Who are we?

The Elliot Lake Community Liaison Committee is composed of citizens from a broad cross section of our community who expressed an interest in the Deep Repository Project of the NWMO and were willing to take the time to gather as much information as possible about the project to help the community make an informed decision about Elliot Lake’s continued participation in it.

Members of the CLC were not chosen because of any particular view they might hold. They were chosen because they believe that the citizens of Elliot Lake can only make a decision of this importance when all of the facts are made available to them.

ELCLC members were selected through an open process. Some were chosen to represent particular sectors of the community such as Medical, Education, Business and Seniors. Others were chosen from the community at large.

Members of the Elliot Lake Community Liaison Committee

  • Cherry Gunning, Chair
  • Len Kutchaw, Vice Chair
  • Christian Giroux
  • Dan Marchisella, Mayor and Ex-Officio, City of Elliot Lake
  • Dr. David Matheson
  • Ed Pearce, Councillor, City of Elliot Lake
  • Sirje Pomerleau
  • Ray Racine
  • Pat Stirling
  • Paul Torrance

Resources to the Committee

  • William Elliott
  • Ashten Vlahovich

Secretary to the Committee

  • Brenda Lackie, Elliot Lake CLC Coordinator

Members of the ELCLC

Photo of Cherry Gunning Cherry Gunning – Chair
Cherry Gunning is the youngest daughter of Elliot Lake pioneer, Jack Gauthier. The family moved from South Porcupine to Elliot Lake in 1958. Cherry and her husband Mike Gunning grew up and started their family in Elliot Lake but followed the uranium mining industry to Saskatchewan in 1991 and then on to Ottawa in 2006. They retired early in 2014 and have returned home to Elliot Lake.
Cherry is a graduate of Elliot Lake Secondary School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Resources Management) from the University of Guelph. She worked for twenty-four years for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on the regulation of uranium mines and mills. This experience has provided her with familiarity with the nuclear industry and an in-depth understanding of radiation and environmental protection and the environmental assessment process.
Photo of Len Kutchaw Leonard (Len) Kutchaw – Vice Chair
I was born in the Sudbury District, in the village of Creighton Mine. I am retired, having spent many years in the Canadian Mining Industry, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Laurentian University and I am a past member of the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals.
I had 47 years of mining before I retired. I worked in underground and open-pit mining throughout the world. I believe strongly in becoming a part of any community I have lived. I have served on school boards, church committees ( I headed the committee that built a church) and mining committees both local and provincial. I have coached hockey, baseball and soccer.
I was a member of Mining Impact & Benefit Committee that worked with the Inuit organization of the Baffin Island Community to get approval for a mining project on Baffin Island.
On a personal side, my wife and I have been married 51 years, and have 4 wonderful children, three daughters and a son. We have 9 grandchildren and are the proud great great grandparents of one. We spend our summers at our camp, and during the winter, we try to take at least one cruise to warmer temperatures.
I am honored to be a member of the Liaison Committee and look forward to working toward a bright future for Northern Ontario
Photo of Christian Giroux Christian Giroux – Principal, Villa Française de Jeunes
Christian Giroux was born in Verner, Ontario. He is a graduate of École secondaire Franco-Cité of Sturgeon Falls, holds an honours Bachelor degree in Science (B.Sc. with a specialization in Biology) from Laurentian University and a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) from Laurentian University. He began his career as a science teacher in 1999 for the Conseil Scolaire Public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario. He began teaching at École secondaire Carrefour Supérieur Nord in Wawa until June 2001. In September 2001 he continued his teaching career as a science teacher at École secondaire Villa Française des Jeunes in Elliot Lake until February 2011 when he was promoted to School Principal, a position he currently holds.
He has served the City of Elliot Lake as a volunteer firefighter for 6 years. He sits on the finance committee for the francophone Parish, Paroisse Sainte-Marie. He is the badminton coach for École secondaire Villa Française des Jeunes and was also the past president of North Channel Regional Science Faire/Expo-science régionale de la Rive Nord. For seven years he represented French public teachers sitting on the executive board of the French language teachers association, Association des Enseignants Franco-Ontariens (AEFO)-Unité Nord-Ouest Publique.
Photo of Dan Marchisella Dan Marchisella, Mayor and Ex-Officio, City of Elliot Lake
My name is Dan Marchisella, born and raised in Elliot Lake I was privileged to grow up in a safe environment on the edge of vast wilderness. In 2003 I joined the Canadian Forces in hope to challenge myself and make a difference in the global community. After being injured while on tour in Afghanistan I was able to upgrade my education. Graduating Algonquin’s Business program with honours, and excelling in marketing I then went back to work for the Department of National Defense. As Asset Manager for CSOR, I did many government based courses on federal budgeting and procurement procedures. Now as the Mayor of the City of Elliot Lake, I look forward to being involved in the progress and productivity of our community. I also will take great pride in working with our many volunteers that help to ensure a high standard in the quality of life for all Elliot Lakers.
Photo of Dr. Dave Matheson Dr. David Matheson
Dr. Matheson was born and raised in Ottawa. He took his undergraduate and medical degrees at Queen’s University in Kingston and did his post- grad training in London and Kingston.
Dave arrived in Elliot Lake in 1982…..with no intention of staying.
He has since built his retirement home Dunlop Lake 2009… with no intention of retiring.
Married with a family of 3 boys Dave is currently 31 years into a busy clinic and hospital-based general practice in Elliot Lake plus an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
When he has time, his interests include curling, cycling, fishing and coaching basketball.
Photo of Ed Pearce Ed Pearce – Councillor, City of Elliot Lake
Born and raised in the Prairies, Ed Pearce had a long and varied career as an editor, publisher and marketing consultant. Over a period of 40 years he worked in a variety of situations from independent start-ups to multinational publishing companies.
