LETTER: Suggesting Schumacher's 4th Ave. be renamed after NHL legend 

Suggesting Schumacher’s 4th Ave. be renamed after NHL legend 


I called the mayor’s office two months ago suggesting Fourth Avenue in Schumacher be renamed Mahovlich Way.

The mayor’s secretary replied she would bring it to the attention of the mayor by email.

When I received no response, I called the mayor’s office again to inquire about the situation.

The mayor’s secretary responded by telling me that perhaps it wasn’t a high priority.

I brought it to the attention of Ward 3 Coun. Joe Campbell.

He told me the idea had been discussed before.

He said names like Dean Prentice, who started with the New York Rangers and played 22 seasons when the National Hockey League was comprised of six teams, had also been suggested.

Another name mentioned was Eric Vail who won the NHL’s rookie of the year award when he played for the Atlanta Flames.

Frank Boucher’s name was also discussed. Mr. Boucher was a long-time council member for the Township of Tisdale

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Also Miro Guacci, a lifetime employee of the McIntyre Community Building, was thrown into the mix.

All of these names deserve consideration for the renaming of the street.

While it seems the renaming of Fourth Avenue died, I would like to resurrect it because when I talked to several Fourth Avenue residents, they all thought it was an excellent idea.

Fourth Avenue should be renamed Mahovlich Way because of the following reasons:

• He was born here;

• He was named rookie of the year with the Toronto Maple Leafs;

• He scored more than 500 goals in the NHL;

• He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame; and

• He is a former Canadian senator.

I suggest that Mayor George Pirie contact Frank and tell him of this idea.

We could also have a dinner in Frank’s honour and invite the general public.

It would be icing on the cake for a brilliant career.

Alphonse S. Fournier,


Near North teachers feeling expendable

The government’s announcement to open schools across Northern Ontario while keeping the entire province in lockdown has provided a wonderfully fulfilling and unique perspective to this local northern president.

The majority of my ETFO Near North Teachers’ Local (NNTL) members were fully prepared and welcoming of the prospect of returning to the physical classroom on Jan. 11. What they were not prepared for was the government’s announcement that schools would be reopening on Jan. 11, while our region remains part of a complete provincial lockdown, and the prospect of curfews being contemplated and likely implemented.

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Allowing schools to operate at full capacity during this continued province-wide lockdown defies logic. Beyond the critical health and safety concerns, there is also poor and unreliable Internet connectivity to support remote learning. This is an ongoing challenge and frustration for students, educators and families.

With the number of COVID-19 cases soaring both locally and throughout the province, NNTL members have expressed bewilderment and a feeling of expendability. Why don’t they matter as much as their colleagues and students in Southern Ontario?

To further exacerbate the situation, the Near North District School Board office will be closed and our Child Development Associate has been instructed to work from home and use teletherapy to interact with students. Again, why is working remotely an option for some and not all board staff?

Classroom teachers will once again work in compromised environments, especially those who support students from kindergarten to Grade 3 as local health units have determined they don’t need to wear masks.

In the North, we realize we don’t carry much political clout. The majority of electoral ridings are held by Liberals or the NDP and, even then, the number of ridings are too few to have a serious impact on determining the outcome of a provincial election. Size, geography and distance from Queen’s Park further our sense of isolation. Even in non-pandemic times, protesting at Queen’s Park is not a viable option for many.

The government’s decision to open schools in the North has left our members feeling they are expendable and that we have no recourse.

I do not believe there are any immediate solutions to the issues our Northern teachers and education workers are currently facing other than to state that this pandemic clearly illustrates the unique challenges those in the North must endure.

Rob Hammond, president

ETFO Near North Teachers’ Local

North Bay

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