About the Author: Megan Walchuk

Articles by Megan

  • Times past and future
    The New Year is a time of reflection for many; a time to take stock of the past year, and look forward to the future. This year at the Times we have a lot to look forward to. Public events are bouncing back across the District. Municipalities and First Nations […]
  • Hoping for peace
    I married a gardener, which by default makes me one, too. And anyone who knows my husband, knows he doesn’t do anything in a small way – an interest that started as a little raised bed in his parents’ backyard has ballooned into a small acreage, which keeps our family […]
  • Ending the stigma helps us all
    I never met Chauncey Grover. But I feel like I knew him. His story is like too many others I know. Chauncey’s was one of the first stories I covered when I started working at the Times. It was January 2020, just after a significant blizzard. Volunteers were combing the […]
  • Trick Shot Sandy delights crowd
    District native and international pro golfer Sandy Kurceba brought his Trick Shot performance home to Fort Frances on Friday, in honour of his dad, Alex Kurceba, who was inducted into the Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame. Alex was a member of the 1952 Allan Cup-winning Canadians team. Sandy’s trick […]
  • Kiwanis Easter Egg-stravaganza making a return
    The Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances has hatched a plan to bring back the Easter Egg-stravaganza. Even the Easter Bunny himself is egg-cited to make his return to town for the popular family event. “It’s all been arranged. The Easter Bunny will be there for pictures and to meet all […]
  • Making time for everything
    A young family and nursing practice would be enough to keep someone busy. But not Ashley Cumming. She’s never been one to sit still for long, whether its in her academic, athletic, or professional life. The young mom of three has served the Rainy River District as a Registered Nurse […]
  • Finding home in family business
    Sarah Noonan never intended to take over the family business. It was never the plan. The successful athlete had followed her childhood dreams instead – she was an avid athlete, who went on to play soccer at the varsity level at University of Minnesota- Duluth. She then built a rewarding […]
  • Lest we forget
    With Remembrance Day upon us, we turn our thoughts to the immense sacrifice of our soldiers, many of whom gave their lives for our freedom. Although the number of Veterans gets smaller with each passing year, the legacy of peace and prosperity they created continues to grow, thanks to their […]
  • Happy Halloween!
    All the good little boils and ghouls were out and about on Halloween night, making the most of the chilly fall weather. Scores of trick-or-treaters descended upon the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre for the Trunk-or-Treat festivities that took place from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Individuals, businesses and […]
  • Lest We Forget
    Rod Davis of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 29, helps raise the poppy flag at the civic centre Friday, Oct. 29. The legion has launched its annual poppy campaign leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11. Poppies are available at various locations around town, with all funds providing financial […]
  • All’s fair in law and war
    Councillor Doug Judson is claiming victory after Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, where council voted to accept the Integrity Commissioner’s report, but declined the recommended sanction of an admission of lapse of judgement and a public apology. But the 5-1 decision may not have been made freely. Although […]
  • Cancer never sleeps
    October is a month of fleeting change, as we shift gears into winter. But not everything in October should be swept away with the falling leaves. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It often comes as a flurry of fundraisers, events and pink ribbons. But come November, breast cancer doesn’t […]
  • Driven by Community
    It takes a community to affect change. It’s an ideology that Peggy Loyie was born into, and has guided her throughout her career. Loyie has been the Program Manager of Rainy River District Victim Service for nearly 13 years. Before that, she was a long-time employee of the United Native […]
  • Low wild food supplies bringing bears to town
    Whether you call her Mrs Apples or a safety risk, a mother bear with her three cubs has caught the attention of East end Fort Frances. The family unit has been spotted regularly over the past few weeks, and her movements tracked over social media. She’s also caught the attention […]
  • Putter’s Paradise opens in Rainy River
    At 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 7, the Pros and the Duffers were lining up for tee times at Kreger’s Putter Paradise in Rainy River. Earlier in the day, staff was was still busy putting the final touches on the mini putt operation on 4th Street. But the Pro Shop […]
  • Summer time is hay time
    We are having a hot dry summer such as we have had before. Since agriculture is a mainstay of our district we will all feel the effects of poor hay crops from the lack of rain. Years ago we did not know about Humidex or UV Index or percentage chances […]
