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Aviation fuels partnership.

Wasaya and Manitoba petroleum supplier target northwest

A new fuel partnership between a northern Ontario First Nations company and a Manitoba-based petroleum company has been finalized, and officials say the deal will offer First Nations communities profits and training opportunities.

Wasaya Airways Limited Partnership, owned by eight First Nations communities north of Thunder Bay, has entered into a partnership agreement with Northland Petroleum of Winnipeg, Man.

Tom Morris, Wasaya vice-president, says the agreement is inline with the company's mission of acquiring significant interest in viable businesses important to First Nation people for the purpose of generating economic benefits and returns while maintaining cultural principles and values.

Morris says that most of Northland's business in Ontario involves the eight communities that own Wasaya, so it only made sense to strike a deal.

"On the Ontario side, the amount of business (Wasaya Airways) generate with Northland represents the majority of the business that they do in Ontario," Morris says.

"So it made it viable and feasible for us to develop this limited partnership, called Wasaya Petroleum Limited Partnership.

Under the agreement, Wasaya owns 51 per cent of the limited partnership while Northland owns the remaining 49 per cent and will act as the management team.

"We'll have our administration offices in Winnipeg, plus we'll still have a sub-office in Pickle Lake," Morris says. "We'll have a manager there so people can call Pickle Lake to order fuel. The fuel will come to Wasaya Airways and we'll fly it out to them."

The operation will be headquartered at Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay.

Morris says the partnership is 'all about expanding Wasaya and generating new business.

"Our parent company, Wasaya Corp., owns 100 per cent of Wasaya Airways, which is a transportation (company). This fuel company is part of the vision of Wasaya Corp., which is to become a major player, in the region. They have the transportation business, and now they're going to have the fuel business."

He says the greatest benefit of the new partnership will be an increase in traffic for Wasaya Airways.

And he says that with Northland's Phil and Richard Lazarenko as the partnership's management team, employees will get expert training. Neither Phil nor Richard Lazarenko could be reached for comment.
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Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Nov 1, 2000
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