Risks have to be taken

The Town of Fort Frances did not exist when Sieur de la Verendrye, in 1731, set up a fort at the head of the Rainy River.
Fort Frances did not exist when Fort Lac La Pluie was established by the North West Company as a fur-trading post—and even when it was renamed Fort Frances in 1830.
Although the name Fort Frances existed when the Dawson Trail was being established, and settlers began settling and clearing farmlands along the river between Fort Frances and Lake of the Woods, the community was far from a community.
At every junction of its growth, Fort Frances has depended on adventurers, entrepreneurs, and citizens to create and grow businesses, churches, schools, and hospitals.
In Beaver Mills, now known as Rainy River, J.H. Hughes built one of the largest sawmills in the world, known as the Beaver Mills Lumber Company.
In Fort Frances, the Shevlin and Clarke Company had a sawmill that extended all the way from Front Street north to the present CN tracks. J.A. Mathieu, meanwhile, built an equally huge sawmill at Couchiching.
All of these risk-taking entrepreneurs saw the potential of the forests and the opportunities they provided.
The creation of the paper mills in Fort Frances and International Falls by Edward Backus was the dream of another entrepreneur.
People with vision who were willing to take risks built the district. Visionaries created jobs. In each step of development, the community has been led by people who saw opportunities.
The tourist industry—with trips on Rainy Lake and camping, as well as the fly-in fishing trips from air service operators like Rusty Myers and Vern Jones to the interior lakes of Northwestern Ontario—created jobs where none had existed previously.
People across the community have asked me what the Town of Fort Frances is doing to create jobs. It should be obvious that the town and its leaders are not the ones that will create jobs.
Instead, it is dependent on citizens of the community to look for opportunities to create them.
The town can make itself attractive to businesses looking to locate to this area by offering lower power rates, lots to build family homes, good sewer and water services, great hospitals, and great schools offering good educations to children of families locating here.
The Town of Fort Frances also has developed a good range of serviced lots on which to locate manufacturing plants.
Citizens of our community and the district must confirm to prospective employers that Rainy River District is a great place to locate, raise families, and be successful. Citizens will have to come forward with ideas of businesses that would be successful in locating here.
And just as citizens have invested in the hospitals and the services provided by those hospitals, they will have to invest in attracting businesses to the district by investing in them, either singly or through pooled funds.
Risks will have to be taken.
The strength of the community lies in its people. The future of the community rests in the hands of its residents wanting to offer the comforts and lifestyles to new generations.

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