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WHO open house slated tomorrow

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After staging a successful public session in Stratton last month, the local planning committee for the World Health Organization’s 11th-annual International Conference on Safe Communities next year continues with an presentation here tomorrow.

Starting at 7 p.m. at the Red Dog Inn, WHO co-ordinator Jeannette Cawston said the public session is to bring the community up-to-date on how the planning behind the conference is going.

“It will show people the significance, the benefits, the program being promoted—to show how we can showcase the district on an international level,” she remarked.

“Don’t miss out on the opportunity that comes along with this great event coming up,” Cawston added.

Slated for May 7-9, 2002, the conference is expected to attract about 500 delegates, including 120 from overseas—a prospect that has many people excited, said Cawston.

“The results we’ve gotten from district awareness is amazing. We’ve already been contacted by places like Thunder Bay and Dryden, and we haven’t even started the regional promotion,” she noted.

In related news, several delegates from here will be attending the WHO 10th-annual International Conference on Safe Communities in Anchorage, Alaska on May 21-23.

“We’ve had five programs accepted to be represented, including SCIP [Safe Communities Incentive Program], playground safety, strategic planning, ‘Riskwatch,’ and the program for seniors,” noted Cawston, adding others also will be mentioned at the local booth there.

Delegates will include Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, Abitibi-Consolidated, the Rainy River Future Development Corp., local OPP, the Fort Frances Fire Department, and possibly a number of area First Nations.

“My official role will to welcome everyone there to come here for the conference in 2002,” said Mayor Witherspoon. “I’ll also talk about what the district has accomplished since its become more aware of safety.”

Firefighter Greg Allan was thrilled about the prospect of promoting the “Riskwatch” program, and fire safety in general.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for the world to see what ‘Riskwatch’ is all about, being that it’s a program that essentially comes from the United States,” Allan noted.

“Right now, I believe Ontario is the only province running the program. But with this, maybe we can get it going from border to border, and who knows where else,” he added.

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