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Tensions boil over

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Tensions in a group boiled over in Northwestern Ontario this week—and the fallout is only just beginning.

No, it’s not word Ginger is parting company with the “Spice Girls,” although that news has caused youngsters right here in Fort Frances to go into denial. Rather, the fireworks began Monday when two members of the Boreal West Round Table trashed the draft document it has come up with to allocated Crown land in Northwestern Ontario.

In fact, in a brazen display of one-upmanship, Bruce Hyer and Bruce Petersen went so far as to vent their feelings the day before the round table released its draft to the public, leaving other committee members stewing in anger.

Committee chair Bob Michels, of Atikokan, is trying to put the best foot forward on all this, noting the group has been “cantankerous” from the start. He also said this difference of opinion, while not particularly constructive, might stimulate more public debate over the “Lands for Life” process, which hasn’t stirred up much interest among the general public so far even though it could mean sweeping changes for area residents.

This week’s fireworks already has prompted a group of local users, which had been formed last year because it didn’t like the direction the round table was going, to get back together to study the draft report. But it remains to be seen whether this sparks a groundswell of interest to an open house June 18 from 4-9 p.m. at the Fort Frances Curling Club.

Hopefully, it does, because the time to voice your opinion about the “Lands for Life” process is now—not after it has been passed into law. After all, it’s no use complaining after the fact if we don’t bother to get involved with the decision-making in the first place.

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