A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who is in control?

I spotted this at Bruce on the Bruce and thought it worth repeating, particularly the bit about how much control the Province has over our Municipal councils decisions.

People living here and those who live here part time have expectations.

The Province controls the Municipality legislatively. They control the revenue the municipality achieves through MPAC and through transfer payments.

They control new construction and housing through regulation and or the building code produced by NGO’s as well as through legislation the Province introduces.

Engineering standards are set by the Province and the NGO”s by regulation.

If the MOE decides that we need sewers or that our existing infrastructure needs updating they are mandated to do so at their will.

If a group of taxpayers want a street paved or a bridge improved or a new Medical Center built and demand it the city fathers are faced with election issues should they decline the request. Or in the alternative should the majority of Council vote to give it it gets done.

Now if going through the tunnel the Province cuts transfer payments for what ever reason the Municipality is forced to increase the tax base or go broke.

Now if the area wants to attract tourists to the area to develop an economy thus generating more tax revenue, they must make investment into infrastructure according to the parameters set out by the Province or the NGO”s.

Yes the Council has input but they are really driven by the Province who denies that they are responsible for Municipal tax increases.

The problems associated with the demands of locals both part-time and full-time combined with the Provincial direction which is contingent upon who we have elected Provincially really dictate the actions of Council.

Having said that, if you don’t want local tax increases then stop demanding new roads, more services, new medical centers etc.

There is only so much money both from a consumer stand point as well as a government stand point.

To expect all the services that Toronto has in Grey Bruce without the tax base you are dreaming unless you are prepared to continue paying additional dollars to provide those services etc.

Case in point Owen Sound and their rec center. In my opinion we need this like we need a hole in the head but yet they are building it or in the case of TSBP a Medical Center.

It comes down to stupid is as stupid does! You cannot have things both ways. Our elected reps are at the mercy of their masters, that is you and me and the Province. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

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