Dear Mr. Editor:
Again I would like to announce my frustration over the old Fort Frances Clinic.
If Fort Frances taxpayers are on the hook for $1 million, we have a right to know what is going on—to the finest detail. We have a further right to challenge the wisdom of council’s investment (in the clinic) and to expect council accountability to questions the taxpayers may have.
So far, our questions have been totally ignored.
I want to ask Mayor Roy Avis and council to provide the public with answers to the following questions:
1. Will you hold an open public meeting prior to any further council action on the clinic, and allow members of the public to participate in this debate before proceeding any further on this issue?
2. Will council undertake a complete engineering, structural, and electrical study on the Fort Frances Clinic before one more nickel is spent or council proceeds any further? If completed already, what are the results?
3. Will council undertake an environmental study on the clinic and check for building mold, lead in walls around the old X-ray machines, bio-chemicals, plumbing, drainage, etc. If completed already, what are the results?
4. Will council tell us what financial agreements have been struck, and with whom?
5. Will council release information and documents to the public prior to a public meeting?
6. Will council provide us with a document showing taxpayers how our $1 million tax contribution to the clinic will be spent, who will receive this money, how it will be broken down, how and who will be responsible for paying it back, how it will be paid back, by whom, and what happens if it is not paid back?
7. Is it the intention of this council to have the town end up with the old clinic property, the building, and all its liabilities, and forfeit the $1 million of taxpayer money, while getting stuck with building a new community clinic somewhere else in the community or in conjunction with the Riverside hospital?
As you can see, I am still frustrated. This frustration stems from a problem we, the taxpayers, should not have. That problem is a council, elected to do our business, but refusing to tell us what is going on.
I hope Mayor Avis and the new members of council will be forthcoming with my request for a public meeting and open with the books, so we who are paying the bills know what is going on.
In closing I wish the new council well, and pray open and accountable government will be the mainstay of their daily political agenda.
Fort Frances, Ont.
Editor’s note: This letter arrived at the Times before Monday’s announcement that a meeting to update the public on the Fort Frances Clinic’s future has been scheduled for Monday, March 5 at the Civic Centre.