Wrong route

It appears an embarrassing—and downright ridiculous—situation is on the verge of being rectified, at least in the short-term.
Word the province is willing to lease the former Ontario Travel Information Centre to the Town of Fort Frances, allowing the building to re-open after being shuttered for the past two seasons, is welcome news—but still the wrong route.
Fort Frances is the major port of entry into Northwestern Ontario from the U.S. and the OTIC was the official “welcome mat,” where visitors were greeted with friendly smiles, helpful information, and much-needed “facilities” after a long drive or border wait.
To have it sit there boarded up was a travesty—the lunacy compounded by the decision to keep the OTIC open at Pigeon River, which sees far less tourist traffic compared to the border crossing here.
It’s also clear, however, that Fort Frances cannot, and must not, solely shoulder the financial responsibility of welcoming tourists and promoting the region.
Whether that involves a private-sector enterprise coming aboard, or communities across Sunset Country sharing the cost, remains to be seen. The latter, unfortunately, may be no small feat given, for instance, the troubling lack of district co-operation in helping fund the regionally-important Fort Frances Airport.
Fort Frances leasing the tourist information centre beats seeing it closed, and is far better than simply having students hand out pamphlets at the border.
Ideally, though, the provincial government—whether led by the Liberals or one of the two other parties—needs to reverse the decision to close the OTICs in the first place, rather than shirk its responsibility onto municipalities.


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