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Students express concern over Locum Housing Project

Letter to the Editor:
We, as students and residents of Rainy River, are writing this letter with concern in regard to the "Locum Housing Project."
As part of the Rainy River population and community, we believe that this plan to spend of $700,000 on one house for doctors is unreasonable. To put it bluntly, Rainy River has a stagnant economy and not many people come here except tourists or temporary visitors.
To pay $30,000 for a single building lot in Rainy Rover is criminal. Yes we have beautiful scenery and good fishing/hunting areas; however Rainy River lacks major attractions such as a shopping area or quality arts and entertainment. As young consumers, we see, more than anyone, the lack of opportunity and diversion that appeals to many people. That $700,000 plus could revitalize our downtown core.
Building this new house for visiting doctors would do nothing for the town fundamentally. It would cater to a transient population that does not contribute to our tax base. It would make more sense to buy one of the many vacant houses in the Rainy River area fix it up to fulfill these "doctors" higher standard of living."
There are many well known people who are seeking to move elsewhere whose houses would be available for locums. With one of the physicians moving shortly, is their house not "doctor worthy?" Why not use that kind of money for something the town actually needs? Like fixing all the pot-hole filled roads! Beautifying the highway with flowers, like Steinbach has. Use it to help fund youth activities such as OFSAA trips! Create business incentives to bring and keep business in Rainy River! Support and fund a healthy lunch and breakfast program at the high school. Fund another nurse practitioner at the clinic. Use it to build an actual skateboard park or something for the youth to do in this town.
All of these ideas would benefit and make the town more attractive and successful, creating more of a reason for people to visit and live here.
We understand that more physician coverage is required to maintain the ER; however, are we saying that Rainy River, as a town and a population, is not attractive unless you have a three quarter of a million dollar house to live in? The compensation that locums receive should be adequate to draw physicians here for temporary work. This issue should be a call to action for our civic leaders to actually encourage industry to use our unique position and potential to set up long-term, meaningful employment within our town.
Let the beauty and scenic nature in our area, in addition to the sizeable financial compensation that locums receive, be the draw to bring them here. Not a three quarter of a million dollar house of cards!
Concerned Students of Rainy River High School
Saragh Fraser, Lindsay Bourre, Kathryn Clifford &
Lindsey Westover