Club’s Friday luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $22 per buffet plate.
  • J Houston Band at Lou Dawgs starting at 8 p.m.
  • Powassan Voodoos host Hearst at the Sportsplex with a 7 p.m. start
  • Capitol Centre presents The Hip Experience 8 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 25

  • 22 Wing Band returns to the Capitol Centre for another year, this season with the theme of “The Screen on Stage” consisting of a selection of music from famous movies. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets $20 for members, $25 for others, $20 for seniors and $10 for children.
  • The 25th annual City Streets Christmas Artisan House Tour at 176 Lakeshore Dr. (former Tweedsmuir elementary school) 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Ho Ho Holiday 5K Run by Active Running and Therapy Centre at the waterfront Kiwanis bandshell 9:30 to 11:45 a.m.
  • Meet the Author Linda Stoner at the North Bay Public Library 10:30 to 11 a.m. and learn how she created sets, took photos, and wrote her new book Chippy’s Family Helping Others. Space is limited in the children’s story room. Registration is required in advance online, in person or by calling 705-474-4830.
  • Powassan Voodoos host Iroquois Falls at the Sportsplex with a 7 p.m. start
  • Petit Noel opening reception at Callander Bay Heritage Museum & Alex Dufresne Gallery 2-4 pm with light refreshments and free museum admission

(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.)

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].



downtown christmas walk north bay poster

The Old Fashioned Christmas Walk Downtown North Bay begins with 6 p.m. tree lighting at the Diegel Parkettte at Algonquin Avenue and Main Street.

Nipissing Jazz at the Junction poster

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