Transcript: Wendy Bell | Oct 24, 1991

(music plays)

The opening sequence begins.
Fast clips show the daybreak on a lake, birds flying in the sky, and a house covered with snow.

A song says TALK TO ME, SO I CAN HEAR
YOUR VOICE LIKE A LAKE
SO DEEP AND CLEAR
SOARING THROUGH THE
TOPS OF THE TREES,
DANCING BY MY WINDOW
LIKE A WIND BLOWING THROUGH
MY DOOR, DISTANT VOICES,
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES.

(music plays)

Wendy appears on screen. She’s in her forties. She has short blond hair and wears a tartan blazer in shades of white and brown, a white blouse with a prominent collar and matching trousers. A caption reads "Wendy Bell. Mayor of Marathon."

Wendy says I JUST REFUSED TO
BELIEVE MARATHON WAS GOING
TO BE ANOTHER COBALT OR
ANOTHER KIRKLAND LAKE, OR
ANOTHER ELLIOT LAKE, OR
WHATEVER THE HUNDREDS OF
MINING TOWNS THAT WERE
IN THE PROVINCE THAT
JUST REALLY GOT, I
CALLED IT RAPED,
RAVAGED AND PILLAGED.
AND THAT WAS MORE OR
LESS WHAT HAPPENED.
THEY JUST TOOK THE GOLD OR
THE SILVER, OR WHATEVER THE
ORE WAS THEY WERE LOOKING
FOR, AND THEN BLEW TOWN AND
NEVER LEFT ANYTHING AS ANY
PART OF INFRASTRUCTURE,
OR ANY KIND OF FINANCIAL
ASSISTANCE TO SEE THAT
THOSE TOWNS CONTINUED.

The title of the show appears in yellow letters. It reads "Distant Voices, with Eva Solomon, CSJ."

A woman in her fifties, with long curly brown hair sits by a hallway table facing the screen. There's a window behind her. She wears a patterned white long-sleeve blouse, a red vest, dark trousers and a long contrasting necklace.

Eva says WHEN WENDY BELL WENT
TO SOUTHERN ONTARIO TO EARN
HER DEGREE, SHE COULD
HARDLY WAIT TO GET BACK
TO THE NORTH.
A PLACE SHE CONSIDERS TO BE
A FRONTIER FOR PEOPLE LIKE
HERSELF WITH
PIONEERING SPIRITS.

As she speaks, the screen shows images of the city, the main entrance of the Marathon Municipal Building and people working in the offices inside along with Wendy.

Eva continues
SHE'S BEEN TRYING TO KEEP
HER TOWN AND THE NORTH IN
CHARGE OF THEIR
OWN DESTINY.
SHE'S DONE THAT FIRST AS
REEVE, AND SINCE 1988 AS
MAYOR OF MARATHON, AND ALSO
AS CHAIR OF THE NORTHERN
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL
ASSOCIATION.
THAT COALITION OF TOWN AND
CITY COUNCILS HAS BEEN
LOBBYING QUEEN’S PARK ON
A VARIETY OF CONCERNS.
SHE REALIZES SHE CAN'T
CHANGE MINDS IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO, UNLESS SHE
GETS THEM THINKING
LIKE NORTHERNERS.
BUT SHE CONTINUES TO FIGHT,
HOPING TO WIN THEM OVER
BY HER OWN EXAMPLE TO A
RECOGNITION OF NORTHERNERS'
COURAGE, INGENUITY
AND PERSEVERANCE.
QUALITIES SHE
HERSELF EMBODIES.

Wendy says IT WASN'T UNTIL I
GOT REALLY VOCAL ABOUT
THE MINING TAXES IN 1985 AND
1986, I STARTED REALLY
FIGHTING WITH THE PROVINCE
OVER GETTING SOME KIND OF
COMPENSATION FOR BEING
A BEDROOM COMMUNITY.
AND IN FACT, FEBRUARY OF
'88, WE WERE ABLE TO GET
A BRAND NEW BILL PASSED
THROUGH THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT, BILL 159, AND
IT'S TERMED THE HEMLO BILL
BECAUSE IT ALLOWED BOTH
MARATHON AND MANITOUWADGE TO
CLEAN SOME TAXES DIRECTLY
FROM THE MINES, ALTHOUGH
WE DIDN'T EXTEND OUR
BOUNDARIES, AND WE DIDN'T
HAVE TO EXPROPRIATE
APPROPRIATE PROPERTY
OR AMALGAMATE ANY KIND
OF TOWNSHIPS OUTSIDE.
WE SIMPLY CAME UP WITH A
FORMULA THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO
BE COMPENSATED FOR THE NUMBER
OF PEOPLE THAT WERE HOUSED
IN MARATHON.
IF 80 PERCENT OF THEM WERE
THERE, THEN WE WOULD TAKE
80 PERCENT OF THE TAX BASE.
AND IT'S JUST AS IF THE TWO
MINES WE'RE CONNECTED WITH,
IT'S JUST AS IF THEY WERE
RIGHT WITHIN OUR BOUNDARIES.
THEY PAY TAXES AS IF
THEY'RE IN MARATHON.
SO THAT'S HELPED A LOT.

