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Purchase of historic Frost Centre a ‘bright light’ for OPSEU/SEFPO members 

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Toronto – Haliburton’s historic Frost Centre is set for new life and a major lift as OPSEU/SEFPO’s newest member resource and training centre. The union is pleased to announce the purchase of the property, which is steeped in Ontario’s rich history.

OPSEU/SEFPO proudly represents 170,000 front-line public sector workers. The Centre, which has long remained unused, will now serve as a training site for members of the union and their families.

“The property is an absolute gem,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “From training forest rangers in the 1920s to training our members and leaders in the 2020s, this property will serve OPSEU/SEFPO’s hardworking members so that they can continue to support our province, its people and its economy.”

Located on the shores of St. Nora Lake in Haliburton County, the Frost Centre used to be a world-renowned location for forest fire training. More recently, Ontario’s government decided to close its doors permanently.

Union leaders are calling the purchase an incredible gain for Ontario’s public sector workers. OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida says preserving the integrity of the site is of the utmost importance.

“We’ve got a huge opportunity but also a real duty here,” said Almeida. “A duty to preserve the property’s integrity, respect the environment and be good to neighbours working closely with the rural community in Haliburton County.

“We look forward to joining with our community partners to reinvigorate the Frost Centre,” Almeida said. “We know the Centre’s impressive history and its true value, and we’re committed to breathing new life and purpose into this property, to serve our members and the broader community at large.”

OPSEU/SEFPO revealed that the purchase price of $3.2 million was approved earlier this week by the union’s Executive Board. A price tag Almeida calls an absolute bargain.

“We’re excited to move forward,” said Almeida. “This past year has been an uphill battle for so many, but despite COVID-19’s dark shadow, OPSEU/SEFPO has not only withstood the storm, we are growing and our union is stronger than ever.

President Thomas added that support for the union and demand for its services has grown immensely as workers face rising health and safety challenges in their workplaces due to the pandemic.

“The purchase of the Frost Centre helps us serve the growing demand we’re seeing, and support the work of our members,” said Thomas. “It’s a bright light at the end of a brutal year.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931