"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday, 10 March 2017

BITS AND PIECES AND RANDOM THOUGHTS

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "NEVER LEARNED CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN": 

I think most would agree and are fine with the idea of generating revenue via some sort of tax for building transportation infrastructure.The problem is we all know the money is used elsewhere and whatever is used for transportation, it's always mismanaged. It's badly planned with huge cost over runs and can never be maintained at whatever budget they set. We have so called experienced and well educated leaders that we elect that pay huge sums of money to consultants, planners and civil servants that are suppose to take care of these projects, who fail everytime. Unfortunately I see no solutions to all this mismanagement at all levels of government.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 9 March 2017 at 19:52
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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YOU WERE SAYING": 

Maybe not all lie, but most do. And those that don't, cover the truth. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 10 March 2017 at 19:55***
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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "BULLSHIT BAFFLES BRAINS": 

And were is the 4.3 cents a litre carbon tax that the province is taking from us since Jan. 1st going? or is it 4.3/litre? who really knows? I saw Ballard in the media getting accolades for $100 million pledged to combat homelessness, money this province doesn't have because of almost 15yrs of mismanagement. How much of this $100 million will the homeless actually see after everyone gets their cut in studies, consultations, administration and all those who were promised something or another?  

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 11 March 2017 at 13:00*

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Speaking of politicians....lying...educated and experienced .... and being elected.

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Last week , I received a nice commendation from a resident on National Women's Day. Thirty years ago, I was the first woman ever who served as  Mayor in the Town of. Aurora. Before that, I was the first woman Reeve to represent the town on York County Council. 

I always considered being  Mayor of Aurora for two terms and Reeve and multiple terms as Councillor to have been the highest honours a community conveys  upon a citizen. 

I took it on myself to prove a politician can  be straightforward and honest and earn respect. Sometimes I was defeated but In the end, I succeeded more than I lost. At the end, I considered the point proven. 

These days, I almost never leave home still without being approached by someone, usually a young woman who wants me to know I was an inspiration. There can be no greater satisfaction. 

But it was very nice to see the post on Facebook from Rosalyn Gonzales.

Yesterday a piece of different information came my way. 

It seems Provincial Liberals held a dinner to honour specific women in the community.

Our MPP Chris Ballard chose to honor Phyllis Morris as the first woman elected Mayor in Aurora. 

Chris Ballard grew up in King City. He served a term on Aurora Council. Sat two seats away from me at the table. 
Though not  a Councillor,in the previous term, he was appointed chair of the Economic Development Committee by Morris. 

Every time he entered the Council Chamber  or a Committee room   he passed a wall of portraits of every Mayor who ever served Aurora.  

My portrait is there, hardly  to be mistaken for a man. 

Chris Ballard could not have been unaware  Aurora elected a woman Mayor thirty years before 
Morris . 

I spent more than three years at the Council table with Councillor Ballard. 

On occasion we agreed ,on others not.

 I never saw  evidence of outstanding competence, courage or judgement.

Nothing to warrant a meteoric rise to the responsibility of Cabinet Minister .

Signs of being a liar were not obvious either. "


Thursday, 9 March 2017

YOU WERE SAYING

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "BULLSHIT BAFFLES BRAINS": 

Prior to 2004, the provincial gasoline taxes were exclusive to the province. Historically, the tax was to fund the building and maintenance of provincial roads. In 2004 the province decided to allocate a portion of this revenue to municipalities to fund public transit. 

"Somehow, despite being Mayor of Ontario's largest city, he thought it wise to tax commuters to drive on provincial highways within his city." Evelyn, you are wrong on this. The DVP and Gardiner are not provincial highways. They were transferred to Toronto a number of years ago. However, the province still approves the use of tolls as they fall under the Highway Traffic Act. 

"People don't expect government to lie." I have to disagree with that too. I think people do expect that governments will lie. It happens all the time.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 9 March 2017 at 10:02

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I welcome correction.The object is to inform. Not to offend.

Likely at the same time as the DVD and the Gardiner, the province transferred responsibility for maintenance and snow plowing for Highway 11 (Yonge Street) to York Region. It made sense.Particularly  for snow-plowing. Though I couldn't get an answer from town staff at the time, a funding arrangement was probably concurrent. 

Ownership becomes moot in the circumstance. All rights of way are public. Highway 11 still exists and serves the same function it always has. I doubt title was transferred to the city for the DVD and the Gardiner but that matters little. 

Gas tax sharing is not tied to public transit, unless rights of way also means transit. 

What the general public believes or doesn't believe can't  be definitively stated.

 I tend to separate people who participate from those who don't. 

Using election turnout as a measurement ,one could  definitively argue half the public has no interest in government let alone belief in any principles. The education system gives it short shrift. 

Of those  who do vote, many pay little attention until they have a ballot in hand. They judge by what they've read in brochures or advertising. What they see in print, they take as gospel. 

Those  who value rights and freedoms, respect the process and have high expectations. 
They do not expect government to lie to them. 

When I say government, I don't  mean politicians. I mean formal statements from those with authority to make them. 

People who don't lie, don't expect to be lied to.They tend to be unforgiving. 

Ironically, their integrity makes it easy for politicians to be dishonest. 

But there again, one cannot generalize. 

Not all politicians lie. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

BULLSHIT BAFFLES BRAINS

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "NEVER LEARNED CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN": 

16:07
We already have a toll on the provincial highways. It is called the gasoline tax. Do your research on where that money is supposed to go.  

The tolls that Tory and his ilk want to levy have nothing to do about paying for roads. It is all about getting people out of their cars and use public transit. Ask anyone who lives in Aurora but takes their cars to work how well public transit works for them. Sure it is marginally cheaper, but if your office is not anywhere close to a subway line, you are in for a substantial time commitment one way.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 8 March 2017 at 09:

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The gasoline tax is shared with municipalities. it's h-u-u-ge.