In 2000, Pearce was tasked with developing a branding strategy for the Richard Ivey School of Business and took on the additional title of Director of Marketing Communications.
In 2006, he left academia to start his own publishing and consulting company working with university based business schools. Rouge Hill Media acted as branding consultant to various business schools across Canada as well as publishing Canada’s first web site devoted to promoting Canadian university based business schools. Ed sold his business in 2011.
In his “retirement” he was a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee and chair of the Residential Development Committee. He has been a member of the Community Liaison Committee since its inception. When he has time he enjoys gardening and spending time with his grandchildren. He has also been known to play a very bad round of golf.
Photo of Sirje Pomerleau Sirje Pomerleau
The mines lured my family to Elliot Lake in 1958 and it has been my ‘home’ ever since. I graduated from ELSS and attended Queen’s University where I obtained my B.A.-B.P.H.E. and B.Ed. degrees. After that brief stint away from home, I began a 32-year teaching career at ELSS which was mainly focused in physical and health education but also included science, guidance, and co-operative education. During my teaching years I coached various teams at ELSS. I was also keenly involved with the Outdoors Club and the outdoor education classes. I am proud to say that our focus was on awareness and respect for the environment, and low-impact techniques in our activities. In my youth, adulthood, and retirement I have enjoyed the wide variety of activities and community involvement available. My present day activities are still centred mainly on activities in the beautiful, natural environment that surrounds us: hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing.
My love of Elliot Lake and the surrounding area and my enjoyment of all it has to offer moved me to seriously consider the rationality of establishing a nuclear waste management facility in the area. I am inquisitive and curious by nature and driven by the need to know and understand so it seemed to me that the most logical way to learn as much as possible about the implications and feasibility of such a decision was to accept a volunteer position with the Community Liaison Committee. It is proving to be quite the learning experience – and I truly believe every citizen should take advantage of the learning sessions provided!
Photo of Raymond Racine Raymond Racine
I was born in Valleyfield, Quebec and I am fluently bilingual. I have been living in Elliot Lake since 1966. While at university for a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing and Personnel Management, I worked 4 summers in the purchasing department at Denison Mines. I spent 22 years as Manager of Canada Employment and Insurance Commission in Elliot Lake, a Federal government Department.
I am currently the Returning Officer for the riding of Algoma Manitoulin Kapuskasing for the Federal Agency. I am equally involved with the Francophone community as a director of RAFO (Rassemblement des Associations franco-ontariennes) and also a director on the Board of the Francophone retirees’ group: ‘le Club des aînés l’Étoile d’or’ and equally on the board of FSNA (Federal retirees’ group). I was a member of EDAC and various other organizations such as: the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, the East Algoma Community Development. I was on the Hospital Board for 12 years with the two last years as president.
I am now self-employed with R & D Translation Services.
Photo of Pat Stirling Pat Stirling
Pat came to Elliot Lake with her parents and sisters in 1958. She attended Elliot Lake High School and then graduated from North Bay Teacher’s College and Laurentian University. Pat spent many years teaching in Elliot Lake and area specializing in special education. Aside from teaching, Pat spends much of her time volunteering in many areas. Pat’s main love is her family and most of her time is spent with her husband, her sons, daughters-in-law and her three beautiful granddaughters.
Photo of Paul Torrance Paul Torrance
Born October 1, 1945 in Wingham, Ontario to Ada Bruce Torrance and Dr. Thomas Torrance
Grew up in Orillia, Ontario from 1949 to 1962
Attended University of Toronto – 1962 to 1965
Married to Barbara since 1968
Sons – Christopher in 1969 and Matthew in 1973
Moved to Elliot Lake in August 1978
Grandchildren – Malin (2004 Winnipeg), Jackson (2005 Mississauga), Abigail (2006 Winnipeg), Nicholas (2007 Mississauga), Simon (2010 Mississauga)
Elliot Lake activities:
Elliot Lake Community Tennis Club since 1979 – currently President for the third time
Elliot Lake Cross Country Ski Club since the middle 1980’s – currently President
Member of the Elliot Lake Shared Use Trails Committee representing Cross Country Skiing
Cyclist / Mountain Biker / senior level Badminton and Basketball player / occasional Golfer / participant in most outdoor sports except motorized ones
Photo of William Elliott William Elliott – General Manager, ELNOS / Resource to the Committee
William Elliott was born in Elliot Lake (a long, long time ago). His mother worked as a teacher’s aide and his father was a Sergeant on the town police force (pre-OPP). He is a graduate of Elliot Lake Secondary School, holds an honours degree in Economics from York University, a diploma in Applied Research from Georgian College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Elliott began his career at ELNOS in 1997 as a Business Development Officer, was promoted to Business Development Manager, then to Manager, and currently holds the position of General Manager. He is a provincially certified fire fighter and has served the City of Elliot Lake as a volunteer firefighter for more than 10 years.
A founding member and secretary/treasurer of the Northshore R/C Modelers, Elliott is a member of the North Shore Cruisers car club and sits on the Drag Race Organizing Committee on behalf of the Club.
He is also the current Chair of the St. Joseph’s Foundation of Elliot Lake, President of the Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, Treasurer of local Masonic Lodge #698, Past President of the Elliot Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Elliot Lake Pride committee and serves as a resource to numerous committees and organizations, including the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Economic Development standing committee (EDC).
Photo of Brenda Lackie Brenda Lackie, Secretary and CLC Co-ordinator
Brenda and her husband Mike moved to Elliot Lake in 1982 during the mining boom. Although they grew up in Oakville, they instantly fell in love with Elliot Lake and the Algoma area, calling it home for over 30 years. They raised their 3 children here and although their children have left the area, Brenda and Mike have no plans to leave the City that they love.