Mayor Caul officially announces she will not run again in upcoming election

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Fort Frances Mayor June Caul is officially bringing to an end an eight-year career of service on Fort Frances Town Council.

Citing her physical and mental well-being, Caul announced at last night’s Fort Frances Town Council meeting that she will not be seeking re-election in this year’s upcoming municipal election.

Caul has been serving on town council in some capacity for the past eight years, first as a councillor under late mayor Roy Avis, then as the first female mayor of Fort Frances when she was elected in 2018.

Caul recalled that those eight years of service haven’t always been easy, but she has consistently striven to do her best for the other members of council and the town at large.

“I have given eight years of my life to town council,” Caul said during her announcement.

“I have given up family time, personal time and been through hell and back from the day when I was first elected. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned so very much from those mistakes. I’ve been taken to task and subjected to cruel bullying. Was it all worth it? You’re darn right it’s been worth it.”

Caul noted this term of council has faced a slew of historic challenges that she said have made for a more difficult term than any other council in the town’s history has faced, from the final closures and demolition of the Fort Frances mill, to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and a record-breaking flood year. In addition, the administrative staff for the town have seen an almost complete turnover over the past four years, bringing in a set of new faces who Caul said have had to learn their new jobs in “a toxic environment.”

Mayor June Caul has announced she plans to not run in the upcoming municipal election this fall. —File photo

Caul shared that her decision to refrain from running for another term was directly related to concerns for her physical and mental health, citing the day-to-day nature of the job as well as additional responsibilities she has taken on outside of the council chambers. She also noted that she wanted to be able to devote more of her time to family in the near future.

“I am exhausted,” Caul said.

“I want to be with and support my children and grandchildren for many years to come, if the Lord is willing, and I want to continue volunteering for things that this community has that are near and dear to my heart. I have taken on a greater leadership role in my church since the retirement of our pastor. I am not getting any younger, and hope to be around to enjoy and relax for the first time since I was very young. That is why tonight I have decided to finally announce that I will not be running as a candidate in the upcoming election.”

Pausing briefly as she fought back emotion, Caul stressed that being able to serve as a councillor and mayor over the past eight years has been an honour, and one she has given “one hundred plus percent” of her energy towards.

“I love this community,” she said. “And I look forward to seeing and assisting in making a bright future for everyone who chooses to call Fort Frances home. As your mayor, I have rarely missed an event that I have been asked to attend. It has consumed my life, because I believe in giving 100 plus percent to everything I do.”

Caul offered up some advice for those who were interested in putting their name forward to take part as a member of council, or to those considering throwing their hat in the ring for the position of mayor.

“The final day for people who are interested in being in Fort Frances town council is only about a month away,” she said. “If you are interested in putting your name forward for election, I ask you to search your heart, your strength, your dedication and stamina. It requires serious commitment. It requires bravery and determination to stand up for what is most important for the future of our taxpayers and community… I wish everyone who takes on the challenge to brace yourselves for a wild ride, but a very worthwhile sacrifice for our taxpayers and this community.”

Nomination Day for the upcoming election is Friday, August 19, 2022, and nominations may only be filed between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on that day. The municipal council and school board elections will take place on Monday, October 24, 2022.

As of press time, no nomination papers have been filed for any position.