Keep us informed

The recent municipal election campaign here lacked much direct debate, traditional stumping, and the drama of 11th-hour momentum swings, but that didn’t stop it from being one of the nastiest in recent memory.
And too often, the rampant accusations, crass insults, fear-mongering, and mud-slinging left everyone—the candidates and voters alike—looking backwards instead of forward. The campaign wasn’t about the future of Fort Frances, but rather who did what, when, where, and why in the past.
The immediate onus on the new mayor and council is to turn that around and begin tackling the very real problems facing Fort Frances with teamwork and a consensual approach—traits which were decidedly lacking at times during the mandate of the current council.
An “us versus them” mentality has no place in municipal politics.
Fortunately, Mayor-elect Roy Avis appears determined to take that message to heart, stressing Monday night of the need to build a team as a starting point. It’s certainly what voters want—and Fort Frances needs.
If the recent campaign had one bright spot, it was that information on various issues came to light from those in the know, whether through letters to the editor or interviews with the press.
As a result, residents are now better informed, for instance, about Riverside taking control of Rainycrest, progress on developing a Family Health Team here, and Abitibi’s acknowledged obligation to adhere to the 1905 power agreement whether or not it spins off its dam property.
The new council must ensure this “setting the record straight” attitude continues so that residents remain informed right from the get-go—not after the rumours and charges of backroom deals have started flying.