We’re all dependent on senior government

When Fort Frances began reconstructing Central Avenue and Scott Street, the municipality sought funding for the work from the provincial government.
As part of the support for the new biomass boiler that was built for AbitibiBowater, the town sought funding from both the provincial and federal government to assist in that project to create and protect jobs here.
The work on the underpass also has included support from the provincial government.
When the district chose to upgrade the three hospitals in the area, citizens went out and raised money on behalf of the Riverside Foundation for Health Care.
All citizens, regardless of their race, colour, religion, or ethnic background, contributed to the project. But to make the project actually happen, the province paid the lion’s share of the bill.
The building and remodelling of J.W. Walker School, Crossroads in Devlin, and now Robert Moore all has been through funding from the Ministry of Education.
And the ministry pays tuition to cover the costs of every student attending both public and separate schools.
The new Fort Frances Public Library and Technology Centre is being paid for through fundraising of citizens, taxes from the town, and funding from both the provincial and federal governments.
Without senior levels of government contributing to the new facility, the project never would have gotten off the ground.
As we look around our community, the Townshend Theatre, the Memorial Sports Centre, Rainycrest, geared-to-income housing, and the airport all are a result of both community, provincial, and federal funding.
All add to the quality of life in Fort Frances. All add benefits to the entire population of the district.
The town’s water treatment plant, which serves the needs of both Fort Frances and Couchiching First Nation, was built with assistance of the provincial government, as was the sewage treatment plant’s construction and upgrades.
Today, both are self-sustaining from the monthly fees every home, business, and industry pays for sewer and water.
Once the facilities are built, it remains the responsibility of the municipality to maintain them. The exceptions are highways and roads.
On highways through Fort Frances, the provincial government pays 90 percent of the upkeep. On other streets, the government may pay up to 50 percent with the understanding that roads and highways benefit everyone.
We all depend on senior levels of government for the majority of our services and support. The provincial government contributes the greatest portion to Family & Children’s Services and the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB).
Municipal governments can raise funds to jump-start projects through taxation of industry, commercial, and residential property. First Nations’ governments do not have that taxing opportunity to jump-start projects and instead must pursue total funding through senior levels of government.
It makes getting programs and projects off the ground that much more difficult.
We often forget how big a role senior levels of government play in our everyday lives.
We are dependent on them for almost everything we do.

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