Ouje-Bougoumou has won a fierce bidding competition to take over the lucrative Polaris franchise in Chibougamau.

Ever since the previous franchise owner went bankrupt in June, entrepreneurs in Chibougamau have been lining up to take it over.

O.J. put together a competitive bid and beat out five other contenders for the franchise.

“It took a lot of work because it didn’t go as well as we had hoped it would,” confessed Chief Abel Bosum.

It turns out the Quebec sales rep for Polaris contacted the bank which O.J. was dealing with to get a needed line of credit for the business.

The sales rep told the bank O.J. had no hope of getting the franchise.

“That’s when we realized something has been cooking,” said Bosum.

Polaris Canada headquarters in Winnipeg had a different story—no decision had yet been made on who would get the franchise. In the end, O.J. did prevail.

Bosum said the franchise will open Oct. 1.

A new building has been purchased to house an expanded servicing facility.

Service outlets will be opened in O.J., Mistissini, Waswanipi, maybe Nemaska and possibly other Cree communities that want one.

This will be a first for Chibougamau-based snowmobile dealers.

Another first is that all the outlets will be hiring Crees, including the Chibougamau dealership.

The previous dealership had no Cree employees, while 60 per cent of its sales went to Cree customers.