Town council gets update on CABCO

Town council got an update Monday night on the Canadian American Border Communities Organization (CABCO) activities, including notice of a change to a conference planned for later this summer here.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft, who sits on the local Border Communities Organization (BCO) board, told council the group met last week, at which time two members from the Canadian consulate in Minneapolis informed the group of an international event called “Meet at the Border.”
This event will be taking place in border communities during a two-week period in June to promote cross-border interaction.
Coun. Wiedenhoeft noted that BCO feels Fort Frances should tie “Meet at the Border” into the Fun in the Sun events taking place June 30, and have both International Falls and Fort Frances organize activities promoting this type of interaction.
He added while CABCO was planning a large international conference here in August, that meeting has been scaled back in place of “Meet at the Border” events.
The conference still will take place but on a smaller scale, with a focus more on establishing an executive structure for CABCO.
Council previously agreed to provide $1,500 in “seed money” for the conference and may want to consider shifting that funding to help put on “Meet at the Border” activities. Additional money could be tapped through the Consulate General.
Fort Frances Mayor Dan Onichuk, who also sits on the local board, said the activities could be of any sort that promotes cross-border interaction, and suggested dragon boats races with competing municipal councils as a possible idea.
In related news, council also approved and endorsed the vision and mission statements for CABCO at its Monday night meeting.
According to the mission statement, CABCO is to provide a forum for those living near the Canadian-American border to exchange information, address issues of common concern, educate policy-makers, advocate for Canadian-American border communities, and promote cross-border harmony.
Likewise, the vision statement noted it is the vision of CABCO that persons living in the communities along the Canadian-American border shall be able to fully participate in social, recreational, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities available on either side of the border.
CABCO shall further this vision by:
•Anticipating issues impacting cross-border activities and developing innovative strategies for minimizing negative impacts;
•Creating and sustaining alliances among border communities so that resources can be most effectively and optimally utilized for policy development and issue advocacy.
•Earning the trust of local, state, provincial, and federal policy-makers by providing accurate and unbiased information and authoritative research;
•Engaging in respectful policy advocacy, recognizing the complexity of addressing issues where multiple levels of government are involved;
•Facilitating member information sharing and comparative analyses to help communities develop appropriate responses to challenges that are both different and common to other member communities; and
•Clearly and consistently communicating CABCO’s mission and vision so that CABCO shall be considered a critical stakeholder and shall be invited to participate whenever issue impacting life on the Canadian-American border are debated.