Nolan Bowes Faragher

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Mr. Allan T. Bedard’s letter dated Wednesday, April 29, 2020. I feel obligated to clarify several of Mr. Bedard’s points and provide further commentary.

In his letter, Mr. Bedard fails to acknowledge the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club’s involvement in previous agreements and operation of Kiwanis Sunny Cove Camp. In the original agreement in 2009, it was decided that if the Town ever found itself unable to further fund the camp and wished to divest itself from the property, it would need to collaborate with the Kiwanis Club to find a new, non-profit organization (which is what they’re doing presently). He further fails to acknowledge the fact that the cost for church groups to rent the camp is offset by funding from the Kiwanis Club (which it has been doing since 1957 when the club acquired the camp). The previous letter also assumes that taking $40,000.00 from the Moffat Family Fund (which you can’t) would be enough to cover the costs of the camp. Mr. Bedard does not consider the cost of maintenance and repair or whether the camp would meet Ontario’s 2025 Building Code. Some of these repairs would require the work of a specialist with unknown costs that would need to be paid for by taxpayers who might not even use the camp. I’m sure there are people in Fort Frances who could get more use out of a public transit system than a camp they visited a few times as a child. Why would we be using any taxpayer money to maintain a property that is not even within town limits? Should we plan to pay for paving Shortreed Road while we’re at it? Furthermore, the aforementioned Moffat Family Fund is only accessible to registered youth, non-profit organizations. The funding provided is not a fixed figure and only covers the capital costs, not the operating costs needed to run the camp. This would make the Kiwanis Sunny Cove Camp inaccessible to non-youth activities during the off-season, such as weddings, retirement parties, family gatherings, and conventions. One could assume that the average citizen of Fort Frances has more exposure to this youth camp through non-youth activities. I find this ironic! Mr. Bedard’s understanding and suggested use of the Moffat Family Fund is deluded and does not meet the Fund’s criteria. It does beg the question of what the Town could do with freed-up taxpayer money. Personally, as a Kiwanis Director, I could see this money being used for a youth centre, building a water park, or various youth activities, not to mention the various Town facilities in need of upgrade. Simply, Mr. Bedard’s letter is impractical and misinformed; however, I empathise with him. The Kiwanis Sunny Cove Camp holds many precious childhood memories of mine. But at the end of the day, you have to make room for change, even if you’re scared of it.

Nolan Bowes Faragher
Kiwanis Director