Published: February 15, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
The Kenora District Municipal Association (KDMA) is looking to be a greater advocate for northern issues.
Meeting in Machin earlier this month, the group approved a new strategic plan related to improved communications, stronger First Nation alliances and greater marketing outreach.
“Coming out of the 2016 Annual General Meeting in Kenora there was a lot of question over the existence or purpose of KDMA in northwestern Ontario and the Kenora district,” said Ear Falls Mayor Kevin Kahoot this week.
“As an executive we took the time to sit back and reflect on what we want to do as a group. What do we hope to gain by meeting and keeping this organization going and one thing that we saw was that KDMA wasn’t a strong enough voice for communities in Northwestern Ontario.”
During the February meeting Kahoot was acclaimed for his second two-year term as President and says the next few months will be dedicated to educating northern residents on the existence of KDMA and its mandate.
“The biggest thing that is really hitting all of us is infrastructure funding. I know Mr. Nault and the government have made promises on twinning the highway from the Manitoba border to Kenora. We have also been told about all weather roads opening up the north. If those things happen it really opens up the Kenora district again. We have always said what is good for the north is good for our community. Those are the kind of things we want to hold the government accountable on.
Taking a stronger stance on northern issues is going to mean strengthening partnerships, adds Kahoot.
“I think what we are realizing is that by forming alliances with each other and with ourselves and First Nations we can kind of lobby with a stronger more common voice that is specific to the issues of the northwest district.”