“Q: “”Every town is in a state of emergency. What does that even mean?”

A: “Each Municipality’s emergency management plan will define what an emergency is. Our Plan states that any situation or impending situation caused by the forces of nature, an accident, an intentional act or otherwise constitutes a danger of major proportions to life or property. These situations could threaten public safety, public health, the environment, property, critical infrastructure and economic stability.”

Municipalities are bound by Provincial Legislation and our powers come from The EMCPA (Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9, as amended and outlines what a Municipality’s authority is to declare.

“The Head of Council of a Municipality may declare that an emergency exists in the Municipality or in any part thereof and may take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan of the Municipality and to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the emergency area.”

Declaring an emergency triggers the emergency response plans of the Municipality, which we are required to have. When we declare, we activate our emergency operations centre. There’s a whole system that goes into place that takes control of things, facilitating services, evacuation, (coordination) with provincial agencies, asking for assistance with what is required. It basically mobilizes a whole set of procedures and operational plans to deal with what we know is coming.”

For example, a municipality may require people to evacuate an area, set aside procurement bylaws for emergency purposes or approve emergency spending without going through the regular approval process. Another benefit is that once an emergency is declared, volunteers who help are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.”

Patrick Briere
Fort Frances Public
Information Officer

Q – Is it safe to flush paper towel town the toilet? I’ve heard some town are having problems with clogs.

A – “We don’t currently have an issue, however other items flushed may cause issues in our sewer mains, lift stations or private services. We have stopped responding to plugged sewers and I know some contractors have also stopped as well, so we want to remind residents that wipes, paper towel and facial tissues are not meant for the sewers, to alleviate and mitigate future issues. I did post a reminder on the Town’s Facebook page yesterday in partnership with our wastewater contractor, Ontario Clean Water Agency.”

Travis Rob,
Manager of operations and facilities

Q – I’m not sure how to access the clinic anymore, and I’m afraid of going to emergency. How do I see a doctor?

A – “Access to the clinic and services is currently limited. We would like patients to know they can still contact the clinic for Physician and NP appointments and prescription renewals. Most of the appointments will occur by phone. If the Physician or NP determines your situation requires a face to face appointment, they will schedule one accordingly.

If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19: fever, chills, shakes, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, do NOT come to the Clinic. Contact Public Health at 1-807-468-7109 or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. Patients should only go to the hospital if they are extremely ill.

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we recommend practicing all precautionary measures. Please stay home and socially isolate. While practicing social distancing, we encourage patients to stay healthy; incorporate daily exercise such as a walk and some sunshine into your day.”

Clinic staff