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Legal resource problems could soon be addressed

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Life could soon be made easier for the town's Crown attorney.

Local MPP Greg Rickford is hoping to secure more Crown attorney resources, after having a series of positive meetings and discussions at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa early last week.

“I met uniquely with the Fort Frances CAO, mayor, and council with Attorney General (Caroline) Mulroney on this precise issue,” he said to the Times last Friday.

“Minister Mulroney and I discussed . . . that we would start in earnest on bringing some resources in here to help that out,” he added.

Rickford is also looking to bring a sitting judge to the town.

He is confident in his ability to achieve that goal, citing the work he's done in regards to judicial resources in Kenora.

“In Fort Frances' case, they need a judge here that lives here . . . and I'm committed to helping engage a process that would bring a meaningful solution to that,” Rickford pledged.

“It's the chief justice who presides over the allocation of resources but we're going to work through the attorney general's office to find a solution that works for them in the short-term and hopefully move towards a more permanent judge position here in the community,” he added.

Rickford also had conversations with Resolute Forest Products at the AMO conference and said they will be advancing towards a meaningful solution in regards to how the town's Shelvin wood yard newly-acquired asset will be dealt with it.

Other meetings included discussion about the highway to Rainy River and the increased demands it is seeing with the New Gold mine.

“We've talked about some of the opportunities related to that and I spoke with the Rainy River mayor today . . . and we're moving out there very quickly in the next week or two to talk about some perspective things we can do to help Rainy River benefit from the mining operations that are very close by,” Rickford enthused.

He is pleased with the attendance and discussions he had at the conference and remains hopeful moving forward.

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