Eva says TELL ME ABOUT THE
EFFORTS YOU HAD IN TORONTO?

Wendy says WELL, IT WAS REALLY
QUITE FUNNY BECAUSE WHEN I
DECIDED THE FAIRNESS OF...
THE PROVINCE WAS GOING TO
TAKE SOME MONEY FROM THE MINES,
THEN I FELT IF THEY WERE
GOING TO TELL THEM TO LIVE
IN MARATHON, THEN WE SHOULD
GET SOMETHING, TOO.
AND IT STARTED OUT TO
BE SOMEWHAT OF, TO ME,
A LOGICAL ARGUMENT.
BUT WHEN I GOT DOWN TO
TORONTO I FOUND OUT THEY
WERE NOT LISTENING
TO ME AT ALL.
IT WAS NOT LOGIC, IT WAS
JUST A MATTER OF, THEY HAD
BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS
AND YEARS AND YEARS, AND
JUST BECAUSE IT'S UNFAIR
DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT
SHOULDN'T CONTINUE.
AND I GOT SO THAT I WAS
PRETTY VOCAL ABOUT, YOU
KNOW, THE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
THAT THE PROVINCE HAD OF
BEING ABLE TO JUST GO,
AND THEY WERE COLLECTED
A MILLION DOLLARS A
WEEK IN MINING TAXES.
AND WE WERE LOOKING AT,
IF THE FORMULA WORKED,
A MILLION DOLLARS A
YEAR IN MINING TAXES.
SO WE REALLY DIDN'T THINK
WE WERE BEING GREEDY.
WE THOUGHT THIS WAS A
FAIR AND EQUITABLE WAY
TO ARRANGE THINGS.
BUT THE PROVINCE, OF COURSE,
BEING RELUCTANT TO GIVE UP
ANY KIND OF GOLDEN GOOSE
THEY HAD, IT WAS QUITE
A STRUGGLE.
I GOT SO THAT I WOULD INVITE
ANY CABINET MINISTER THAT
WANTED TO COME UP, I WOULD
TELL THEM THEY SHOULD COME
UP AND SEE THE MINES,
IT WAS FASCINATING.
AND THEY WOULD DO A TOUR
OF THE MINE, THEN I WOULD
GET THEM CORNERED IN THE
MUNICIPAL OFFICE AND TELL
THEM HOW UNFAIR IT WAS THAT
WE WERE LEFT WITH ALL THE
BURDEN AND NONE
OF THE ADVANTAGES.
AND THEY WOULD GO BACK DOWN
AND TALK TO THE PEOPLE THAT
WERE LEFT DOWN THERE TO DO
THE ACTUAL MULTIPLICATION
AND DIVISION.
IT GOT SO I HAD, THERE WAS
ONE GENTLEMAN THAT WORKED
RIGHT WITHIN THE MINISTRY
OF FINANCE THAT SAID WHEN
THE BILL WAS PASSED, HE
NEVER WANTED TO HEAR THE
NAME WENDY BELL OR MARATHON
AGAIN AS LONG AS HE LIVED.

A clip shows the industrial side of the city during the day. A caption reads "Income in Marathon increased from 20.8 million dollars in 1977 to 105.4 million dollars in 1987. Population in that time doubled."

Wendy continues
I THINK WHAT WE HAVE TO DO
HERE IS REALIZE THAT SOME OF
THESE NORTHERN COMMUNITIES,
SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE
SMALL, AND BECAUSE THEY ARE
UP NORTH, THAT WE HAVE TO
THINK OF OUR OWN FATE.
AND THAT WE SHOULD BE
GIVEN THE RIGHTS TO DECIDE
WHAT IS BEST FOR
NORTHERN ONTARIO.
NOT HAVE SOMEBODY DICTATING
FROM SOUTHERN ONTARIO HOW
THINGS WILL BE DONE.
AND REALLY GETTING THE BEST
DEAL WE CAN, AND STILL
MAINTAINING THE FACT THAT WE
ARE GOING TO BE AROUND HERE
FOR CENTURIES.
BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE
THAT WERE HERE, THEY HAVE
THAT ATTITUDE, YOU KNOW?
THEY HAVE THE ATTITUDE THAT
WE'RE NOT HERE FOR THE
SHORT RUN, AND WE REALLY
DON'T CARE ABOUT THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE.
WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS
SUSTAIN THIS DEVELOPMENT,
AND WE WOULD LIKE TO ENJOY
A GOOD LIFE WHILE WE'RE
HERE, BUT WE'RE HERE
FOR THE LONG RUN.
AND WE WANT TO DECIDE WHAT'S
BEST FOR OUR COMMUNITIES
IN THE LONG RUN.

