Update: As this blew up and got some attention, there are a number of people I will be speaking to on Monday. Will provide an update in a new post after I collect all the information! Thank you all for sharing and for your input! If you'd like to follow the blog for future posts, plus tech and computer advice, follow Digital Dr on Facebook, or @dijidok on Twitter.
As a tax paying citizen and business owner in Fort Frances, there are burning questions in my mind that DEMAND answers. I have a sense that many others have similar questions and don't know how or who to ask and in some cases are afraid to ask!
It's highly unlikely to be covered by the local, old boys echo chamber, regardless.
I have no vested interests to protect, nor any ulterior motives. I've tried a number of avenues for answers privately, to no avail, so let's kick the whole can over and spill its contents. We can explore more detail in each aspect of this story as more information becomes available.
Who's sick and tired of driving past it? Who has pride in the decaying structures greeting international visitors to our town? Who else sees the wasted potential of ALL that property; stores, the training center, main office, old nurses station, all of which are fully serviced buildings ... why the hell are they empty still?
What is all this costing us in reality.
- As the site decays more, what are the risks and threats to the area's health?
- What impact does the site have on the Rainy River?
- Communities downstream, Alberton, La Valley or Emo?
- What environmental problems are piling up the longer the site sits and rots?
- How much is being spent, by anyone, to find a buyer?
- How is it impacting our collective psyche?
As I dig further into this debacle, I'm truly horrified that no one is forthcoming with any answers or interest even in looking at what else can be done.
The town is somewhat absolved as it isn't their site.
If there's no PUBLIC discourse or group looking into what is being done, without some provincial support and guidance, we could end up on the hook for everything, that is the leaderships responsibility. As taxpayers, it's our job to remind them that we voted them in to SERVE us. I don't feel like leaving much of a tip.
No more tennis courts, or playing realtor or spending shitloads on a crappy rebranding that an intern could have done. Nothing else until this site has resolution from Resolute (see what I did there?!? not sorry).
Until their hand is forced, Resolute doesn't have to clean up the site, so it's a win for them and a write down on taxes too.
Win, win for Resolute.
Here's the kicker though, Resolute has been hemorrhaging money for at least the last 2 years. No, not quarters, YEARS.
From Resolute's own website:
MONTRÉAL, Feb. 2, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today reported a net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2016, of $45 million, or $0.50 per share, compared to a GAAP net loss of $214 million, or $2.39 per share, in the same period in 2015. Sales were $889 million in the quarter, essentially unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2015. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $3 million, or $0.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $26 million, or $0.29 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.
How long before the company goes tits up and the taxpayers of Fort Frances and Ontario are on the hook for the cleanup?
Yes I get that the mine in Chapple TWP (my appologies)
Stratton is what's keeping us going. It's also the thing that is allowing this collective amnesia concerning the mill property.
Newgold is merely a stopgap measure until that resource runs dry. It currently does nothing to help us with the giant BLUE elephant on the river though or help the future for GENERATIONS to come.
The town's plan is over 2 years old and in my opinion doesn't go nearly far enough to consider the future. It's building a graveyard, instead of a retirement community and really it should not be doing that either. We need young families and more than just industry, hunting and fishing to keep them here. Transient and seasonal industries can fill in the gaps, but there must be more, much more.
Further, the mine IS IN CHAPPLE TWP FFS.
It's not just outside town and I personally believe it's effects are way over-exaggerated.
We need to be investing in sustainable industries IN TOWN, tourism (as in keeping them here), information technology, education etc. This old guard we have running things here though doesn't understand that we are being left behind and have a fair amount of catching up to do. If we can even catch up.
First things first, let's get the mill property resolved and moving in some direction.
Like a drug addled meth addict that steals the change off the counter, I think it's long past time we had an intervention. It's time we started asking the real questions and DEMANDING answers.
I love this town and this area and I used to be proud of it. We are now collectively dropping the ball here. If we stay the course we're currently heading, we will get screwed without foreplay or lube.
So let's start an open dialog:
- What are your thoughts on the mill property?
- What do you think should be done?
- Do you think the town should be more involved?
- How does looking at it make you feel?
- How do you feel it represents us to the roughly million visitors per year through our port of entry to Canada?
- Does anyone else care?
- Am I dumb for giving a rats ass?
Love to know what EVERYONE thinks! Update Article