Letters to the Editor:
Response to warming shelter letters
It is not the practice of the Chamber of Commerce to formally respond to posts, tweets, or opinion pieces, preferring instead to work cooperatively with the town and local businesses to promote the growth and prosperity of Sioux Lookout. However, we feel two recent letters to the editor merit some response, as both letters name the Chamber directly. The mission of the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce is “to work as an active group of businesses and professional people contributing to the economic, social, and cultural development of Sioux Lookout and area. We promote the growth of a progressive and sustainable economy through cooperative governance, strategic partnerships, and the support of local business community.” The Chamber of Commerce has a member who attends meetings concerning the warming shelter for information gathering purposes. It was our understanding that the Kenora District Service Board would implement the Good Neighbour Approach and contact the surrounding businesses about the temporary opening of the warming shelter. Unfortunately, this did not take place and the Chamber will strive to do better with respect to this in the future.
In Sioux Lookout, we like to say that we are unique in many aspects. However, with respect to social issues like homelessness and vagrancy, we are one of many towns and cities to face this issue. Across our country, towns and cities struggle to come up with effective solutions to mitigate these issues, some succeed, some are continued and improved upon, while others fail and are abandoned in favour of a new approach.
We see our role, as working to lobby the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, on behalf of our members, for things we believe will promote the prosperity of Sioux Lookout. Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. and are open to all members and the public, should they wish to make their concerns known about any issue, and want to work with us, in an attempt to find solutions.
We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the people and organizations who dedicate themselves to being part of the solution, working to make our town the one everyone fondly reminisces about, the better, brighter version of itself. The Chamber’s slogan is “It takes two, the chamber and you” because it is not possible for one person, or even one organization to remedy these issues on their own. We hope everyone reading these letters recognizes them as calls to action inviting more public participation in devising solutions to nearly insurmountable problems. We urge you to join an organization, participate in a committee, or find a way to contribute to the continued improvement of Sioux Lookout.
Katie Positano – President, and The Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors