Council to approve Senior Centre name change bylaw

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Fort Frances council is set to approve the final bylaw for the name change to the Fort Frances Seniors Centre from the Sister Betty Kennedy Centre.

The name change was approved by council in 2017, along with recognizing the contributions of Sister Betty Kennedy to the centre by having a memory wall inside the facility.

Aaron Bisson, recreation and culture manager, said in the report that since the name change got approved, the centre was always being referred to as the Fort Frances Senior Centre. However, he said, the name of the building has never been updated and a bylaw has never been created to officially change the name from Sister Betty Kennedy Centre to the Fort Frances Senior Centre.

The recommendation also includes changing Sister Betty Kennedy Centre’s Board of Management to the Fort Frances Senior Centre Committee.

In 1978 – Sister Betty Kennedy, along with a few seniors, created the first seniors drop-in centre in Fort Frances, known as the Pleasant Past Times Place. It was located in the back of the Pentcostal Church next door to the Royal Canadian Legion.

In 1981- a Bylaw was established by mayor and council to set up a committee for the purpose of constructing a senior citizen’s drop-in centre in the old St. Mary’s School.

Coun. Andrew Hallikas asked about the reason behind changing the name of the board of management.

Lisa Slomke, municipal clerk, said a board of management implies that there is something to manage.

“We have a manager that manages,” Slomke said. “Streamlining and making all of the boards and committees operate in the same fashion is probably in the best interest of the community as a whole.”

The bylaw that actually created the board of management would need to be repealed and a new bylaw to create the new committee would need to be struck.

Slomke said this is not a simple bylaw that has to be changed as the name “Sister Kennedy” appears in several bylaws.

Slomke also brought up the question of whether changing the name on paper will affect funding to the seniors centre in the future.

Bisson said he reached out to their funding agency to confirm that any changes to the name would not affect funding.

Bisson said funding and grants are paid to the Town of Fort Frances.

“The name of the senior centre doesn’t affect the funding that we are able to apply for so we are able to make the name change without any effect to grants that we received,” Bisson said.

Bisson’s recommendation also states that all signage be changed to reflect the name change and that any physical changes and construction that need to take place to enact these changes happen during the proposed expansion to ensure a seamless integration into the facility.

When council approves the bylaw on Monday, it will become forthcoming.