Morley reeve to head RRDMA

The Rainy River District Municipal Association said goodbye to its old executive and welcomed some new faces at its 14th-annual general meeting and convention Saturday in Barwick.
Morley Reeve Gary Gamsby is the new president, replacing Emo Reeve Russ Fortier, who held the post last year.
Reeve Fortier is now the past-president. He also was elected to the post of vice-president of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA).
Meanwhile, La Vallee Reeve Emily Watson replaced Reeve Gamsby as the RRDMA’s vice-president while Linda Armstrong remains in her post as the representative for the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society.
In addition, Emo Coun. Ken Fisher was elected to the Rainy River District Veterinary Committee.
All these positions were uncontested, as was the post of NOMA board staff. Incumbent Brenda Cooke of the Township of Emo was acclaimed for another year.
Last year, there were three local seats on the NOMA board, but due to changes in the NOMA constitution, that number has been reduced to two.
Initially, Reeve Gambsy and Fort Frances Coun. Tannis Drysdale were the only candidates seeking the positions, but Fort Frances Mayor Dan Onichuk was nominated Saturday by Coun. Struchan Gilson, which necessitated a formal vote.
When the ballots were tallied, Coun. Drysdale and Reeve Gamsby were elected.
The members and delegates also dealt with several resolutions at Saturday’s meeting while others were tabled for future consideration.
Among those passed was a resolution from the Town of Fort Frances strongly urging the Ministry of Tourism to relocate the Tourist Information Centre to a site more visible and accessible to visitors enter Canada via the international bridge there.
The resolution noted the current location is both confusing and difficult to reach after clearing Customs.
This resolution then was forwarded to NOMA for its endorsement.
Another resolution passed was one drafted by the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board requesting the RRDMA support efforts by NOMA and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to petition the provincial government for equitable and capital reserve funding.
Another resolution that was passed and forwarded to NOMA urged the Minister of Finance and the Province of Ontario to re-examine the access to the gasoline tax fund allocation so municipalities without public transportation be included.
A resolution brought forward by the Township of Atikokan regarding restructuring of health care delivery under the pending Local Health Care Integration Networks also was passed Saturday.
This resolution expressed concern that under the new system, services and funding will tend to be concentrated in the larger urban centres at the expense of smaller rural communities.
As such, it empowered the RRDMA to “take whatever action they feel will be appropriate and effective to ensure reasonable and affordable access to adequate levels of health services for all citizens of the Rainy River District.”
Another resolution from the Township of Atikokan petitioned the provincial government to amend the Municipal Act so that municipalities would have first access to equity from properties vested to municipalities for tax arrears.
Under the current arrangement, the Crown and the province are first in line to receive the money realized when the properties are sold.
After some rewording, this resolution was passed.
A resolution regarding the amalgamation of Rainycrest Home for Aged with Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. was debated at length before being tabled for rewording.
The original resolution called for a deadline for the amalgamation by the end of this year, but the matter was tabled until final funding figures were available.
And finally, a resolution submitted by the Township of Chapple to the Minister of Natural Resources regarding an amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was tabled so it could be addressed by individual municipalities within the district.
That resolution sought changes to a regulation regarding the discharging of firearms along ditches parallel to a roadway. In some jurisdictions, this is permissible while in others it is not.
It was decided to allow the individual councils to pass their own bylaws regarding this practice before submitting a final resolution to the ministry.
About 75 people attended the RRDMA’s annual meeting, including members, delegates, speakers, and guests.