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ribbon cutting

Employees of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), including President and CEO Ron Oberth, Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck, Bruce County Warden Paul Eagleson, Chief of Chippewas Of Nawash Unceded First Nation Greg Nadjiwon, and Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith cut the ribbon at the opening of OCNI and new home to Indigenous Relations Supplier Network (IRSN) March 21 in downtown Port Elgin.

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There was high attendance at the opening of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries’ (OCNI) new satellite office in Port Elgin. The office is also home to the newly created Indigenous Relations Supplier Network (IRSN), created as Bruce Power and its supplier partners wanted to further strengthen their relationships with local Indigenous communities. Many local dignitaries were in attendance including Elder and former Saugeen First Nation Chief Vernon Roote, and Chief of Chippewas Of Nawash Unceded First Nation Greg Nadjiwon with Roote blessing the space with a traditional smudging ceremony and offering a prayer in his traditional language.

Ron Oberth, President and CEO of OCNI, an association of more than 200 Canadian suppliers to the nuclear industry in Canada and abroad, hinted that OCNI is in the process of negotiating agreements with the Ministry of Advanced Education Skill and Development “for funding that will allow us to engage... Indigenous young people, young women from a cross section to join our industry largely in the skilled trades area. Oberth said the Province of Ontario was about to undertake the refurbishment and life extension of 10 reactors, six of which are at Bruce Power and four in Darlington.

“It’s going to require a lot of skilled trades people,” he said. “We want to ensure that we have a good supply of people to do that work, and particularly ensure we broaden the community to involve young Indigenous people and young women,” said Oberth.

The CEO said Ontario’s nuclear industry is shifting from southern Ontario to Bruce County and that many of ONCI’s companies want to participate in the region. “We want to be part of that,” he said.

Bruce Power CEO and President Mike Rencheck said OCNI coordinates suppliers and that “having a base office here enables all those suppliers to gain information about the community and how better to work with the Indigenous suppliers that work in Bruce Power and creating local jobs, how to move into the area, and how to create local offices,” he said.

Rencheck added that having a key point out of OCNI is very important to expansion and continued growth.

The grand opening ceremony included speakers James Scongack, Bruce Power’s Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Environment; Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck; Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith; Bruce County Warden Paul Eagleson; and OCNI President and CEO Ron Oberth who presented a “Service Excellence Award” to Barry Kruisselbrink of Barry’s Construction for completing renovations on the refurbished office in downtown Port Elgin.

ron oberth

President and CEO of OCNI Ron Oberth at the opening ceremonies, March 21.

vernon roote

Former Saugeen First Nation Chief Vernon Roote said a prayer and performed a smudging ceremony.

mayor mike smith

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith speaking at the grand opening. He later presented a floral arrangement to OCNI employee Marina Oeyangen.

chief greg nadjiwon

Chief of Chippewas Of Nawash Unceded First Nation Greg Nadjiwon speaking at the opening ceremony, March 21.

barry kruisselbrink

Ron Oberth presented a Service Excellence Award to Barry Kruisselbrink of Barry’s Construction for the work the company did on the newly refurbished office space.


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