Thunder Bay

Re-elected Fort William First Nation chief says he'll focus on job creation

New jobs could come through the First Nation's involvement with the East West Tie Line Project and through an initiative to build a new long-term care facility, Peter Collins said.

Peter Collins was re-elected in Monday's elections

Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins said new jobs could come through the First Nation's involvement with the East West Tie Line project and through an initiative to build a new long-term care facility in the community. (CBC)

Fort William First Nation chief Peter Collins says job creation and economic growth are his top priorities for his new term in office.

Collins was re-elected chief in Monday's election with a total of 377 votes. He defeated his only competitor, Bonnie Pelletier, who received 325 votes.

He pointed to the First Nation's involvement with the East West Tie Line project as one potential source of new jobs; the First Nation is one of six involved in a joint venture called Supercom, which is training community members to build the power line.

Other jobs could come through other training initiatives, he said.

"We're looking at becoming a full-fledged training facility for transmission line builders," he said. "We're also looking at, in partnership with Seven Generations [Education Institute], to becoming a full-fledged training facility for long-term care employees."

The latter program, he said, dovetails with a project that began during Collins' last term of office, aimed at building a long-term care facility in the community.

Other priorities for the next two years include creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities and taking new initiatives aimed at battling the opioid crisis.

"[We're] looking at a safe house, and hopefully we can get that built," he said. "In that safe house, there will be mental health workers hopefully helping folks that are struggling with mental health issues and guide them in the right direction."

In addition to re-electing Collins, voters also elected Jennelle Charlie, Sherry-Lynn Pelletier, Desiree Morriseau-Shields, Kyle Maclaurin, Leo Bannon Jr., Sheldon (Shezzy) Bannon, Yvette A. Greenwald, Michele B. Solomon, Philip Pelletier, Anthony Collins, Leo Bannon and Tannis Kastern to the 12 council positions.