A city SWOT team has been deployed to help the Ontario Northland Railway try to secure a $75 million contract.
Ontario GO Transit will be refurbishing its cars, and the ONR will be submitting a bid.
And Friday, while city council and city administrator Dave Linkie toured the McIntyre Street shops, Coun. Dave Mendicino, pictured here, announced just what kind of help was being offered.
“We have asked Ontario Northland if the city can assemble a SWOT team to view the bid before it is sent in and they agreed,” Mendicino said.
North Bay businesswoman Dorothy Clark has been asked to head the team, which includes businessmen Max Shapiro, Norm McLeod and Carl Crewson.
Enormous business background
Mendicino said council wanted to do something to enhance the bid beyond just writing letters of support.
“That’s why we wanted this SWOT team. They have a lot of business savvy, enormous business background and all have international experience dealing in business,” Mendicino said.
ONR vice-president Roy Hains said if the ONR bid is succesful it will result in a “huge” amount of work for the shops.
“We have the infrastructure here, we have the skilled trades here and the capacity to take on what would be a four-and-half to five-year production schedule,” Hains said.
“It could also mean the hiring of 30 to 50 skilled trades people.
Fresh set of eyes
Most of the work would be done in North Bay, Hains added, although some would be transferred to the ONR shop in Cochrane.
Bombardier would be the main competitor for the contract as well as one firm in Montreal and another in Albany, NY.
The SWOT team—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats—would add a “fresh set of eyes” to the bid, which must be submitted by Feb. 10, Hains said.
CAW Local 103 president Brian Stevens said he welcomes any help and support city council can provide in helping to bring the GO work to North Bay.
But he’s not quite sure what the SWOT team will be able to contribute to the bid.
“We’ve been in the railroad business over 100 years,” Stevens said, “and we know the difference between a release rod and an operating lever.”