    The Chief Fire Official has declared a Restricted Fire Zone—Total Fire Ban covering all areas of the Town of Fort Frances. It went into effect June 29, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. This Fire Ban applies to all open-air fires including all fire pits, cook stoves, and campfires that use solid […]
  • Travel restrictions imposed due to forest fire activity in the Fort Frances District
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Fort Frances District, is advising the public that due to extreme forest fire activity from the Fort Frances 47 fire, an Implementation Order is now in effect until further notice that restricts access and use of certain roads and Crown lands.  All travel, […]
  • Ontario is extending free child care to essential workers, from grocery store clerks to hospital workers
    TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing eligible health care and other frontline workers with free emergency child care for school-aged children, starting Monday, April 19, 2021. The announcement was made following the province’s decision to move elementary and secondary students across the province to remote learning following the April […]
  • Police Briefs
    The Rainy River District OPP have named a new Detachment Commander. Inspector Shaun Crabbe will take over from retiring Detachment Commander, Inspector Nathan Schmidt, later this year. Insp. Crabbe is transferring from the James Bay OPP Detachment, where he has served as Detachment Commander since 2019. He had previously served […]
  • First Nations open to twinning Trans-Canada
    Four First Nations near the Manitoba-Ontario border say they are prepared to give “conditional consent” for the first phase of the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway between Kenora and the border. “We can get so much done when we agree to work together,” Niisaachewan Chief Lorraine Cobiness said at a […]
  • St. Michael’s zoning waiting for council approval
    Fort Frances council held a public meeting on Monday to allow members of the public to make comments in favour of or in opposition to changing the zoning of the former St. Michael’s school from Institutional (I) to Residential (R2). The change of the zoning is the first step to […]
  • Today Pharmasave administers 100 AstraZeneca vaccines in Fort Frances
    Pharmasave in Fort Frances will be administering 100 new doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines today. Last week, Pharmasave administered 200 doses of vaccines. After these vaccinations are given today, there will be about 300 residents in Fort Frances who received their AstraZeneca vaccines after Pharmasave administered the 200 doses on […]
  • Easter duet video goes viral online
    An Easter version of Hallelujah recorded and filmed in Fort Frances is now getting shared internationally, receiving 11.5 million views and more than 600,000 shares on Facebook in a matter of days. The stars of the viral video are Callahan, 19, and Cassandra, 10, Armstrong. In under five minutes, the […]
  • Camps face second season with the possibility of no tourists
    While many residents in northwestern Ontario look forward to the summer, anxious to get on their boats and fish, all tourist camp owners have their fingers crossed, hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s occupancy numbers. Although vaccinations continue to rapidly roll out in the United States, where most […]
  • A new conversation
    Fort Frances taxpayers are grumbling over the recently announced two per cent tax increase, and for good reason. Despite council’s proclamation that largely just homeowners will be impacted, and that the increase is modest, it’s a blow to every resident. Renters pay taxes – increased costs to landlords are passed […]
  • Feeling the Bern
    Many of us have been spending the past week chuckling over Bernie mitten memes. It depicts Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in a chair at the inauguration ceremony, with windblown hair, blue mask and some toasty looking, up-cycled, eco-friendly sweater mittens. The image has been photoshopped just about everywhere – the […]
  • New year, same needs
    Another year is drawing to a close, but as COVID cases surge locally, and a community mourns the first life lost to COVID in our region, this New Year’s doesn’t feel like the fresh start many were holding out for. There are glimmers of hope: Canada has two approved vaccines. […]
  • The community forum
    A community newspaper serves many functions – a cheerleader, a watchdog, a documentarian, just to list a few. One of its most important roles is community forum. It’s a place we can share ideas, and begin conversations. That’s what we were hoping to accomplish with our Colonization Road coverage in […]
  • Tree of Christmas Giving returns to Rainycrest
    Sometimes the smallest gestures carry the biggest meaning. That was the thought as the staff at Rainycrest long-term care home set up their Tree of Christmas Giving. It’s laden with ornaments – each one representing a resident in the home, in need of Christmas cheer. Local residents can pick out […]
  • Protecting their legacy
