“Now is the Winter of our Discontent”

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I’m sure many have heard or read this line from Shakespeare’s play,

Richard III? They are the opening lines of the play that lay the groundwork for the portrait of Richard, the king, as a discontented man who is unhappy in a world that hates him.

With all that has happened recently in Federal, Provincial and politics south of the border; Shakespeare’s opening line seems to ring truer than ever!  Most recently we’ve been watching the bizarre machinations of a new President, pumping out Executive Orders that come across as mean-spirited making many question how much planning and thought to their consequences, went into them.  A rush job to be able to check them off a checklist?  I’ll let you decide.

Here at home, our Prime Minister has been on a “Goodwill” tour across Canada to shore up his sagging support. He seems to be “hell bent” on implementing a carbon tax. He campaigned on increasing jobs, infrastructure spending and improving middle class Canada.   Haven’t seen any of that yet.   Instead we have seen millions promised to pet projects overseas, and a debt that will grow into the multi billions and future generations will be paying off!  It’s insane!

Here in Ontario, the fiscal situation is even worse. We continue to lose jobs, and we’ve got the highest electricity costs in all of North America. The Province is hemorrhaging with little help in sight. There have been rumblings from the Premier’s office about relief for sky-high electricity, especially for rural Ontarians.  Mayor McFadden met in a meeting with Glenn Thibault, the Energy Minister, at the ROMA Conference in Toronto on Jan 30.  As I understand, the Minister suggested we wait for the budget in the spring to see if any plans for relief are presented?   It hardly sounds promising!  I applaud the Mayor for trying to get some relief now for many Ontario residents who are in desperate straits over their Hydro bills!

I apologize for the rather dismal picture painted. I can offer some good news!

At the provincial level, Minister Jeff Leal announced the reinstatement of the Rural Economic Development program which is good news for the Township.  It will allow the Millbrook Downtown Revitalization Committee to re-apply for funding for the Community Improvement plan to help finance their plans for improving the downtown core.  It is essential for future plans to move forward!

Congratulations to all the staff involved in the Municipal Water Treatment project that just earned an Ontario Works award.  This is the biggest project we have ever undertaken, and it was completed on time and on budget.  A special thanks to our CAO Yvette Hurley and our Public Works Director Wayne Hancock who worked tirelessly to see this project through.

Make sure to register for our Hockey Day in Canada Day by Wednesday, February 15th for the Saturday event.  For more information, call Brigid Ayotte at 705-932-9339.

Look on the bright side: only 7 more Fridays till Spring!!

The Council Column by Tim Belch

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One Response to “Now is the Winter of our Discontent”

  1. Mary Preston says:

    While I appreciate the update on council activity – and the hard work involved in dealing with multiple levels of government and legislation, I would prefer that our local politicians refrain from touting their partisan viewpoints and politics under the umbrella of the council column. Partisan politics should be published in opinion pieces vs. broadcast in township communication vehicles. This article was tagged as “Council Column.”
    We are indeed “hell bent” on this planet Mr. Belch – I’m not sure a carbon tax is the right path to our “salvation”…but we have to do something – fast – regardless of our political affiliations. Unlike our neighbours to the south of us, let’s work together in nonpartisan collaboration and base our decisions on facts and science vs. political talking points and digs at the “opposition” to ensure we have a planet to leave our grandchildren.

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