I was just as frustrated as most people in our City were when I learned of the removal of the holiday decorations from the front lawns of the Courthouse property.
I was even more frustrated by the suggestion that future tree lighting ceremonies were in jeopardy. I immediately took steps to swiftly resolve this matter after being made aware of it. On the evening of Friday November 29th I contacted the Deputy CAO of the City of Sault Ste. Marie Public Works department.
I was able to confirm in that call that provided I was able to obtain a direction from our Province’s Attorney General, Doug Downey that the decorations could be returned to the Courthouse property, that the City would be prepared to immediately return the decorations, including the Santa Claus Sleigh, Candy Canes, Presents and Snowflakes to the Courthouse property, as it had been during this years Santa Claus parade.
I immediately contacted Attorney General Downey and had frequent conversations with him throughout the weekend. He agreed to look into the matter and assist in order to have the decorations returned to our Courthouse, not only for this year but for future years to come. I also had several conversations thereafter with our Deputy Attorney General, Paul Boniferro, to bring this matter to a conclusion. I am pleased to announce that after several weekend calls, I was successful in resolving this unfortunate confusion.
I received the following email Sunday afternoon confirming this from the Deputy Attorney General, Paul Boniferro. “Minister, further to our call we have looked into the removal of the decorations from the front of the Sault Ste. Marie courthouse. I can confirm that the Ministry will facilitate the return of the decorations should the City wish to return them. The tree with the decorations (if they are returned) will remain lit for the duration of the holiday season this year and in future years, and the Ministry will continue to work closely with its partners at the court and the city to prevent any similar incidents going forward.”
I trust this will provide clarity not only for this year, but for future years as well. I want everyone to rest assured that the Courthouse will continue to be a place for future Holiday tree lighting ceremonies and decorations and a gathering place for our City to be proud of for many years to come. Happy Holidays to everyone!!!
Sault Ste. Marie MPP