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Action lacking

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Despite all the fanfare surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official visit to Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow, along with last week’s first ministers’ summit on climate change, many question the real value of such get-togethers.

Certainly in terms of substance, they generally don’t produce much of anything concrete beyond the photo ops, a typically vague final communique that says lots without saying anything, and maybe the signing of a deal or two already long negotiated.

In that same vein, one has to wonder whether annual conferences like the recent Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association gathering in Toronto is worth the expense of sending a local delegation there each year to “bend the ear” of provincial cabinet ministers.

Unfortunately, it seems local pleas just fall on deaf ears.

Although an answer finally may be forthcoming, the town has been waiting six years—that’s right, six years—to find out if the province will sell the property between the Fort Frances Clinic and the former public library building.

How many years have we been begging for a resident judge in Fort Frances? Will pleas now for a resident Crown Attorney to replace the retired Robert “Buster” Young also go unheeded?

Word of four new doctors setting up practice in Fort Frances certainly is good news but that only alleviates the doctor shortage here over the short-term. How is the province answering our repeated calls to actually solve the shortage?

We reiterate the need for an assisted living facility here but are we really any closer to that becoming a reality?

And, of course, there sits our idle mill notwithstanding all our efforts—including a district descent on Queen’s Park back in November, 2014—for provincial help to either get it re-started or sold to a company that will run it.

Yes, Fort Frances needs to be represented at these conferences. And we have been doing our part to present rational arguments and requests when there.

It’s high time the government starts answering our pleas. Simply paying them lip service is unacceptable and an insult.

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