The Kenora District Services Board has recently approved their 2018 budget, which includes a substantial increase. The board’s budget will reach roughly $55 million in 2018, up $13 million from 2017.

Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer for the KDSB, spoke about the board’s budget for the new year, and what the increase means for the region.

“We thought 2017 was a tremendous year for us, just in terms of operational changes. 2018 is no exception. We’re seeing our operating budget increased by roughly 32 per cent. What that means for the region, is that we’re planning on delivering over $13 million worth of new or enhanced programs and services,” he said.

One of the things that residents can expect due to the budget increase – is more paramedics in the area. Wall says that more crews will be added this year as the KDSB deals with an increase in demand – particularly due to the reoccurring substance abuse issue in the community.

“We need to better support our EMS land ambulance system. In the City of Kenora in particular, alcohol and substance abuse has a tremendous impact on our EMS resources. We need to move forward and add more paramedics to the community. Part of the plan for 2018 is to add two more crews, so we’ll have three day and three night crews around the clock. That is a response to the increase in demand for service. As a community, we should take this very seriously. We cannot to afford to continue doing this. We cannot just simply accommodate the 8 to 10 per cent increase in 911 calls made every single year here. Things have to change,” he said.

Wall noted that with their expanded budget – they will also be expanding and enhancing social housing, childcare and social supports within the region. Of course, the KDSB will also have a hand in helping to support Kenora’s new emergency shelter, soon to be located at Knox United Church.

For more information:
Knox shelter plan approved

More Local News

Fewer in need this winter, Jubilee

As the Arctic Cold settles in, volunteers at Kenora's inner-city church say they're not as busy. "We are seeing and experiencing fewer people coming in off the streets. Our sidewalks are not as busy…

Fire call on First Street

Tenants in Ziggy's block had to interrupt their dinner plans, as emergency crews responded to the apartment block around 5 p.m., after reports of smoke. Firefighters, ambulance and police arrived at…

Arctic cold doesn't stop progress on Freedom Road

Heavy equipment works on a rock cut along Freedom Road.Saturday's Arctic conditions didn't seem to bother traffic along Freedom Road. Drivers along the link between the Trans-Canada and the man-made…

College, minister react to tuition changes

Management at Confederation College are happy to see the province will maintain operating grants, along with a fund for northern institutions. However, they're waiting to here more about ways to help…

Clear, cold conditions for snowmobilers

If you're choosing to bundle up and hit the trails this weekend, and number of them are groomed and open around Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout. However, the A-trail between Kenora and Dryden is not…

Firefighters respond to 428 calls in 2018

The City of Kenora’s Fire and Emergency Services department has provided a look into their previous quarter, detailed in a report presented to councillors earlier this week. The previous quarter took…

Regulation creates hiring roadblock

Hiring teachers in Northern Ontario is becoming an issue for school boards. Part of the problem is Regulation 274 which outlines the process teachers go through in order to be hired into permanent…

Two charged in cocaine seizure

Two Red Lake residents have been charged with possessing and trafficking cocaine, following a drug bust on Wednesday. The Red Lake OPP say that on January 16, officers from Red Lake and Kenora OPP…

City supports Rideout, Evergreen rinks

The City of Kenora will provide $16,000 to two local community clubs this year. The Rideout and Evergreen Community Clubs will both see $8,000 each, as part of the city’s 2019 community club grant…

Kindergarten Registration Week is set

School boards in Northwestern Ontario have once again teamed up to offer families a Regional Kindergarten Registration Week for 2019. February 25th to March 1st, schools across the region will be… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.