Renewed hope

I walked out of the Canada Games Complex in Thunder Bay at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday—the last day of January—and it was still daylight.
It was a distinct sign that there is light in the tunnel that winter is ending.
On Monday morning, Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie were split in their annual Groundhog Day forecast. Willie did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring.
Phil, on the other hand, saw his shadow, which traditionally means we’re in for six more weeks of winter.
But for district residents, even six more weeks of winter would be a blessing. Having spring arrive on March 16—at the beginning of March Break—certainly would be welcomed in these parts.
February, being a short month as it is, is broken up first with Valentine’s Day, which turns into a long weekend because Ontario residents celebrate Family Day on Feb. 16.
Traditionally, February is a transition month, which brings milder temperatures, more sunlight, along with seed and fishing catalogues. All that mail lets you know it is time to start planning for summer.
Boats will begin arriving over the bridge into Canada destined for retailers across the region.
Bryan Gustafson dropped into the office last week and let it be known that he is opening a large fishing store in Kenora this spring.
He has proven—to professional and amateur anglers alike—that he knows his rods, reels, and tackle. The Great Bear is highly-rated for its selection.
Bryan’s own brand, “Bass Tactics” tackle, has gained recognition across Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan for its quality and selection.
Meanwhile, great news was received in the district Thursday that the provincial government had signed off on the environmental studies for the New Gold mine in Chapple.
That was the final hurdle to begin proceeding on the gold mine.
Rumor has it that we will see large bulldozers, off-road mining trucks, and huge backhoes and shovels arriving to begin clearing thousands of acres for the mine. It is a big job.
As well, Rainy River First Nations will return to building its huge solar farm near Pinewood.
Both of these projects are good news for the district.
Spring brings renewed hope. And projects like the solar farm and the gold mine bring hope back to the district.
It may clear the way for husbands to give up commuting to jobs away from Rainy River District. It will fill apartments and hotels as the construction goes on.
And empty buildings will be rented for warehousing supplies for the mine.

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