Rainy River DSSAB Elects Chair & Vice-Chair at meeting

At the first meeting of 2023 for the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (RRDSSAB), on January 19, 2023, held at 450 Scott Street, the first order of business was to complete the swearing in of all members of the newly established Board followed by the election of a new Chair and Vice-Chair for the 2023 year, pursuant to legislative requirements.

Dan McCormick, CAO, was pleased to announce that Debbie Ewald, Mayor of the Town of Rainy River, was acclaimed as Chair, and Andrew Hallikas, Mayor of the Town of Fort Frances, was acclaimed as Vice-Chair.

In addition to chair and vice-chair, the 2023 Board consists of eleven directors appointed by their municipality or elected/appointed within the Territories without Municipal Organization (TWOMO).

Those directors include Mike Ford from the township of Alberton, Colleen Fadden from the township of Lake of the Woods, Bill Langner from the township of Dawson, Telford Advent from the township of Morley, James Gibson from the township of Chapple, Lisa Teeple from the township of Emo, Brendan Hyatt from the township of LaVallee, Robert Ferguson from the township of Atikokan, Wade Desserrem from TWOMO west, Don Canfield from TWOMO central, and Robert Burns from TWOMO east.

“My thanks to everyone for supporting me as the Chair of this new RRDSSAB Board,” said Ewald. “We have a great mix of members and I look forward to working with you all to maintain and improve services through 2023. We have many issues to focus on with the key being housing and homelessness, the opioid crisis and the financial impacts on our municipalities. Only by working together, effective lobbying and our dedicated staff will our district be able to thrive.”

Hallikas said he was pleased to return as vice chair. “I am very pleased to be able to return as Vice Chair for the RRDSSAB and thank the members for their support. As the chair notes we have many areas to work together to ensure the continued delivery of services to the most vulnerable in our society in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

CAO Dan McCormick said the board will continue to address homelessness to ensure a continuity of care for the most vulnerable population, that services are maintained, and to ensure that the public and staff are safe.

In the latter part of January, McCormick, Ewald, and Canfield had met with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to propose solutions to the issues faced by RRDSSAB and the municipality.

“We continue to seek equitable funding, development of services not currently available in our district as well as enhancements of programs and the provision of new money to address gaps in services,” he said.

Those with further inquiries can contact McCormick at 807-274-5349, ext 238, or at dan.mccormick@rrdssab.on.ca.