Have your say

At a time when voter turnout for federal and provincial elections has been hovering dangerously close to the 50 percent mark of late, it is encouraging to see that almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents to the Times’ weekly web poll indicated they planned to cast a ballot in the Oct. 25 municipal election.
Granted, only 235 people had responded as of late this morning. But while the sample size is small, the percentage of those planning to vote is positive considering several races are unfolding right across the district, including for reeve and council in Emo, La Vallee, and Lake of the Woods Township, as well as in Atikokan. Meanwhile, council seats in Rainy River, Dawson, and Ward 4 in Chapple are up for grabs.
It will be a quiet election on the municipal front in Fort Frances, which isn’t seeing a race for council for the first time in quite some time, along with Alberton and Morley. There is, however, a race for the public and Catholic school boards here in town—and both could prove interesting.
It will be curious to see, for instance, if fallout from the missing funds at Fort Frances High School (a case that’s still before the court) plays a role in the election for the two Rainy River District School Board seats. And the Northwest Catholic District School Board faces a unique situation in that three incumbents are vying for two seats after the number of Fort Frances trustees was trimmed earlier this year.
With school board races also slated in Alberton and the west end of the district, it’s clear voters have plenty of important choices to weigh leading up to Oct. 25.
In Emo, the Chamber of Commerce is helping residents there by hosting an all-candidates’ forum next Wednesday (Oct. 13) at 6:30 p.m. at the Legion. Other municipalities should follow suit so voters are as informed as possible prior to making their mark.
Municipal elections certainly are not as glamorous as their federal and provincial counterparts, but it can be argued they are more important because councils and school boards make decisions that more directly impact our day-to-day lives—whether it’s property taxes, sewer rates, and garbage pick-up or school closures.
This is an opportunity to help decide the future of our respective communities. Take the time to vote and have your say.