Eva says I REMEMBER MARATHON
AS BEING A MILL TOWN.
WHAT ELSE DOES IT
HAVE IN ITS HISTORY?

Wendy says WELL, ORIGINALLY,
IT WAS JUST A TRADING POST
THAT WAS USED WHEN THE
COUREUR DES BOIS WERE USING
THE GREAT LAKES
TO RUN FURS.
AND WE DEVELOPED INTO A MILL
TOWN BECAUSE IN 19... I THINK
IT WAS '44 AND '45, THE
CANADIAN GOVERNMENT NEEDED
TO IMPROVE THE AMOUNT OF
PACKING THEY WERE USING IN
THE BIG GUNS THEY WERE
USING FOR THE WAR.
AND THEY DECIDED THAT MARATHON
WAS A NATURAL LOCATION FOR
ANOTHER PULP MILL.
AND IT WAS ACTUALLY AN
AMERICAN COMPANY THAT
WENT IN THERE.
AND THEY DEVELOPED
THE PULP MILL.
IT'S STILL IN OPERATION.
IT WAS NOT COMPLETED, IT WASN'T
BUILT AND IN PRODUCTION UNTIL
THE WAR WAS OVER, AND IT'S
BEEN PRODUCING PULP THERE
EVER SINCE.
SO IT DID GO FROM A SMALL
COMMUNITY NAMED PENINSULA
THAT WAS IN THE FUR TRADING
BUSINESS, TO THE TOWN OF
MARATHON BECAUSE IT WAS THE
MARATHON PAPER CORPORATION
THAT FOUNDED THE
FIRST MILL THERE.
SO IT WAS CHANGED TO THE
IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT,
ACTUALLY, OF
MARATHON, IN 1946.
AND THEN, OF COURSE, IN
1982, WE HAD A VERY
LARGE DISCOVERY... IN FACT,
I THINK IT'S THE BIGGEST
DEPOSIT IN NORTH
AMERICA... OF GOLD.
AND THE ASSETS OF THE HEMLO
GOLD FIELDS WERE DISCOVERED
AND WENT INTO PRODUCTION
IN LATE '83, EARLY '84.
AND THE PEOPLE FROM THE
MINES, 80 PERCENT OF THEM
ARE LOCATED IN MARATHON.
SO WE'RE REALLY A MILL
AND MINE TOWN NOW.
AND MUCH OF THE GROWTH IN
THE TOWN DOUBLED... IN FACT,
IT DOUBLED THE POPULATION
BETWEEN 1984.
AND TODAY, THE POPULATION
HAS GONE FROM ABOUT 3,200
TO ABOUT 6,000 PEOPLE.

A new slate on screen has a caption that reads "THe resource base in and around Marathon includes: platinum group metals, gold, zinc, copper, silver, sand, gravel, cement, water, forestry resources, fish and furs."

Wendy continues
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN SOMEWHAT
OF A POLITICAL ANIMAL.
OUR WHOLE FAMILY GREW UP
WITH THE ATTITUDE THAT
IT WAS ALL RIGHT TO WRITE
THE PRIME MINISTER
IF YOU WANTED TO.
AND I THINK MY MOTHER STILL
DOES, IN FACT, OCCASIONALLY
SEND A LETTER OFF TO OTTAWA.
BUT WE WERE ALWAYS VERY MUCH
INTERESTED IN TAKING PART
IN THINGS, AND BEING A PART
OF THE COMMUNITY, AND I
GUESS I'VE NEVER LOST THAT.

A series of old pictures show Wendy at a very early age posing in a little white dress.

Wendy continues
I WAS ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE
WHO'LL ADMIT THAT THEY WERE
BORN IN KIRKLAND LAKE.
THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF GOOD
HOCKEY PLAYERS FROM THERE.
I DIDN'T PLAY HOCKEY, BUT I
SPENT THE FIRST EIGHT YEARS
OF MY LIFE THERE.
THEN MY PARENTS
MOVED TO NORTH BAY.
SO I REALLY GREW UP IN NORTH
BAY, AND THAT'S WHERE I
FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL.
THEN I WENT OFF TO THE
ADVENTURES OF UNIVERSITY
LIFE IN WATERLOO.
AND HAVING LEFT WATERLOO
WITH AN ENGLISH DEGREE
UNDER MY ARM, I WENT UP TO
DRYDEN TO TEACH SCHOOL.
AND I MET MY HUSBAND THERE
IN OCTOBER, AND WE ENDED UP
GETTING MARRIED IN JUNE THE
FOLLOWING YEAR, AND MOVED
TO MARATHON TO TAKE UP A
POSITION WITH THE THEN
TOWN OF MARATHON'S
SCHOOL BOARD.
AND WE MOVED TO
MARATHON IN 1967.

