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Fort Frances puts a hold on civil marriages

By Randy Thoms Nov 28, 2023 | 4:46 PM

Jessica Powell

Fort Frances is walking away from the alter but only temporarily.

The town is holding off on performing civil marriage ceremonies.

Town clerk Gabrielle Lecuyer says they need to do some further research into the cost of providing the service in the future.

“Currently, the fee structure that is highlighted within the fees bylaw is not necessarily reflecting appropriately in terms of what the fees the municipality is collecting and what the fees the officiants are collecting. We want to clear that up right away,” says Lecuyer.

Initially, new charges were proposed that include additional administration fees, a cost when the town is asked to provide witnesses, and an hourly rate when staff perform the marriage ceremony away from the Civic Centre.
The service has been available since 2007.

But Lecuyer says a policy around its provision was never put in place.

“We have a bylaw that says we will establish the level of service, but we don’t have a policy to say how this is going to roll out. So we do want to clarify that.”

Couples who have already booked their marriage with the town will proceed as scheduled.

Any new requests will be directed to private individuals eligible to perform civil marriages.

Lecuyer says if their schedules get full, the town will step in to assist.

No timetable was given for how long a review of the town’s service will take.