In and amongst a busy few weeks, the mayor of Fort Frances found time to help cook a feast of fish for community friends.
During his regular address to council and the public during last night’s meeting of town council, Fort Frances mayor Andrew Hallikas shared that he and deputy mayor Mike Behan were invited out to the Rainy River First Nations fish fry that took place on Friday, May 19, 2023, at their powwow grounds. Hallikas said both of them felt that in order to convey their thanks for the invites, they would in turn help out with the cooking beforehand.
“We arrived shortly before noon and spent the next three-and-a-half-hours over a deep fryer cooking potatoes,” Hallikas said.
“And I do have to say those potatoes were delicious. But what I really wanted to comment on was this was the 51st annual fish fry put on by Rainy River First Nations. Rainy River First Nations for 51 years gave been feeding friends and neighbours, and the feast was amazing. To me, one of the most generous things anyone can do is to share what they have with others, particularly their food. I’m so deeply grateful to Chief Horton and Council and all the members of Rainy River First Nations for their generous and gracious gesture of friendship to their friends and neighbours. What an example they’re setting for all of us for the past 51 years.”
While the mayor did not choose to read his entire report to council aloud, his written report also noted that he has been taking part in many meetings and other community events.
The mayor attended the Walk for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held in Rainy River First Nations on May 5, which he said had an impressive turnout as the group made its way from the band office to the powwow grounds.
In other community events, the mayor also made a showing at some of the Ontario Senior Games that were held here throughout the month of May.
“I was impressed with the number and variety of the games that the seniors could compete in,” Hallikas wrote.
“For a modest entry fee, seniors could take part in any number of events. Winners, should they choose, can move up and represent Fort Frances at the All‐Ontario Senior Games. The games wound up with a banquet on Thursday evening. I would like to compliment and thank the organizers and volunteers for putting on a much needed, exciting, and excellent set of games. Our community has an aging demographic and programming and opportunities such as the senior games provide a much needed and healthy social opportunity for seniors.”
The mayor noted that he had attended regular meetings of Fort Frances Power Corporation (FFPC), Rainy River District Municipal Association (RRDMA) and Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (RRDSSAB) since his last update.
At the FFPC meeting, the mayor said they were given a presentation on transitioning from a local distribution company to a distribution system operator, as well as a detailed financial analysis on the benefits of hiring a billing and finance analyst for the organization.
The RRDMA general meeting, held on May 17, was attended by the mayor along with councillors Mike Behan and Wendy Brunetta and featured two guest speakers with talks aimed at life in the region.
“Gord Knowles from NOTA spoke of district and regional tourism,” Hallikas wrote.
“Of note is the fact the NOTA will provide financial assistance. This could be used to leverage our MAT money. John Van Der Broek, a ministry biologist, spoke on Elk and Agricultural damage. Councillor Brunetta asked him about the deer problem in Fort Frances and he indicated that the ministry deer expert is in Thunder Bay and would be happy to weigh in on the problem if asked.”
Finally, the mayor attended the monthly DSSAB meeting, where he said that among other matters, a presentation was given on understanding end of mortgage and changing regulations.
“The Board reviewed policies on: Computer use, Email use, Internet Use, and Mobile Device use. The Board also reviewed a Naloxone Kit Policy. The Board received the results of its audit; a clean and unqualified report was given by the auditors. DSSAB will be celebrating Paramedics week from May 23 to May 25. The public is invited to visit the ambulance bases on various days for a barbecue. The Fort Frances Paramedic base will be hosting the public on May 26.”