Eva says SO YOU'VE BEEN LIVING
IN MARATHON ALL THAT TIME?

A picture on screen shows a close up to Wendy’s personal card.

Wendy says ALL THAT TIME.
WE WENT THERE FOR SIX
MONTHS AND ENDED UP,
I GUESS, 23 YEARS NOW.
SO I THINK I'M PRETTY
WELL A PERMANENT RESIDENT.

Eva says WHEN I FIRST WENT TO
WHITE RIVER, I KNOW IT WAS
IN THE '50s, WE ESTABLISHED
A PLACE IN WAWA.
AND AT THAT TIME THERE WAS
NO CONNECTING LINK YET WITH
THE WESTERN PART OF CANADA.
AND SOMEHOW MARATHON IS
CONNECTED WITH THAT, TOO,
IN TERMS OF THE
HIGHWAY AND RAIL.

Wendy says ACTUALLY, I WAS
AMAZED WHEN I GOT OUT THERE
TO FIND OUT, FIRST OF ALL,
WHEN WE MOVED TO MARATHON,
IT WAS AN IMPROVEMENT
DISTRICT, BUT IT WAS OWNED
AND OPERATED BY THE
AMERICAN CANADA LIMITED MILL.
THEY OWNED NOT ONLY THE
MILL, BUT THE TOWN SITE.
THEY OWNED ALL THE HOUSES.
THEY RAN THE SCHOOL BOARD.
WE WERE ACTUALLY PAID,
OUR SALARIES WERE PAID
FROM THE MILL.
AND IT WAS THEN THAT I FOUND
OUT THAT, IN FACT, THE
TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY HADN'T
EVEN COME THROUGH THERE
UNTIL THE EARLY 1960s.
AND THAT WAS JUST SEVEN
YEARS BEFORE WE ARRIVED.
SO IT REALLY IS A VITAL
LINK TO EASTERN
AND WESTERN CANADA.
AND, OF COURSE, THE TERRAIN
THERE LETS YOU KNOW WHY THAT
WAS THE LAST SECTION THEY
BUILT BECAUSE OUR ROADS ARE
JUST... IT'S A TREMENDOUS
HEADACHE TRYING TO BUILD
ROADS THROUGH THERE.
IT'S VERY MOUNTAINOUS, VERY
CLOSE TO THE WATER, HARD TO
IMAGINE WHAT IT WAS LIKE
BUILDING THE RAILWAY BACK
IN THE LATE 1800s WHEN
THEY WERE TRYING
TO LINK THE RAILWAY.
AND, IN FACT, THE LAST SPIKE
OF THE RAILWAY IS VERY
CLOSE TO MARATHON.
SO IT REALLY IS THE
CROSSROADS BETWEEN EASTERN
AND WESTERN CANADA.
WE'RE VERY MUCH A PART OF
THAT TRANSPORTATION LINK.
BOTH THE HIGHWAY AND THE
RAILWAY, AND ALSO TO A GREAT
EXTENT, THE WATERWAYS
BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT ON
THE NORTH SHORE
OF LAKE SUPERIOR.
AND IT'S A VERY VITAL PORT.
AND THE COMPANY STILL USES
THAT PORT TO TRANSPORT GOODS
IN AND OUT OF THE MILL.

(music plays)

A clip shows a long road near the water on a sunny day in Marathon Bay.

Eva says MARATHON IS SITUATED IN
ONE OF THE BEAUTY SPOTS OF
THE PROVINCE, AND
DEVELOPMENT HAS BROUGHT
ITS SHARE OF TROUBLE TO
THIS PART OF PARADISE.
THE SLEEPY LITTLE VILLAGE
WENDY CAME TO IN 1967 USED
TO BE QUITE CONTENT WITH
THREE POLICE OFFICERS.
NOW, STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN
THE COMMUNITY HAVE CALLED
FOR A TRANSITION THAT
EVERYONE HAS HAD TO
RIDE CAREFULLY.

Fast clips mix footage from the city along with images of Wendy at work.

