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Coming together

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“All of us together is wondrous”

(Len-People “Come Together” lyrics)

A community grows when it comes together. We've watched as the community of Rainy River District grew together behind the council of Fort Frances in working to have the fibre from the Crossroute Forest clearly designated for the mill at Fort Frances.

In less than two weeks, since a motion was tabled by Coun. Doug Judson, the district has unified in working to support Repap in acquiring the shuttered Fort Frances mill currently owned by Resolute Forest Products.

Meanwhile, the petition organized by Christine Hampton Brown continues to grow. It reads: "The Fort Frances Mill is a valuable asset to the community and the Province must ensure any potential buyer who intends to operate the mill for the greater good of the community has a sustainable, affordable wood allocation.

“We respectfully call upon the Province, including Premier Doug Ford, our sitting MPP, Greg Rickford, and John Yakabuski, the minister of Natural Resources, to ensure the future operation of the Fort Frances mill by ensuring a fibre allocation which is sustainable, and affordable, to any purchaser intending to operate the Fort Frances Mill.”

On Feb. 19, Council Chambers was packed to overflowing by citizens, businesses, and groups to witness and support members of council as they voted on the resolution presented eight days earlier.

The community has shown itself to be a force. We now hope the Government of Ontario will hear us. With all of our hearts, we hope that Resolute will understand how much we hope that a deal can be made for the sale of the mill to Repap.

We also hope the investors in Repap will understand clearly how much the communities of the district support their company.

We have no control over the negotiations. Yet as a community, we have the largest stake in them.

Together with support from not only the district, but also the province and people who have moved across Canada, maybe our voices and dreams for the mill will be heard and an operating mill once again will be a reality here.

—Jim Cumming

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