Drysdale among top movers in Northern Ontario

Fort Frances Coun. Tannis Drysdale was named one of the top five “Movers & Shakers” of the year in the December, 2005 edition of Northern Ontario Business magazine.
Coun. Drysdale said Monday it was an honour to get the recognition, particularly as she was the only person this year among the top five from Northwestern Ontario, as opposed to Northeastern Ontario.
“But there’s a lot of people in Fort Frances, and we all do it in our own way,” she was quick to add. “Because I sit on enough regional boards, both elected boards and appointed boards, perhaps it allows me to do other types of things.
“But they’re no less important than coaching hockey or sitting on the library board,” she stressed.
Perhaps one of the most important initiatives Coun. Drysdale has been involved with in the past year was the Northern Ontario Grow Bonds.
In May, she was named to its board of directors—a body struck to approve loans to applicants under the program—after being recognized for her research analyzing Northern Ontario’s economy a few years ago when she was president of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce.
From that analysis came the idea of “grow bonds.” NOACC developed a model for “grow bonds,” then lobbied the provincial and federal governments to support the initiative.
This turned into a program offered this past April and May, where five-year bonds with four percent fixed rates were made available exclusively to northern investors, with a corresponding business loan program for small- and medium-sized businesses in the north.
Some $13 million worth of “grow bonds” were sold, with the proceeds going to loans for new and expanding businesses in the north.
“We’re finalizing offers from the private sector for expanded business opportunities, and we should start to see some announcements pretty soon,” said Coun. Drysdale.
“We’re looking forward to that,” she added. “Economic times have changed drastically in Northern Ontario and all opportunities are important to our communities.”
In the past year, Coun. Drysdale also was appointed by Natural Resources minister David Ramsay to the Ontario Parks board to help introduce a Provincial Parks Act, which is on its way to becoming law.
This act was put together after consultations with affected parties across the province, including regional groups like NOACC and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.
And as a member of NOMA, Coun. Drysdale been lobbying senior government to pay attention to the problems facing the region’s forest industry.
Coun. Drysdale came to Fort Frances 13 years ago from Manitoba and works as a consultant. She is serving her first term as councillor after being elected in November, 2003.