Unions seeking delay in dam decision

FORT FRANCES—Members of local unions were to speak at Monday night’s town council meeting to ask for more time to study the possible impact of splitting the power dam into a separate business here before any final decisions are made.
“We will ask council to suspend the Abitibi application for property severance re: the dam with the Ontario Municipal Board (permanently or temporarily) and to file intervening status before the (Ontario) Energy Board to protect the town’s legal interests until the mill unions, members of the public, (and) the Corporation of the Town of Fort Frances have time to study the potential impact of such severance and to further allow appropriate time for the parties to meet jointly to address the concerns that may arise between the parties,” CEP 92 recording secretary and spokesperson Allan T. Bedard said in a letter to council.
He added the unions want to see this council, Abitibi, and unions work together “to address some very complex and difficult issues.”
Speakers expected to attend Monday night’s council meeting included Bedard, IAM 771 president Herman Pruys, CEP 306 president Bill Shine, CEP 92 president Thorrot Cox, IBEW 1744 president Dwayne Sletmoen, and concerned citizen Nick Wihnan.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. It was preceded by the committee of the whole, which started at 5:30 but was expected to be in-camera until 6:35.
Other business at Monday night’s council meeting included:
•a financial request from the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Museum regarding advertising for the 25th-annual induction dinner souvenir program;
•a financial request from the City of International Falls for support of the Business, Economic Security, Trade and Tourism (BESTT) Coalition;
•a memo from municipal planner Faye Flatt regarding Ron Campbell (minor variance A11/2006);
•a bylaw to designate Lots 95-97, Plan M-94 (611 and 613 First St. E.) as per the Planning Act, 1990;
•a recommendation regarding a request from Glenn Witherspoon to waive landfill fees;
•a recommendation from the Economic Development Advisory Committee regarding a University of Manitoba design studio; and
•a verbal update from Mayor Dan Onichuk on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference (Aug. 13-16).
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)