    With Remembrance Day here, we often think of what we owe our veterans. Generations before us fought and died to give us a free and peaceful society, with democratic elections and the freedom to disagree. They paid the ultimate price for our freedom. But they didn’t pay the full cost. […]
  • Contribution an “honest mistake” says lawyer
    An article alleging that Sen Lynn Beyak broke U.S. election law is false, according to Beyak’s lawyer, Don Bayne. A Vice article published last week alleged that Senator Beyak, a resident of Dryden, Ont, made a $300 campaign donation to U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign, using an erroneous address, of […]
  • Birch Bark Yarns to host November knit-a-long
    With our first winter under COVID-19 about to descend, people are searching for a cozy hobby to pass the time, but are also yearning for a sense of community. Simone LeBlanc of Birch Bark Yarns has found a way to create both simultaneously. Starting November 1, the LaVallee-based yarn shop […]
  • Small steps for big chagne
    Sometimes it’s the little things that matter. Because sometimes, they grow into something bigger than we could have imagined. This Sunday morning, a small group of volunteers gathered well before dawn, to begin a 35 km walk from Manitou Rapids to Fort Frances. The suffering caused by both breast cancer […]
  • Taking school online
    Although it hasn’t enjoyed the fanfare and photo-ops of a traditional school year, remote learning has quietly begun at kitchen tables across the region this week. As with all new systems, there will be bumps and growing pains. An entirely new schooling system created in a matter of months is […]
  • Lakers welcome Bernie Lynch as new head coach
    The Fort Frances Lakers have hired a hockey veteran as its latest addition. Long-time coach Bernie Lynch has joined the bench as head coach. He replaces Milt Strachan, who stepped down from the role earlier this summer. Lynch will be coming in from Edmonton in late September, but he’s no […]
  • Ice-in regulations provide hurdle for Lakers
    They have a new head coach at the helm, and are busy assembling a team, but ongoing COVID-19 regulations may derail the 2021 Lakers’ season yet. Ice-in policies could put the start date – or the entire season – in jeopardy. The Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) will be […]
  • Cold days need warm hearts
    The first frosty nights of the season hit the region earlier this week. For many, it may have prompted a quick harvest of the garden. Others may have flipped their furnace on, or dug a heavier coat out of storage. It was a gentle nudge that seasons are changing, and […]
  • Listen to the teacher
    The back to school season is usually a time to reorganize; to shake off the late nights and lazy days and get life back to normal. We’re craving a return to normalcy now more than ever, but many families are feeling nervous about the return to school. Teachers clearly feel […]
  • What parents can do to prepare kids for school
    Parents have an important role to play in easing the school transition for their kids, and preparing them for COVID regulations, according to Monica Armour, of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Giving them independence with some basic self-care will help limit the need for close contact with staff, and […]
  • Are precautions enough?
    It’s easy to feel safe from COVID-19 in such a secluded part of the country. With the border closed, travel at a minimum, and with careful distancing, we’ve kept our numbers low. Even the mask policy, although largely disliked, has been adopted with an almost surprising amount of tolerance. Whether […]
  • Curling sweeps back into action this fall
    Dust off your brooms, Fort Frances – curling is coming back. The Fort Frances Curling Club has tweaked its rules and processes to comply with COVID-19 regulations, enabling it to move ahead with a season, starting the week of Thanksgiving. “We’re really excited,” said Christine Denby, curling committee chair. When […]
  • Naming names
    In today’s media climate, where we’re so conditioned to expect to know every detail of a story, our readers are sometimes curious why we choose to omit the names of the accused in police reports. There’s certainly a time to report every detail: when there’s a danger to the public. Perhaps […]
  • Food for thought
    With summer here, social media posts showing perfectly risen bread have given way blossoming gardens, busy bees and fresh produce. Whether it’s COVID-inspired worries, or an over abundance of time at home, our food supply is in sharp focus. But the search for homegrown food has spread beyond our backyards. […]
  • Town hires student cemetery crew
    A crew of pre-trained and experienced summer students have been recalled to maintain the town’s cemeteries. It may only be a quarter of its regular summer contingency, but the three summer students, all of whom have worked for the town in previous summers, will be focused solely on keeping the […]
  • Easing border restrictions bring legal U.S. travellers
    Not all U.S. plates spell trouble. Although some local residents are on edge after two U.S. residents broke quarantine shortly after entering the country through Fort Frances, the OPP are reminding the public that U.S. plated vehicles aren’t necessarily a cause for concern. According to OPP media relations officer A/Sgt […]
  • What’s in a name?
