DSSAB reps being chosen

The proposal hasn’t gotten the official nod yet but people are starting to be selected to sit on the District Social Services Administrative Board.
Fort Frances Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, who is president of the Rainy River District Municipal Association, said municipalities across the district were being asked to choose someone to sit on the board.
“The DSSAB proposal has been accepted, in general, by the ministry,” he noted Monday. “We have been instructed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to proceed with getting our representatives from each municipality.”
That will be happening within the next two or three weeks, the mayor added, saying then the DSSAB could prepare for the “downloaded” services that were going to be put on its plate–Ontario Works, housing, and child care.
“They can go ahead and do all that advance work,” said Aime Dimatteo, director of the Northern Services Implementation Team, adding it was a way communities could be proactive.
But he stressed nothing could be done formally without the official go-ahead from the province. That word is supposed to come by May 31.
Dimatteo noted all the proposals were being looked at together.
“We need to see the whole fabric of the north is covered by these proposals,” he explained.
An issue that had to be ironed out in the Rainy River and Kenora district proposals was which one was Nestor Falls going to be part of. Mayor Witherspoon said that community was included in both proposals.
“They wanted to be in ours so Kenora has withdrawn it,” he noted.
Dimatteo said the province was trying to ensure that if there were any problems with the local proposals that they were rectified locally.
The province has said it will approve about 10 DSSABs across the north.
“By Aug. 31, we hope that we will have done the majority of work with them,” Dimatteo said, adding all the DSSABs were to be up and running by Dec. 31.