Wendy says FROM THE
MUNICIPALITY'S POINT OF
VIEW, AND AS THE MAYOR, IT'S
BEEN A TREMENDOUS HEADACHE
BECAUSE THE PROVINCE
DICTATED THAT THE PEOPLE
WOULD LIVE IN
EXISTING COMMUNITIES.
AND BOTH MARATHON AND
MANITOUWADGE FELT THE
IMPACT IMMEDIATELY.
BUT ALONG WITH THE NUMBERS
OF PEOPLE COMING IN,
THERE'S A RESPONSIBILITY
TO PROVIDE SERVICES
FOR THOSE PEOPLE.
AND THE PROVINCE WAS VERY
RELUCTANT TO GET INVOLVED
WITH PAYING FOR
THOSE SERVICES.
SO WE ENDED UP CARRYING
A FAIR DEBT LOAD, AND WE
STILL ARE, AND WE'RE STILL
TRYING TO RESOLVE THAT.
SO THERE'S VIRTUALLY NO
RENTAL ACCOMMODATIONS AS FAR
AS SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING.
THERE MIGHT BE FIVE HOUSES
THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE BOUGHT
AND ARE RENTING OUT, BUT
THE COMPANIES INSIST
THAT YOU BUY YOUR HOME.
SO THOSE PEOPLE EVEN IN THE
MINING BUSINESS ARE NOW
THINKING THEY ARE
READY TO SETTLE DOWN.
AND THE MINES BECAUSE THEY
ARE SO NEW, THEY ARE THE
CREAM OF THE CROP.
THEY REALLY ARE WONDERFUL
PLACES TO WORK.
AND, AS SUCH, MOST OF THE
MINERS HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE.
THEY'VE GOT FAMILY.
THEY'VE COME TO MARATHON
BECAUSE THEY WANT TO HAVE A
PERMANENT JOB IN A SITUATION
WHERE THEY'RE NOT GOING
TO HAVE TO MOVE.
SO WE FOUND THERE ARE A LOT
OF MINING PEOPLE WHO HAVE
TOLD ME THEY'VE BEEN IN
MARATHON A LONG, LONG TIME
BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN
THERE SIX YEARS.
OF COURSE, THIS IS HILARIOUS
TO SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO
HAVE SPENT 30 OR 40 YEARS
IN MARATHON, BUT THEIR
ATTITUDE IS NOT THAT THEY
ARE GOING TO LEAVE,
BUT THAT THEY ARE
GOING TO STAY.
AND THEY WANT TO BE
PART OF THE COMMUNITY.
I THINK THINGS HAVE SORT
OF SETTLED DOWN NOW,
BUT DURING THE BUILDING
PROCESS, IT WAS NOT JUST
MEN AND WOMEN, BUT
EVERYBODY WAS WORKING.
IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
WE PROBABLY HAVE SOME OF THE
HIGHEST EXPENDABLE INCOME
ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY
BECAUSE MOST OF THE FAMILIES
HAVE AT LEAST TWO
BREADWINNERS, AT LEAST TWO,
AND SOMETIMES THREE OR
FOUR PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY
ARE WORKING.
AND WE'VE HAD A TREMENDOUS
INFLUX OF TRANSIENT WORKERS.
PEOPLE WHO ARE IN
CONSTRUCTION, COMPANIES WHO
HAVE COME IN TO DO SPECIFIC
JOBS, AND HIRED LOCALLY
SOME OF THEM, BUT MANY OF THEM
HAD TO BRING TRADES PEOPLE
WITH THEM.
AND WITH THAT, OF COURSE,
YOU GET A STRAIN ON MOST OF
YOUR SERVICES, AS FAR
AS CERTAINLY THE
POLICE DEPARTMENT.
YOU GET FAIRLY ROWDY PARTIES
ON A FRIDAY NIGHT IF PAYDAY IS
THURSDAY, THEN YOU CAN
COUNT ON THE BAR BEING FULL
AND THAT KIND OF THING.
AND WE'VE HAD OUR FAIR
SHARE OF SOME OF THAT.
BUT I THINK WE'VE MORE OR
LESS KEPT AHEAD OF IT.
AND WE'VE HAD A LOT OF
SUPPORT FROM THE COMPANIES.
IF WE HAD THE SAME FACE
SHOWING UP TWO DAYS IN A
ROW, THEN YOU JUST MERELY
CALLED THE COMPANY
AND THEY FOUND ANOTHER SPOT
FOR THAT PERSON TO WORK,
OR MAYBE NO WORK AT ALL.
SO WE'VE KIND OF
KEPT THE LID ON IT.
BUT YOU GET A NUMBER OF
INTERESTING THINGS THAT HAVE
COME UP IS WE'VE HAD SPOUSES
WHO HAVE INTERMARRIED WITH
ANOTHER FAMILY THAT SPLIT
UP, AND THEN THE CHILDREN
HAVE SORT OF BEEN
AMALGAMATED, AND YOU CAN
HAVE KIDS AT SCHOOL, THREE
KIDS WITH THREE DIFFERENT
LAST NAMES, AND THEIR
PARENTS HAVE TWO DIFFERENT
NAMES, AND IT'S REALLY...
SOME OF THEM ARE REALLY
QUITE A PUZZLE.
AND THAT KIND OF STRESS
WHERE YOU HAVE A LOT OF
FAST MONEY, CERTAINLY
HAS AN IMPACT ON FAMILY
STRUCTURES, AND THE TYPES
OF DRINKING PROBLEMS, AND
TO A CERTAIN EXTENT DRUG
PROBLEMS THAT MOST NORTHERN
COMMUNITIES HAVE, BUT
THERE'S THAT MUCH MORE
STRAIN ON THE TOWN BECAUSE
OF THE HIGH PRESSURE OF
KEEPING UP WITH WORK AND
THE HIGH DOLLARS BECAUSE
MOST OF THE MEN
ARE ON BONUS.

