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Province is leaving a bad first impression for tourists

Editor's Note: This is an open letter written by the local Chamber of Commerce to Ontario Minister of Tourism Michael Chan.

Dear Minister Chan,
It is with extreme disappointment that we have learned of the closing of several Tourism offices throughout Northwestern Ontario including ours located here in Rainy River as put forth in the 2012 budget.
The decision to close these centers without any consultation from the residents of the North only reinforces the fact that the government of this province is totally dislocated from and does not understand the needs and necessities of the North.
We here in the North understand more than most the need to balance budgets and deficit reduction but to remove an essential part of our economic development by closing our information centres sends us the message that we no longer matter.
One must question the rationale behind your choosing which centers to close, the centres you have chosen are deeply needed since many arriving in this area do not have the luxury of internet access, yet to have centers such as the ones in downtown Toronto and Windsor remain open with so many more tools available to them there, through private enterprises. seems void of any sense.
The Low cost operation here in Rainy River serves as an important first impression to visitors from Minnesota, Manitoba and all points west and south. Without it the first icon they will see is a boarded up building. Not much of a first impression for a tourism driven area.
If this government continues with its cuts to the North soon there will be nothing but ghost towns here as a greeting.
The Rainy River district Chamber of Commerce urges you to reconsider closing our centres and allow us here to continue to welcome our visiting friends in a proper and informational manner so they will enjoy their vacationing stay to the best that we can provide for them.
Richard Trenchard,
Rainy River and District Chamber of Commerce