Thunder Bay, Ont. — Efforts from Ignace interim Mayor Kim Baigrie and the town council to entice Alterna Savings Credit Union to keep its local branch open or consider other options were met with a definitive “no” from the banking institution. The final decision has left the township “disappointed and perplexed” with the Alterna company. During meetings with Alterna’s chief executive officer and stakeholders, Baigrie said Ignace town council presented them with options, solutions and opportunities, including the potential to be selected as the host community for the Deep Geological Repository Project with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization in 2024. “It’s like they’re not listening,” Baigrie said. “I told them I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer and we have continued to fight, fight, fight. In the last meeting that we had, the (chief executive officer’s) disinterest really disappointed me. It’s hard to take that.” Baigrie says the council has been supportive and the community’s economic forecast could be huge. “We could double our community members,” she said. “Meeting after meeting, we have tried hoping that they would change their mind. I asked them, ‘Please just give us a year and we will help you. We’ll show you that the community wants you.’” LeeAnn Acton, director of communications for Alterna Savings, told The Chronicle-Journal that the decision to close its Ignace branch and its merger into the Dryden location has not been made lightly.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal