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Two schools too many

To the editor:

I am compelled to write this letter in regards to the Borderland Hockey School and the negative feelings that have surfaced regarding Mr. Mihichuk’s letter from the mayor.

I have known Mr. Terry Mihichuk for over 15 years and have personnel knowledge into his efforts to improve and provide the best hockey school in the region. Since buying the school, Terry has made a number of changes which have benefited the community and, more importantly, the students.

I would like to point out just a few of the positive changes Mr. Mihichuk has made to the hockey school:

•increased ice time to three hours/day (highest in the district);

•increased classroom and dryland training time and decreased the amount of free time;

•brought in qualified professional instructors;

•initiated a conditioning camp for junior, high school, and college level players; and

•improved power skating program.

These are just a few examples of the positive impact to the hockey school Mr. Mihichuk has initiated in his tenure.

Now to the point of running two schools in a town the size of Fort Frances. Did you know that Dryden, Bemidji, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Ignace, and Hibbing all support one school. Maybe I should put a school in Fort Frances as well and we can be known as the hockey school capital of Canada.

Does anybody really think two schools would be financially viable in Fort Frances? That’s like saying we could support two Canadian Tire stores.

I fully believe the Allisons, given the opportunity, would provide an excellent school. Their hockey and coaching skills are beyond reproach and if the town didn’t already have a first-rate hockey school, I would be in full support. However, I feel the enrolment for both schools will be too low for either to stay viable and the kids will be the end losers.

My final point is in regards to the mayor’s letter giving the Borderland Hockey School sole rights to operate in the summer. In my opinion, this letter should have come from council and it should have provided a minimum criteria for Borderland Hockey school ensuring it provides a valuable service to the town no matter who owns it.

Fortunately, Mr. Mihichuk is extremely diligent and goes well beyond the necessary requirements to provide the best hockey school in Northwestern Ontario.

I do wish the Allisons the very best in all their endeavours--just not at the expense of a respected citizen of this great town.


Kent Ramsay

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