As she speaks, the screen shows different parts of the city, the main entrance of the Recreation Hall and a view of the long road to Yellow Brick.

Wendy continues
A LOT OF THEM ARE EARNING
70,000 OR 80,000 DOLLARS A YEAR.
AND A LOT OF THAT BECOMES
EXPENDABLE INCOME.
SO THERE ARE SOCIAL PROBLEMS
THAT ARE CERTAINLY ATTACHED
WITH THE BOOM.
AND FROM THE COMMUNITY'S
POINT OF VIEW, FROM MY
PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW,
OF COURSE, THE STRESS OF
TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE
DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINE WHERE
YOU HAVE TO STILL COLLECT
THE GARAGE AND PROVIDE
WATER AND SEWER, BUT YOU
HAVE A WHOLE SUBDIVISION
BEING DEVELOPED AND
CONTRACTORS IN AND
DECISIONS TO MAKE ABOUT
WHAT'S GOING TO BE NEXT, AND
KEEPING AHEAD OF THAT, IT'S
A CONSTANT PRESSURE COOKER.
AND YOU CAN'T GET
AWAY FROM THAT.
THERE'S NO WAY TO PLAN
TO KEEP YOURSELF
FROM BEING PRESSURED.

A new clip shows heavy machinery working on a construction area.

Eva says HEMLO IS EXTRACTING
A NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE.
AND IT'S GOING TO GO SO FAR,
AND IT'S GOING TO STOP.
AND THEN WHAT
HAPPENS TO MARATHON?

Wendy says WELL, THAT IS WHY
WHEN I DECIDED TO RUN FOR
MAYOR, I SAID WE HAD TEN
YEARS TO BUILD AND
TEN YEARS TO SAVE.
BECAUSE IT IS A
NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE.
AND EVEN IF THERE IS ANOTHER
MINING COMPANY THAT OPENS UP,
OR THEY FIND OUT THAT THE
RESERVES ARE GREATER THAN
THEY THOUGHT, AND RIGHT
NOW THEY THINK THERE'S
ACTUALLY 6 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH
OF GOLD TO BE EXTRACTED,
WHICH MAKES IT A VERY,
VERY RICH ORE BODY,
WE STILL KNOW IT'S GOING
TO COME TO AN END SOMEDAY,
AND WE HAVE TO BE
READY FOR THAT.

Eva says WENDY, IN YOUR PLACE AS
A WOMAN IN POLITICS, HAVE
YOU NOTICED ANYTHING ELSE
OR DIFFERENT THAT WOMEN
BRING TO POLITICS, OR THE
WAY THEY DEAL WITH THE SAME
KIND OF PRESSURES THAT
ARE IN POLITICS AS MEN?

