Mayor highlights busy few weeks for town activities

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

At Monday night’s town council meeting, Fort Frances mayor June Caul provided a verbal update on many of the happenings that have been taking place in the municipality over the past few weeks.

Beginning with the recent meeting of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) at the Fort Frances Curling Club, Caul noted the conference was well attended by representatives from as far afield as Hearst for the first in-person gathering NOMA has held since the start of the pandemic.

“Speakers talked about many issues affecting our region,” Caul said.

“Climate change, energy preparedness for the future, homelessness, Truth and Reconciliation, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, economic development, tourism, and greetings from the leaders of Ontario’s political parties. The week was very informing and well done.”

The annual event traditionally features a wide range of guest speakers discussing the topics Caul mentioned, but it is also an opportunity for members of different municipalities to meet and exchange ideas, as well as visit with representatives from larger organizations on the trade show floor.

Caul congratulated and thanked the NOMA board for putting the successful event together.

The mayor also spoke to the raising of the Community Living flag at the Fort Frances Civic Centre. Hoisted on Thursday, May 5, the flag proclaims May as Community Living Month, and will help to put the spotlight on those in the District who live with developmental disabilities and their families, along with those who help them to live independently and find employment.

Caul shared that the flag raising coincided with mental health awareness month, and that there will plenty for members of the public to do throughout May to learn more about their own mental health and some of the emergencies people face on a daily basis.

“Last week, we raised the Community Living flag at the Civic Centre in conjunction with mental health awareness month,” Caul said.

“Mental health partners are holding a variety of events which included a very dynamic speaker at their event which I attended last Thursday at Rainy Lake Square. Mental health emergencies caused by various kinds of trauma suffered by a person is one of the main concerns that our OPP and hospital emergency services deal with every day. Many of the calls for service are assisted by the various community partners.”

Caul also shared that she took part in the Veterans Appreciation dinner at the local Legion branch over the weekend, noting that it was “an honour” to represent the town at the event, especially as the number of living Second World War veterans continues to diminish.

Casting an eye to the future, the mayor shared a reminder that the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Expo is scheduled to run this Friday and Saturday at the Curling Club, and encouraged members of the public to visit one of the many booths that will be set up at the event.

“Please come out and visit and support our local businesses and organizations at the trade show on the weekend,” she said.

Finally, the town is still on high alert when it comes to possible floods, following an extreme amount of rain dumped over the region in a relatively short amount of time. Caul warned that the possibility of flooding in the area is still high, and that town crews are working hard to ensure that the stormwater and sewer systems are protected in the event of more rain in the coming days and weeks.