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IRSN 560Bruce Power and its supplier partners have created an Indigenous Relations Supplier Network (IRSN) as they look to further strengthen their relationships with local Indigenous communities.

In a Bruce Power media release, this will be a key vehicle to ensure that Indigenous communities will have the opportunity to actively participate in the company’s ongoing investment program in the area of employment, business partnerships and procurement.

“This network consists of all our major suppliers and will assist with our efforts to increase employment from Indigenous communities, and to leverage business development opportunities as a way to create new – and support existing – Indigenous-owned businesses,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO, Bruce Power. “We have welcomed many of our supplier partners to the area over the past two years, with more expected in 2018 and beyond. Through the Indigenous Relations Supplier Network, we can collaborate on projects enabled through our work on site to help grow their business communities, create long-term jobs, and identify areas to focus our collective social investment.”

The IRSN, which has been under development since June 2017, will also focus on a coordinated and collaborative approach to community investment, training, education and employment. All the IRSN members agree there are numerous economic opportunities now and into the future, through Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which began on January 1, 2016. Bruce Power has also been working with the many trade unions on hiring opportunities within Indigenous communities.

The IRSN will be supported through the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), which will open an office in Port Elgin on March 21 to further advance the outreach capabilities of nuclear suppliers, many of which have opened offices in the region in the past year. A website will also be launching in the spring.

“The OCNI is excited to be a part of the Indigenous Relations Supplier Network, which will help the many members of the nuclear supply chain establish connections with the local Indigenous communities,” said Ron Oberth, President and CEO, OCNI. “Our new office in Port Elgin will afford us the local presence that is required to collaborate with Indigenous communities and businesses. Our approach to employment and economic development with the local Indigenous communities are numerous and varied, and to be successful we will develop these approaches hand-in-hand with communities. Our goal is to develop a sustainable model that reflects long-term frameworks for collaboration and achieving results.”

The first step will be for IRSN members to participate in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Program through Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), which allows for best practices to be utilized as a guide for nuclear partner companies, Rencheck added.

Bruce Power has twice been certified as Gold through the CCAB’s PAR Program, which identifies businesses that support improvement and best practices in Indigenous relations. “A gold-certified company means the PAR criteria is ingrained at all levels of the business, driven through policy, strategy, mature processes and innovative enhancements over a number of years”, said J.P. Gladu, President and CEO, Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.

“A gold organization has a high level of appreciation of the significance of positive Indigenous relations, is a role model on Indigenous relations with a continuous-improvement philosophy, positive results and good support from Indigenous communities,” Gladu said. “We look forward to getting to know the members of the Indigenous Relations Supplier Network, and seeing their hard work come to fruition for the betterment of Indigenous communities along the lakeshore and across Ontario.”


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