Wendy giggles and says WELL, I'VE NEVER BEEN
A MAN IN POLITICS, SO IT'S
KIND OF DIFFICULT TO
JUDGE, FROM MY OWN
PERSPECTIVE, BUT CERTAINLY
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF
LOOKING AT THE WAY
COMMUNITIES I'M INVOLVED
WITH ARE RUN, AND THE
MALE ATTITUDE TOWARDS
DEVELOPMENT, I THINK WOMEN
HAVE A TENDENCY TO HAVE TO
FIGHT A LITTLE HARDER
TO GET WHERE THEY ARE.
AND QUITE POSSIBLY, EVEN
WHETHER IT'S PERCEIVED OR
WHETHER IT'S REAL, YOU
HAVE TO BE A LITTLE MORE
MILITANT TO GET RESPONSE
FROM OTHER LEVELS OF
GOVERNMENT, CERTAINLY.
BUT THERE ARE
ADVANTAGES TO THAT.
AND THAT IS I THINK WOMEN
WHO ARE DETERMINED ARE FAR
MORE OF A FORCE TO BE
CONTENDED WITH AT OTHER
LEVELS THAN MEN WHO HAVE A
TENDENCY TO BELIEVE WHAT
THEY HEAR ON THE FIRST
OCCASION AND HAVE NOT REALLY
HAD A LOT OF REBUFFING
ALONG THE WAY.
AND IF THERE'S ONE THING
I CAN HONESTLY SAY ABOUT
MYSELF IT'S THAT I'M
TENACIOUS, AND NOT VERY
EASILY DISCOURAGED BY THOSE
WHO WOULD HAVE IT OTHER WAYS.
SO I GUESS FROM THAT
PERSPECTIVE, WE'RE PROBABLY
A LITTLE HARDER
TO CONTEND WITH.
I KNOW I'VE MET SOME
REALLY DYNAMIC LADIES.
YOU KNOW, YOU LOOK AT THE
HAZEL McCALLION'S OF THIS
WORLD, AND HAZEL RULES
WITH AN IRON FIST.
AND THERE ARE OTHER
COMMUNITIES, THE MAYOR OF
KINGSTON IS ALSO A FEMALE,
AND HELEN HAS TAKEN NOT
ONLY A PRESENCE IN HER
OWN COMMUNITY, BUT A VERY
ACTIVE ROLE IN THE
ASSOCIATION OF
MUNICIPALITIES OF ONTARIO.
AND I THINK WHEN YOU ARE
ABLE TO GET SOMEWHERE IN
POLITICS AS A WOMAN, YOU
HAVE A TENDENCY TO WANT
TO RISE TO LOOK AFTER
OTHER COMMUNITIES, TOO.

A new slate reads "Wendy Bell was elected reeve of Marathon in 1985 when it was an improvement district. She has been Mayor since 1988 when it became a town."

Wendy continues
THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF
THINGS WE COULD BE DOING
THAT WE HAVEN'T
BEEN DOING UP HERE.
WE'VE ALWAYS SOLD
OURSELVES SHORT.
YOU KNOW, THE MORE YOU SEE
PEOPLE MOVING FROM THE GREAT
METROPOLISES OF TORONTO AND
GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER
TO ENCROACHING ON BARRIE,
AND BARRIE BECOMES MORE OF
A TORONTO THAN A BARRIE, AND
THEN THEY LOOK FURTHER NORTH.
IT'S THAT LIFESTYLE
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR.
IT'S THE TRANQUILLITY OF
STILL BEING ABLE TO GET
HOME FOR LUNCH.

A clip shows a woman hugging a little girl who rides a bike.

Wendy continues
IT'S THE PRIVILEGE OF HAVING
CHILDREN BE ABLE TO WALK TO
SCOUTS AND CUBS, AND NOT
HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHETHER
YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO
DRIVE THEM OVER AND DRIVE
THEM BACK, AND THE ABILITY
TO BE ABLE TO MASTER YOUR
OWN LIFESTYLE, WHERE YOUR
LEISURE ACTIVITIES ARE A
VERY IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR
WHOLE COMPONENT OF THE DAY.
WHERE YOU GET TO GOLF AND
SWIM AND PLAY TENNIS AND
DO ALL THE RECREATIONAL
THINGS YOU MIGHT ONLY GET
ONE OF BECAUSE YOU HAVE
TO CHOOSE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
AND THE WHOLE ASPECT OF NOT
BEING ALLOWED TO HIDE YOUR
LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL.

In a new clip, Wendy visits a local radio station. She gets to speak and go live on a transmission.

Eva says IS THERE ANYTHING YOU
WOULD WANT TO SAY THAT'S
MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOU IN
TERMS OF WHAT IT MEANS
TO BE A NORTHERNER?
AND WHAT IT
MEANS FOR CANADA?

Wendy says IF YOU HAVE A TALENT,
AND YOU LIVE IN THE NORTH,
YOU'LL HAVE TO USE IT.
IF YOU CAN PLAY THE PIANO,
SOME TIME OVER THE COURSE OF
BEING IN HIGH SCHOOL, YOU'LL
END UP PLAYING IN CANADA,
OR CLOSING DOWN A FUNCTION
WITH GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
BECAUSE YOU HAVE
THAT TALENT.
AND I THINK THAT KIND OF
ATTITUDE IS PROBABLY WHAT IS
DRIVING PEOPLE UP NORTH.
AND IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE EVEN
PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO
WILL ADMIT, WHEN THEY TAKE
THEIR HOLIDAYS, THEY WANT
TWO WEEKS OF TRANQUILLITY.
SO THEY RENT A COTTAGE,
AND THEY GO OUT TO THE
WILDERNESS, AND THEY GET
THEIR HEAD BACK TOGETHER.
NOW, WHAT COULD BE BETTER
THAN LIVING LIKE THAT,
AND JUST TAKING THE
TWO WEEKS TO GO CRAZY?

