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Bob Wood Drive: Former MP reacts to renaming of roadway

'This is a great honour that I never dreamed of. It is certainly a humbling experience.'
bob and carol wood
File photo of Bob and Carol Wood. Submitted.

A ride to or from Jack Garland Airport in North Bay will soon include a trip down memory lane on Bob Wood Drive.

"This is a great honour that I never dreamed of. It is certainly a humbling experience, Wood tells BayToday. 

With the unanimous approval of North Bay City Council, Tuesday, the roadway known as Airport Way has been renamed in honour of Wood, 80, recognizing his decades of service to the community as a Member of Parliament for Nipissing, municipal politician, and radio personality.

Coun. Chris Mayne tabled the motion and it was seconded by Coun. Mark King following consultations with the Jack Garland Airport board and with the urging of former Premier Mike Harris and Wood friend Michael Brophy. A ceremony to switch the street signs to reflect Wood's honour is in the works, says Mayne.

The proximity to 22 Wing/CFB North Bay is fitting as MP Wood was instrumental in altering the Canadian military’s plan to close the base and relocate the NORAD operations to Winnipeg in the late 1990s. 

Looking back, Wood observes, "Staff at CFB have always been integrated into our community and adding so much richness to it. I felt it was paramount to keep CFB in North Bay. Losing the base would have been a huge loss to our community on so many levels certainly not just financially."

He adds, "Here we are over 20 years later and the base continues to play a large role in the city of North Bay."

Wood says it was a joint effort when it came to keeping the base operating in North Bay.

"I want to stress that this was not something that I accomplished on my own. It was through the efforts and dedication of a team that made this possible," he says. "A special thank you goes out to the late Jack Burrows who was mayor at the time as well as to Vic Fedeli who was instrumental in the success of our mission."

Wood was first elected to represent what was then known as the Nipissing riding in 1988 as a Liberal MP and retired from politics in 2004. He also served as a city councillor. Wood was a safety equipment technician at RCAF Station Gimli, Man., before moving to North Bay in 1966. Listeners tuned in to listen to Wood on the airwaves for more than two decades and he was famous for his Let Wood Work for You show on CFCH.

"I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to former Premier Mike Harris and Mike Brophy for thinking of me and taking the time to put forth this initiative.  It made me smile to have two of my Conservative friends do this for their Liberal friend Bob Wood. It was nice to be reminded of a kinder, gentler time in politics."

With his wife Carol at his side, Wood has been advocating for those living with Alzheimer's while fighting his own battle with the disease. The Woods have drawn attention to the cause and the challenges people with Alzheimer's face on a day-to-day basis as they live their journey with dementia.

"I certainly didn't do this for the recognition," says Wood of his role in saving the base. "I did it because it was the right thing to do for our community." 

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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