    Letters to the editor have been a venue of civil discourse for hundreds of years. They’re the precursor of internet chat rooms and comments sections, and an important part of the service newspapers provide. The policies we have in place for our Letters section exist to create transparency and accountability. […]
  • Weeds on radar of city parks staff
    Frustration has taken root over the condition of the Fort Frances cemeteries. But the problem is on the radar, and solutions are in the works. Many residents have taken to social media to lodge complaints about the state of graves in the town. With Fort Frances council’s decision not to […]
  • Welcome back
    Passionate. Flexible. Self-motivated. Focussed. These are just a few of the adjectives that describe the entrepreneurs in our District. But the one that seems the most accurate and timely right now is “risk-taking.” Risk is the operative word for entrepreneurs, whether they run a franchise, or a mom and pop. […]
  • Family loses home in fire
    The family is safe, but their lives are forever changed. On Sunday afternoon, the home of Brian and Diane Major of Morson filled silently with thick, black smoke. It took only 20 minutes for the home to be reduced to ash. In that 20 minutes, the family lost everything – […]
  • A matter of record
    Shocking images of police violence, protests and counter-protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, at the hands of Minneapolis police, have left many Canadians shaken and appalled. We can soothe our nerves by calling it an American made problem. That Canada knows better. But statistics say otherwise. Although force […]
  • Meals on wheels on road to recovery
    Meals on Wheels in Fort Frances has been forced down a rocky road, lately. But with a little help from some new friends, they’re finding their way. Meals on Wheels is a local organization which provides freshly made meals to seniors in their homes. It’s run by volunteers, under the […]
  • Them or us
    Today at noon, a Pride flag was raised at Fort Frances town hall, joining thousands of others flying across the globe. June is internationally recognized as Pride Month – a peaceful rally for the equality and acceptance of all people, regardless of who they love and how they express their […]
  • Albright joins Pilots
    The Muskies’ own Jacob Albright has become the latest Providence Pilot student athlete to ink his letter of intent. He’ll be joining the University’s Men’s soccer team, while he works towards a science degree. “I am really excited to not only start playing at Providence, but also learning through the […]
  • Pride passed over in Emo
    Emo council has decided to not revisit a resolution presented by Borderland Pride. Citing the council’s procedure manual, and the Robert’s Rules of Order, Councillor Warren Toles successfully argued that a defeated resolution cannot be reintroduced without a motion from either a member of the defeating side, or two thirds […]
  • Back to basics
    Last week, our region was left reeling. After weeks of relative calm, and community pride in keeping our case load of COVID-19 low, four new cases emerged. And not just typical cases – it’s now clear there are people out there who don’t know they’re sick. People who may well […]
  • Gillon named to provincial level task force
    The Rainy River District business community has been given a seat at the provincial table.Geoff Gillon, Executive Director of the Rainy River Future Development Corp, has been appointed to sit on Ontario’s Small Business Economic Advisory Council. He’s one of just a dozen people selected to represent the needs of […]
  • Intolerance should be history
    History textbooks are filled with civil rights demonstrations. Women rallying for the vote. Blacks marching in the streets. Rosa Parks refusing to surrender her seat. We admire these acts of defiance, because we know they were right. But defiance in pursuit of human rights isn’t all ancient history – at […]
  • Pride deferred by Emo council
    A resolution to support a proclamation from Borderland Pride was defeated 3-2 in last night’s Emo town council meeting. The resolution would have adopted a pre-worded resolution, provided by Borderland Pride, which would have proclaimed June “Pride Month” and called for a rainbow flag to be displayed for a week […]
  • Federal programs well received
    With so many people out of work and businesses suffering, Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski’s office has been kept busy with constituents looking for help. The federal government has been trying to accommodate, rolling out a number of programs aimed at mitigating the financial impact of COVID-19. “The programs […]
  • Editorial
    The province has laid out its roadmap to recovery. It’s a map that rural residents might appreciate – if you make it over the big hill and slow down enough, you’ll be there in no time. But if you start heading up another hill, you took a wrong turn, and […]
  • Getting back to normal after COVID-19
    With Ontario’s top doctors announcing that the province’s curve has crested, speculation has begun about whether restrictions can ease, and what that may look like. But local officials feel caution is still the best path. Now is not the time to become complacent, according to Marcus Powlowski, MP for Thunder […]
  • Earth Day is every day
    Earth Day 2020 is here today – the event’s 50th anniversary. Historically, environmental protection is a fair-weather cause; it emerges as a political priority in times of financial security, only to be shuffled to the back burner with the next recession. However, the current global crisis of COVID-19 may be […]
  • Celebrating Easter together but apart through technology
    Few aspects of life have been left untouched by the global COVID-19 pandemic. How people worship has been no different. In Ontario, all churches have been closed for group worship, and social gatherings over five people anywhere in the province are against the law. But that hasn’t stopped local congregations […]
  • Working together
