Dear Mr. Behan:
This letter is pursuant to the article of Mr. Jack Tynan in the Daily Bulletin dated March 9, 2000.
It was my understanding that Mr. Tynan was not at the meeting with the Fort Frances town council held on March 8, 2000, however, in his article he misquotes what I said at the meeting and misrepresents some of the facts discussed.
The Fort Frances Times has always been a trusted source of information for the Town of Fort Frances, and I am concerned about the perception given to the residents with respect to the federal government’s position.
Firstly, on behalf of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, I requested that the Town of Fort Frances consider a straight trade of properties between the town and Abitibi-Consolidated Inc./Boise Cascade Corporation (ACI/BCC), and I did not at any time expect nor request the town to take any financial losses.
The town also was requested to render a decision with respect to ACI/BCC’’s application for a variance that the town had previously deferred.
At no time was council requested to deviate from the established town processes nor were they petitioned for zoning changes.
The funding shortfall quoted is not $1.5 million, however, there is a shortfall and we will continue to work with ACI/BCC to rework the preferred option within the existing budget and ensure the new concept is functional for all stakeholders.
We are anxious to proceed with the construction of the new inspection facility this year as originally intended and improve the current operations as well as the traffic situation.
This new border crossing will be the gateway to the region and we recognize the economic benefits of any development in the area as an investment for the whole of Northern Ontario.
When the town renders a decision on the requests presented to them March 8, 2000, we will be in a position to inform the community of actions being pursued.
I would appreciate if you would advise your readers of the inaccuracies in the March 9, 2000 article. Thank you in advance for your co-operation.
Yours truly,
R. Pell
Manager, Strategic
Management Division