The City of Kenora has seen the outpouring of support from the community regarding the elimination of the Recreation Centre’s Fitness Consultant, Heidi Smith. However, the city is stressing that the decision to eliminate the position did not come easily.

A fitness consultant is responsible for promoting and selling memberships to potential new members, as well as assisting gym members and clientele with training and equipment. The position was cut following the unveiling of the city’s 2019 budget, in an effort to control costs and lower tax requirements on ratepayers.

“The 2019 budget season is one of the most challenging that the city has seen since the mid-2000's,” said the community services manager for the City of Kenora, Stace Gander. “The result was a draft budget that was delivered to Council that still reflected a significant tax levy increase.”

“Senior staff met on a number of occasions to look at the budget to determine if any changes could be made to lower the tax impact to our residents without impacting city service levels. Council closely reviewed these options very carefully and had to make some difficult decisions. One of these decisions was to eliminate the Fitness Consultant position,” he added.

An anonymous petition was created shortly after the announcement. By Monday evening, the online petition had the support of 525 people.

“Heidi Smith has filled the position for many years and helped not only dedicated clients but also random recreation centre members who would stop her and ask advice,” the petition states.

“The fitness consultant position is a good use of our tax dollars, and Heidi should not have been canned. With gym memberships becoming increasingly more expensive, money should not be an issue,” the petition continued.

The city says the rec centre will continue to offer fitness services, and all group classes will proceed on a monthly basis. During this transition, staff are creating a list of personal trainers that can offer services at the facility. Customers holding personal training passes will be provided with a full refund.

More Local News

Alberta convoy reaches Kenora

A convoy of trucks and big rigs is making its way from Alberta to Ottawa. Glenn Carrit explains what it's all about. "We need to get our oil and gas industry back in order. We've got to get our…

Business beginnings at Valleyview

Carole McLuckie is a kindergarten teacher at Valleyview, and her students have been learning the basics of entrepreneurship over the last few days. "It's a week-long program where they come in, and…

When and how to report road maintenance issues in Kenora

When should residents call the city to report road maintenance issues? Kenora residents are asked to wait at least 72 hours following a snowfall to report on road maintenance. Maintenance Standards…

Successful launch for emergency shelter

It’s now been just over two weeks since the opening of Kenora’s long-awaited permanent emergency shelter and service hub, located inside the Knox United Church. Officials will the Kenora District…

Health unit offers shovelling safety tips

With a number of recent snowfalls in the region, the Northwestern Health Unit is working to keep the public safe while shovelling. Shovelling risks include damage to your heart, back, wrists, and…

Health reforms for Grand Council Treaty #3

Representation from Grand Council Treaty #3 has met with representatives of Ontario’s Premier’s Council, to provide input and recommendations to improve health-care in the region. The parties met in…

Woman recovering from possible wolf attack

The OPP is investigating an alleged wolf attack in the Red Lake area, and a woman is currently recovering from her injuries. The incident took place in Cochenour. Police say that on February 7, at 7…

Task force in the works to help tackle needles in Kenora

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) has released an Evaluation Summary Report following the Information Session held in November regarding the Harm Reduction Program. The goal of the information…

Letters offering water and sewer service line insurance not a scam

Kenora residents are advised that letters recieved from Service Line Warranties of Canada are not scam letters. The program offers optional water and sewer service line insurance, and is in…

Police seeking witnesses to fatal collision

The Kenora OPP is asking for the public’s help with an investigation into Monday’s fatal collision on Highway 17. Any witnesses, or those with information relating to the crash, are asked to contact…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login