NFN: GV ODR Opens February 22nd; Office Closure Extended to March 22nd

Press Release

Staff to continue working remotely during this time

As COVID-19 activity has recently spiked and there is confirmation of a Variant of Concern in our district, the Ontario government announced today that the current shutdown and stay-at-home orders will continue to apply in the North Bay Parry Sound District until at least Monday, March 8th.  The province made this decision in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health based on key public health indicators.

From February 8 to 17, 2021, the North Bay Parry Sound District has seen its case rate increase by 11.5 per cent to 14.6 cases per 100,000 people. Variants of concern also remain a serious risk to community transmission and health system capacity.

In anticipation of the province’s announcement, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council approved a recommendation from our Crisis Control Group (CCG) earlier this week to extend current provincial measures for an additional two weeks after the province announces the lifting of these measures and our region’s return to the colour-coded reopening framework.

This decision represents an effort to be proactive in planning our business operations to minimize disruptions as the situation continues to evolve with so many unknowns.  NFN has consistently aligned our operations with provincial orders and public health measures, and will continue to take additional measures to protect our community and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, NFN has adopted the following enhanced measures (dates are subject to change):

  • NFN will remain under the current provincial measures for an additional two (2) weeks after the province announces lifting the shutdown and stay-at-home measures*.
    • If the orders are lifted on March 8th, NFN will stay under these measures until March 22nd.
    • NFN staff who can perform their duties remotely will continue to do so until March 22nd.
    • NFN community members are asked to continue staying home as much as possible, except for essential reasons such as going to work, school or medical appointments, or buying groceries or medications.  Avoid social gatherings and limit close contacts to those in your household.

* Rationale: this provides a two-week period to assess the status of COVID-19 activity in our area before returning to a reopening framework, and before staff begin returning to work in our offices and facilities in a phased approach to ensure workplace safety.  It also allows time to assess and implement any new or enhanced public health measures that may come into effect.

  • Nbisiing Secondary School will continue to provide virtual instruction until March 22nd.
    A two-week active screening for staff and students will be implemented when the school reopens for in-person learning on Monday, March 22nd.  A reminder that March Break has been postponed until April 12-16, and that midterm exams are now scheduled for April 8-9.
  • NFN Daycares (Couchie Memorial Daycare and Nipissing Ojibway Daycare) remain open for existing registrants, and where both parents/guardians require childcare due to work obligations.
  • Adult Education will resume on March 1st.  All instruction will take place by phone or online, and the instructor will contact current students to provide more details.  New students can contact Tracy Hanzlik at 705-753-6995 or to register.
  • After School Program will resume on Monday, March 22nd on an as-needed basis for those who do not have a parent/guardian working from home, or other arrangements in place.
  • Enhanced Security Patrols are extended until Monday, March 22nd for all NFN communities.
  • Duchesnay Creek Bridge Shuttle Service is currently operating from 7am to 8pm during the shutdown and stay-at-home orders, with after-hours taxi service available for essential trips only.
  • NFN Businesses:  If restrictions are lifted on March 8th, non-essential businesses will be able to resume normal operations with COVID-19 safety measures in place and will no longer be required to provide services by curbside pick-up or delivery.
    • * NEW: Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms).
    • * NEW: Stores must actively screen workers before they enter the business (for example, confirm workers do not have COVID-19 symptoms before they come into the workplace).
    • Updated safety plans required and made available upon request.
    • Limit capacity inside so that each person can stay 2 metres apart.  Face coverings over nose, mouth and chin required inside.
    • No line ups outside unless customers wear a face covering and can stay 2 metres apart.
  • Garden Village Outdoor Rink will reopen with all necessary COVID-19 precautions on February 22nd  in accordance with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit lifting restrictions for our areas of 4:30 p.m. today (February 19, 2021).
    • Given that we are still in a shutdown situation, the maximum on-ice capacity limit is 15 people.
    • Hours of operation will be 10am to 10pm, and monitors will be in place to ensure compliance with capacity restrictions, health precautions and to collect contact information of participants for contact tracing purposes.
    • Only NFN members and residents are permitted to use the rink.
    • Dressings rooms and washrooms remain closed.
    • We highly recommend booking your time slot in advance using this online booking tool:  You can also view the schedule using this link.  For any issues with this booking system, contact Vicky Laforge at 705-753-6971 or
  • Please click here to view the ODR Update and Schedule.
  • Reminder about Gatherings:  Staying home is still the best way to protect yourself and others. Avoid social gatherings and limit close contacts to those in your house. It is also recommended you wear a face covering when meeting with others from another household whether you are indoors or outdoors. Fines for not following gathering rules are being enforced (organizers can be fined up to $10,000 and each attendee may receive a $750 ticket).
  • Reminder to Register for a COVID-19 Vaccines:  Call Nipissing First Nation Health Services at (705) 753-3312 to add your name to a list to be registered for a COVID-19 vaccine.

All plans are subject to change, and we will continue to provide regular updates.

More Information:

Essential Services & Contacts:

Health Services:

  • Community Health
  • Home and Community Care
  • Medical Transportation

Kimberly Lalonde – Director of Health Services
705-753-3312 ext. 2223  |

Carole Lafantaisie – Community Health Nurse
705-840-8830  |

Mental Health & Addictions:

Right Path Essential Client Services
705-753-1375 (please leave a message)
Harm reduction supplies are available every Thursday from 1pm – 4:30pm at 316 Ted Commanda Drive.  Knock at the door and supplies will be prepared for you, or you can call the office or email to make arrangements. The Suboxone Clinic at the Health Centre is open 8:30am – 4:30pm and welcomes referrals or self-referrals.
Overdose Prevention Line – 1-888-853-8542

Social Services:

  • Ojibway Women’s Lodge
  • NFN Food Bank
  • Ontario Works
  • Child Welfare (Emergency)

Debbie McLeod – Director of Social Services
705-753-2050 ext. 1230 |

Ojibway Women’s Lodge Emergency Line

Food Bank Access Days
1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month (March 3rd & 17th)
Call 705-753-6972 or email for more info.


NFN Apartment Units – Emergency Repairs/Maintenance

Infrastructure and Public Works:

  • Water & Wastewater Treatment
  • Garbage & Recycling Pick Up
  • Landfill Operations
  • Building & Road Maintenance

Patrick Stevens – Director of Community Infrastructure
705-498-2519  |

Steve Doucette – Public Works Manager
705-840-3626  |

Education & Child Care:

Nancy Allaire – Director of Education
705-753-6995  |

Carole Couillard – Nbisiing School Principal
705-497-9938  |

Brandie Fong – Manager of Children’s Services
705-753-3312  |

Business Support/Inquiries:

Thomas Lambert – Employment & Training Manager
705-753-6985  |

Melvin McLeod – Emergency Services Manager
705-498-4407  |

Stop the Spread Business Info Line


For general questions and inquiries, please contact:

Brendan Huston, Chief Executive Officer
705-753-2050 ext. 1222 |

Freda Martel, Director of Administration
705-753-2050 ext. 1223 |


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More