You are here

Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Questions to be answered

The Northern Policy Institute recently released a paper entitled “Exploring the Need for a Northern Newcomer Strategy.”

It may have come to many as a shock but having watched census databases over the past two decades of the numbers and the reduction of population in the Rainy River District, it was not surprising.

Yes, Rainy River District has seen its population decline by 13.2 percent over the last two decades. Yes, the population of Rainy River District has become much older than the provincial average.

Good for district is good for town

One of the candidates at last Tuesday night's forum made a statement that what is good in the district is good for Fort Frances.

All too often we forget the value that district businesses contribute not only to the economy of the host community but also to the economy of Fort Frances.

Since its opening first as Voyageur Panel, then later as Ainsworth and now Norbord, many of the employees live within the boundaries of Fort Frances. Throughout the area, most of those employees shop the stores and use the restaurants of Fort Frances.

Should 'pot' stores open here?

Will we make the selling of cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana or pot) legal in Fort Frances?

Beginning on Oct. 17, Ontario residents aged 19 and over will be able to purchase cannabis online across the province and then in retail outlets beginning in April.

Municipalities have until Jan. 22, 2019 to determine if they wish to have cannabis sold by local retailers in their communities. Sometime before Jan. 22, councils will have to make a decision.

Assisted living is not inexpensive

For three days, my wife and I are living in an assisted living complex as we visit my mother-in-law.

It is a beautiful building with a huge dining room. An activities co-ordinator plans group activities daily and the residents are given lots of advance notice.

Monday could begin with an exercise session and through the day, knitting classes, Bingo, billiards, and a movie night will take place.

There also are lots of choices at meal time. If you are under the weather, it can be arranged for meals to be brought to your suite.

Is this what the future holds?

Toronto, July 8, 2019—Today Rob Ford, the premier of Ontario, announced he now will move beyond the council of Toronto to reduce government costs.

Having successfully reduced that council by almost 50 percent, Ford now plans to reduce council sizes across Ontario by amalgamating municipal councils into regional governments.

Believing that one person should represent 100,000 voters, Ford now is turning his focus to counties and districts across the province to save taxpayers money.

Technology may be short-changing us

A recent article in The Guardian has had me questioning how I read and my understanding of what I read.

I've always enjoyed reading and for several decades on my birthday and at Christmas, my wife would buy me several hard-cover books to read. I eventually succumbed and acquired a Kobo reader that was easier to transport and read at the cabin and on trips (I just had to remember to plug it in nightly).

Fall is approaching

Labour Day now is behind us. The yellow school buses are on the road and students are lining up on boulevards waiting for them to arrive.

The sun is setting earlier each day and climbing out of bed later in the morning. Daytime temperatures are still warm but the evenings are much cooler, making it easier to sleep.

The parking lot at the marina was much emptier this past weekend as families either had returned home to the cities or were transporting their sons and daughters off to universities and colleges across the country.

Storm repsonse comforting

Two storms roared through the district this past weekend.

The first on Saturday night brought lots of rain and gusts of wind, something that we needed.

Then, early Monday morning with weather warnings out, Fort Frances and east of the town had trees toppled across power lines and streets and power outages from east of Fort Frances through to Rainy River.

We depend on our electricity and waking up in darkness Monday morning with lights flashing on the street, I had reached for a light switch, only to realize that we were without power.

Times passes us by so quickly

Having had no rain for more than two weeks, the birch trees already are turning their leaves golden. The maples along the shorelines also have begun turning their green leaves to red.

Even the ash trees seem to be changing colours. It is much earlier than normal and yet it's one of the signs that summer is ending.

While fishing on Saturday, we watched a mother merganser shepherd a flock of 21 ducklings along a shoreline. They would dart into little shoreline pockets of weeds and reeds.

The opportunities are just endless

At the Fort Frances council meeting on Monday night, we saw the first decisions of Resolute to begin divesting themselves of property here in town.

The town, in acquiring the old Dr. Boyle property on Mowat Avenue, now will have a means of connecting the back alley that runs behind the businesses on the south side of the 200 block of Scott street from Portage to Mowat.

It was a good decision of council to acquire this property for a nominal amount of money.