Local beef producer joins think tank


Northern Policy Institute (NPI) has welcomed a familiar face to its ranks; it recently welcomed Kim Jo Bliss as a director to its Board.

Bliss, owner of KJB Herefords, has been involved with the NPI for several years, holding a position on its Advisory Council.

“I was sitting on one of their committees and then asked if I would consider the board. Someone had recommended me,” said Bliss. “I was honest and said I don’t have a lot of time but could try! I think they were looking to add more thoughts from the North West and as well Agriculture so.”

Bliss began working at the Emo Agricultural Research Station in 1988 as a summer student. Currently she is employed by the University of Guelph doing applied crop research at the Emo Station. She volunteers on various Agriculture Committees both locally and provincially.

Bliss is hoping her new role will give a greater voice to northwestern Ontario, and agriculture in particular.

“I would like the North West to be included in decisions,” she said. “We are often overlooked, and Agriculture is overlooked – people don’t always remember where their food comes from and it starts long before the store!”

The NPI Board of Directors:

Harley d’Entremont is no stranger to being a NPI director, returning for his second stint on the Board. Most recently, Dr. d’Entremont served as Vice-President, Academic and Research at Nipissing University, after having served as Academic Vice-President (Francophone Affairs) at Laurentian University from 2003 to 2008. He had previously served as President of the Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia for 13 years.

Mariette Sutherland, MPH, is an Anishnaabe-kwe from Whitefish River First Nation. Mariette has completed over 125 projects in the past 16 years. Her focus is on respectful community-based research and engagement in First Nations and Indigenous health issues.

Ralph Falcioni has over 30 years of experience in the electricity industry. Working with electrical utilities in both large and small sized corporations. He has expertise in areas that include business development and planning, environmental, government relations, legal and financial affairs. He has served on the Thunder Bay Hydro board for several years.

Pierre Riopel, currently a member of the University of Sudbury Board of Regents, has worked over 25 years in the field of education where he has had a significant impact with his innovative spirit, leadership and expertise. He has worked at all levels of the education system (elementary/secondary, college and university), and during his career, has especially served the needs of Franco-Ontarian students.

In addition to the creation and continuation of partnerships across Northern Ontario, NPI is northerrn Ontario’s independent think tank, which explores key policy issues for northern Ontario, including reconciliation, retention, immigration, governance, economic development, living costs, COVID-19 impacts, and labour market demand. To check out these items and more, check out the 2019-2020 NPI annual report here: https://www.northernpolicy.ca/annual-report-2019-2020.