Town to look into tsunami relief donation

The Town of Fort Frances may join the myriad of other communities around the world contributing financially to South Asian tsunami relief efforts.
The matter was brought up by Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft at last night’s regular meeting, just before council approved a request from the Salvation Army to hold “tag days” this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 14-15) in Fort Frances to raise funds for its South Asia disaster campaign.
“I know other communities have done this, and I know individuals within the community, and around this table, have made individual donations already,” Coun. Wiedenhoeft said.
“I would just like to see if maybe the Administration and Finance executive committee could investigate the possibility of a donation being given on behalf of the Town of Fort Frances to one of the organizations dealing with tsunami relief,” he added.
Mayor Dan Onichuk noted he received a letter from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario telling municipalities that if they are going to make donations to funnel them through well-known, “legitimate” charities, including the Canadian Red Cross, Oxfam, UNICEF, Care Canada, World Vision, Doctors Without Borders, and Christian Children’s Fund.
“Unfortunately with a tragedy like this, the scam artists are out there,” the mayor remarked.
He noted town residents also should be wary of who they donate to.
Mayor Onichuk added he’s aware Fort Frances residents are making donations to tsunami relief, and are working to help out in various ways, specifically mentioning a letter to the editor in last Wednesday’s Times in which Jean-Marc Blanc suggested the community “adopt a village.”
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•heard a presentation from Dale Smyk of Emergency Management Ontario on what has been done by Ontario municipalities regarding emergency preparedness in the past year as well as what will be done in the year ahead;
•passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to the contract with the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board for the provision of child care services by the town;
•passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to the agreement for funding of certain employment benefits and support measures with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada;
•passed a bylaw to approve an agreement with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for the operation by the OPP of a central emergency reporting bureau;
•passed a bylaw to adopt a procurement of goods and services policy;
•passed a bylaw to adopt a hiring policy;
•passed a bylaw to authorize an agreement with Lakeland Personnel Inc. regarding the provision of one school crossing guard;
•passed a bylaw to approve a contract with Controltech Inc. for supply and installation of computer software at the water and sewage treatment facilities here;
•passed a bylaw to approve a continuous safety services agreement with Electrical Safety Authority;
•passed a bylaw to authorize the entering into of certain contracts for janitorial services;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Club at Rainy Lake Sports and Tackle from Jan. 30-July 29, 2005;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from the La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary at Bonnie Blue from Jan. 11-July 11, 2005;
•authorized Mayor Onichuk and Coun. Struchan Gilson to attend the ManOMin watershed conference here March 30-April 2;
•agreed to support Oshawa MPP Jerry Ouelette’s proposed Elected Officials Immunity Act, 2004; and
•referred a request from the Municipality of Clarington for support of its resolution regarding amending the Municipal Elections Act to provide for a four-year term of office for municipal council members to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation, with input from the three other executive committees.