Eva says THAT'S THE REVERSE.

Wendy giggles and says EXACTLY.
YOU GO TO TORONTO FOR TWO
WEEKS AND YOU GO CRAZY.
AND THEN YOU COME BACK AND
LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY
YOU WANT TO.
AND I THINK THAT'S
GOING TO CATCH ON.
IT'S BOUND TO CATCH ON.
I MEAN, IT'S OUR
BEST KEPT SECRET.

(music plays)

A new clip shows the coasts of Marathon Bay on a quiet winter day.

Eva says WENDY BELL IS
INTERESTED IN DIVERSIFYING
THE ECONOMIC BASE OF
MARATHON SO THAT COME THE
DAY THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
IS GONE, AND THE GOLD
RESERVES DRY UP, THERE WILL
BE SOMETHING ELSE TO HOLD
THE TOWN TOGETHER.
SHE THINKS THE WHOLE ESSENCE
OF BEING A NORTHERNER IS BEING
ABLE TO STAND ON YOUR OWN
AND SPEAK FOR YOURSELF.
IN HER CASE, IT ALSO HAS
TO DO WITH TRANSLATING THE
DISTANT VOICES OF THE
PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND WORK
ON THE EDGE.

Wendy says IF I WERE TO PASS
ANYTHING ON TO MY CHILDREN,
AND I HOPE I HAVE, IT'S A
LOVE OF THE NORTHERN SPIRIT.
AND FOR PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO
TAKE THEIR PLACE IN SOCIETY
AND REALLY MAKE
A DIFFERENCE.
BECAUSE EVERY PERSON IN
THE NORTH, I THINK, HAS
THAT OPPORTUNITY.
THERE'S A VERY STRONG
FEELING THAT PEOPLE ARE OF
GREAT IMPORTANCE UP HERE.
YOUR WORD IS EVERYTHING,
AND YOUR SPIRIT, THE
CAMARADERIE YOU GET OUT
OF LIVING IN A NORTHERN
COMMUNITY, AND THAT FEELING
YOU'RE REALLY PART OF THE
COMMUNITY, ARE, I THINK,
A TREMENDOUS BENEFIT.
IF EVERYBODY HAD THAT
FEELING THAT THEY REALLY
DID COUNT, AND THAT THEY
WERE REALLY IMPORTANT, AND
THAT THEIR COMMUNITY WAS
PART OF THEM, AND THEY WERE
PART OF IT, WE PROBABLY
WOULDN'T HAVE THIS IDENTITY
CRISIS THAT WE SEEM TO BE
DEVELOPING BETWEEN ENGLISH
AND FRENCH, AND
NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE.
I ALWAYS REMEMBER DRIVING
INTO TOWN AND COMING DOWN
BECAUSE YOU COME DOWN A
VERY LONG STEEP SLOPE AS
YOU COME INTO MARATHON, AND
IT'S NESTLED RIGHT ON THE
SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR.
AND IT IS THE MOST
MAGNIFICENT VIEW.
AND I KNOW WHEN I GET THERE,
AS I'M COMING IN, I ALWAYS
SAY, YES, I'M HOME.
AND I GUESS I
LIVE ON THE EDGE.
MY LIFE IS KIND
OF LIKE THAT, TOO.
I PROBABLY DRIVE TOO FAST,
AND I PROBABLY, YOU KNOW,
LIKE TO STAY UP TOO LATE,
AND ENJOY LIFE TO THE
ABSOLUTE LIMIT.
BUT I GUESS THAT'S ALL PART
OF ENJOYING THE NORTH.
THAT'S PART OF THAT NORTHERN
HOSPITALITY, THE NORTHERN
CLIMATE, THE
NORTHERN ATMOSPHERE.
IT'S A LITTLE BIT LIKE
LIVING ON THE EDGE.
I GUESS THAT'S WHERE YOU
GET THE KICK OUT OF LIFE.
LIVING ON THE EDGE.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Produced by Jim Hanley.

Directed by Dan Robinson

Executive for TVOntario, Marjorie Robinson.

Executive Producer, Jim Hanley.

A co-production of TVOntario and Sleeping Giant Productions.

The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. Copyright 1991.

Watch: Wendy Bell