RRFDC elects three directors

An election was held at the 24th-annual general meeting of the Rainy River District Future Development Corp. last Wednesday to fill three positions on its board of directors for the forthcoming three-year term.
The four candidates—George Emes, Eugene McPherson, Dan Onichuk, and Kim Williamson—each had the opportunity to speak to the RRFDC members and highlight why each should be elected.
Onichuk, however, was not present and did not have anyone speak on his behalf.
Emes and McPherson both were selected to return to their positions on the board while Williamson was chosen as the newest member of the group.
“I would like to thank our dedicated board of directors and committee members for their incredible commitment and hard work over the past year,” remarked RRFDC chair Russ Fortier.
“We are excited by the potential of the Rainy River District.”
After recognizing several RRFDC projects, such as the improvement of broadband service in the west end of the district and revival of the abattoir project, Fortier acknowledged the Township of Alberton as one of the corporations newest partners.
“I am also proud to say that the RRFDC continues to work with the majority of the Rainy River District’s municipalities,” Fortier remarked, noting Chapple, Emo, Fort Frances, La Vallee, Lake of the Woods, and Rainy River also are current partners.
“We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with all the district’s municipalities and furthering our partnership with our area First Nations,” Fortier added during his address.
He then made presentations to retirees Christine Jourdain, Dale Kaemingh, Dick Lyons, John McTaggart, and Telford Advent.
Fortier also acknowledged the RRFDC’s intern, Jessie Zhang, for all her hard work, particularly on the immigration study and community improvement plans.
Fortier said Zhang would be leaving in the next few months to return to China, then added FedNor has approved another intern for the following year.
Auditor Jeff Busniuk presented the RRFDC’s audited financial statements, which ultimately were approved.
“As you can see, our financial position is in pretty good shape,” noted Fortier, thanking everyone for a job well done.
To wrap up the meeting, Geoff Gillon, the RRFDC’s client services manager, gave an overview of the activities the corporation is involved with, such as marketing, gateway, broadband, and the abattoir project.
“We had a lot of support for the banners,” he enthused. “They made quite a difference at the border.”
He also said the RRFDC continues to support the development of high speed telecommunications in the district.
In fact, the Morson tower already has been erected while three other system towers and wireless equipment are to be in place by this fall, with the system expected to be fully operational by early 2007.
Gillon added the RRFDC also continues its participation with the Northwest Midwest Alliance and the Forintek projects.
“The goal of these projects is to increase [the] export of value-added wood products to the U.S.,” he noted, saying the RRFDC believes investment in these project will ensure future prosperity.
Other projects include the purchase of a new event tent, supporting the regional abattoir project, contributing financially through the Local Initiatives Fund, and the expanding of its support of the district agriculture sector.
“The past year has been exciting and very interesting, and I would like to thank everyone involved in these activities,” Gillon concluded.
As Fortier adjourned the meeting, he left the members with a challenge—for each to sign up one new member this year.
“We can always have more members,” he remarked. “The future of the district is important.”

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