    We’re all in this together. It’s become a mantra of sorts, since COVID-19 made its way into our lives. On billboards, e-mail sign-offs, pep-talks over Facebook. It’s an acknowledgement that we’re all weary, stressed and tired. That none of us knows how this story will end. That we all feel […]
  • Food banks in need of help
    Fort Frances’ Food Banks are bracing for a rough few weeks, as they watch their shelves slowly empty. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in Food Bank usage,” said Arthour Heathcote, Corps officer for the Salvation Army. “I’d say 80 percent of the people we’ve seen are new people – people […]
  • Forest amalgamated into Boundary Waters region
    The Boundary Waters Forest Management Corp has officially taken the reigns of the amalgamated Crosroute-Sapawe Forests. As of today, April 1, three pieces of the local forestry puzzle fell into place – the former Crossroute and Sapawe Forests Management Units merged into the Boundary Waters Forest Management Unit, the 2020 […]
  • Talking about COVID-19 with your kids
    Talking with kids about stressful situations can be difficult. But it’s more important to keep the lines open, than to know what to say. With the surge of COVID-19 into our everyday lives, it’s difficult to shelter even the youngest child from its effects, according to Laurel Pirrie, Child and […]
  • Essentially ineffective
    Businesses of the Rainy River District can pat themselves on the back for staying a step ahead of the provincial government in the fight against COVID-19. On Monday evening, the province released a list of essential services which would be allowed to remain open for the next two weeks. The […]
  • Meals on wheels still rolling
    With so much uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Fort Frances can take comfort that Meals on Wheels is still delivering to its most vulnerable clientele. The volunteer agency has been forced to constrict its operations, but will continue to deliver to those on its roster who have no other family in […]
  • To the hordes of hoarders
    Stress and uncertainty can bring out the best and the worst in our society. Anyone out trying to buy toilet paper or disinfectant wipes this past week knows that first hand. We’ll never know if our local hoarders feel waves of pride or pangs of guilt as they gaze at […]
  • Town grapples with tourism
    The Town of Fort Frances has money to spend. But now the debate begins on how best to spend it.Through the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT), the Town has collected $123,000 over the past year, according to Doug Brown, Fort Frances CAO. That can be leaveraged with different levels of government, […]
  • Time almost up for tickets
    The biggest pyjama party of the year is just around the corner, and time is running out on early bird pricing. The Pjs and Pearls Gala Early bird pricing is $60, but only until March 15. The ticket includes dinner, entertainment, party games and a chance to win a weekend […]
  • Ring of Fire road forges ahead with historic signing
    The Ring of Fire Northern Road Link has been given the green light by stakeholders, in a historic announcement from Ontario and First Nations communities. “We are living in very exciting times,” said Kenora Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous […]
  • Student chefs stepping out with Stepping Stone
    Set among the pines, boasting soaring ceilings and sleek decor, is Fort Frances’ newest dining hot spot. But don’t put off getting a reservation, because this exclusive pop-up dining experience won’t be around for long – the chefs need to get back to class. The Stepping Stone is a teaching […]
  • Critics blast State Department copper mine report
    A U.S. State Department report to US Congress and Canadian officials regarding the potential pitfalls of a proposed sulfide copper-ore mine has left detractors frustrated and bewildered. “The State Department’s eight-paragraph response would be excellent for a grade school-level book report,” said Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on […]
  • A little respect goes a long way
    Tomorrow is the United Nations World Day of Social Justice. It’s a day when we draw attention to the plight of those who face oppression, and struggle to secure human rights, due to their race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, ability or socioeconomic status. It’s a day that we’re reminded […]
  • Shevlin meeting well attended
    It was a night of big dreams and big ideas, and the start of what could be some big plans for Fort Frances. About 50 residents gathered last night at La Place Rendez-Vous hotel for a public “visioning session,” with HTFC – a consulting company hired by Fort Frances to […]
  • How important is size?
    Job action by Ontario’s teachers is entering its third month, with an ever-increasing impact on classrooms. Few debate topics to come out of negotiations are as polarizing as class size. The Province has proposed increasing average class size for secondary students from 22.5 to 25 and increasing Grades 4-8 classes […]
  • OPP catch rash of impaired drivers
    Drivers are being warned that’s its never okay to drink and drive, after OPP charged four local drivers with impaired driving in the last week. “People still aren’t getting the message,” said Provincial Constable Jim Davis of the OPP However, recent changes in legislation have given officers more power on […]
  • SGEI Paramedic course set to heal local shortage
    Paramedics are in critically short supply in Northwestern Ontario. But one local school is hoping to fill the gap. Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) in introducing a diploma program for Paramedics, with its first cohort beginning the fall of 2020. By developing home-grown paramedics, they’re hoping these grads will live […]
  • Family seeks public help in hunt for missing local man
    He’s a beloved brother and cousin, an attentive grandson, and a loving father. And he’s still missing. Since his disappearance on January 15, Chauncey Grover’s family and a team of police and volunteers have been tirelessly combing the woods between Couchiching First nation and Fort Frances, hoping for any sign […]