It’s beautiful, it’s big, and if you ever get to see the inside first hand, you’ve likely been busted. The new OPP West Nipissing Detachment in Cache Bay celebrated its official Grand Opening on November 4, with a very limited number of invitees due to COVID restrictions. While it was a short ceremony, it was very satisfying for a number of people who put in a lot of effort to see the job done.
Following a traditional lands acknowledgment, ceremonies opened with a hand drum song by Blair Beaucage of Nipissing F.N., and a trilingual rendition of Oh Canada sung by Sergeant Chantal Larocque (French, English and Cree). Const. Matti-Jane Primeau, representing Dokis F.N., was the Anishinabek Police Services standard bearer while Larocque represented the Algonquins of Mattawa.
Among featured speakers were Deputy Solicitor General Mario Di Tommaso, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique and West Nipissing Mayor Joanne Savage. Invitees included representatives from surrounding municipalities of French River, Markstay-Warren and St. Charles, MP Mark Serré, MPP John Vanthof, Insp. Michael Maville – Detachment Commander, Rob Stinson- President of the OPP Association, Carson Pardy-Chief Superintendent/North East Region Commander, Chris Karkins – Deputy Commissioner OPP, Architect Keith Currie of Formworks; Craig Clark (owner) and Al Desbien (site foreman) of Capital Construction.
Also on hand were municipal councillors Yvon Duhaime (Deputy Mayor), Rolly Larabie, Chris Fisher, Léo Malette, Dan Roveda, and several municipal staff, many whom worked diligently behind the scenes and had never had the chance to visit the site before this special inauguration. There were plenty of smiles to go around. WN Polices Services Board chair Chris Fisher commented, “It’s a good day! It’s all done and dusted and official – I love it!”
In his welcoming remarks, WN CAO Jay Barbeau noted, “This state-of-the-art building has been under construction for the entire pandemic… which was quite a feat.” He remarked on the process of transition from the WNPS to the OPP, that once it was ratified a suitable location had to be found. “[We] found this beautiful place – a fantastic location to serve West Nipissing and the people to the west.” Barbeau commended his staff, in particular Treasurer Alisa Craddock, Director of Community Services Stephan Poulin, Municipal Clerk Melanie Ducharme (who negotiated the land deal), and Johnny Bélanger, Project Manager – “Our unsung hero, the man who worked with all the players”.