John Tory wanted to charge a toll on the DVP and the Gardiner for new revenue to keep Toronto 
property taxes down.  Somehow, despite being Mayor of Ontario's largest city, he thought it wise to tax commuters to  drive on provincial highways within his city. 

The firstbasic principle of taxation is they should be simple easily understandable. 

If the Mayor of the city doesn't understand the melange,it's not clear to me how ordinary residents can be expected to have the hang of it. But principles are long gone. 

When the city was being amalgamated, the big fear was runaway cost. Several  layers of government were being abolished but the worry was how much more it would cost. 

So the province took responsibility for education tax  and uploaded Toronto's housing and social services  budget to surrounding Regions.
 
They said it was because Toronto was providing housing and social services throughout the GTA.

They lied. 

People don't expect government to lie. 

In the last couple of days,discussion has been how the province lowered hydro costs by stretching debt out longer. 

Some think that's not fair. 

There's always more than one way of looking  at a problem. 

But....municipalities were required by the province to privatize Hydro.  

The decrease in charges is welcome. But how is that  provincial business with Hydro  privatized? 

And....If cost of supply is that much higher,what was the advantage of privatizing? 

Some  think it's not fair to stretch out  debt to have several generations pay for infrastructure that  brings power to their homes and businesses .

I do not share that view. 

I do however object to paying taxes to maintain sixty million dollars in reserves to save generations down the line the cost of replacement down the line. 

Auroraalso has a reserve fund to meet the costs of new firefighter contracts. So politicians down the line  won't have to answer for vastlyincreased costs of providing  fire protection. It's called a tax stabilizing fund. 

I will be long gone but still paying for fire protection. 

It's not enough to pay taxes for almost sixty-years for everything I received and much I had no interest in receiving, I am now required by our local financial genius, to pay forward for future salaries of the new class of public service millionaires.  


Monday, 6 March 2017

NEVER LEARNED CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "" HOBSON'S CHOICE"": 

"I see nothing wrong with children,grandchildren and great-grand -children sharing in the cost of Infrastructure to supply their homes and business with electricity. It is and always has been the basic principle of debenture debt for public amenities."

This is a shocking statement, but not a surprise.  

Were you saddled with the debt of your parents or grandparents' era? Do parents not hope that their children will have a better life than they did?  

It is unfair of the government of the day to amortize debt that they created to the point that it will not be paid for until 30 years from now. More than likely neither Wynne or McGuinty will be around to see that debt paid, why should they care? What is more unfair is that she has done this and somehow spun it to tell the residents that she will lower hydro costs now. It is only when you look at the man behind that curtain you see that she is playing a shell game and we are all losers... now, tomorrow and for the next 30 years.

Meanwhile, your great-grandchildren will grow up, go to school, get jobs and then they will buy a house (perhaps if they are lucky). They will get their Hydro bill and on it will be a line "Debt Repayment". They will wonder what that is for and go back into the archives of the internet and read that their great-grandmother had no problem with them paying for the infrastructure that we wanted in the early 2000s.
 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 6 March 2017 at 16:39

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The writer is easily shocked. The comment brings to mind the Monty Python Flying Circus,fish-slapping dance. The little fellow, hopping back and forth, two steps forward,slapping with two little fish, lightly on each side of the big fellow's face and two steps back.The music stops. Then the big fellow hoists a monstrous fish with both hands and knocks the antagonist up the side of his head , off his pins,straight into the harbour. 

I brought it up on U tube to enjoy once again. It's always funny. 

In my first town budget in 1967, I noted an expenditure coupled with Collis Leather. It was a payment for the town sewage treatment plant. 

The payments started in 1954 and  continued for a decade or so more after 1967. 

Collis had treatment at the tannery.Ontario Water Resources Commission decided it was no longer adequate to remove chemicals. New, more proficient treatment had to be provided or the tannery had to stop operating. 

The town and Collis  jointly built a tertiary treatment plant.

Aurora, I learned, was the first town in Ontario  to have indoor plumbing.  

Council colleagues grew up with privies in the backyard.

Debenture debt made the  improvement possible. 

Were there complaints? I don't think so. People had no trouble connecting expenditure to service. 

In time, the facility had to be expanded to service growth. 

Then OWRC intervened again and prohibited further growth. The plant was at capacity. 

Until mid-seventies ,when York Region built  the "Big Trunk"  to take sewage from Aurora and Newmarket to be treated at the Rouge River and dumped into Lake Ontario. 

Residents went from paying a flat rate (less than $10.) for water to separate charges for water and sewers and an unexplained "Miscellaneous"  item,  all of which annually multiply exorbitantly. 

As well, taxes are now collected to pay for culture and entertainment. Parades,food festivals, art exhibits,piano recitals and musical quartets. The town surrendered to a federal institution,a multi-million dollar property needed for our own purpose.

People like the commenter don't know from a privy hole about tax extortion, but excoriate myself for what I don't know about the basic principles of equity in taxation. 

The Province can open another casino or two, launch another lottery, or tack two bits onto every bottle of booze sold in the province to continue largesse for jazz festivals , Halls of Fame and whatever  other 
frivolity that occurs.

Taxes on our homes and business are the solitary source of loot at the municipal level.

And we are burdened with a succession of elected representatives and like-minded residents who don't know the difference. 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

LIFE IS TOUGH

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "POLITICS IS A THANKLESS TASK....YOU THINK": 

19:42

It might be more appropriate to print and comment rather than expunge. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 4 March 2017 at 18:27

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I do that. 

I'm doing it now.

 But here's a thought:  if the person commenting really wants to ensure precise publication of thoughts expressed, the way to do that is publish a blog under their own nomenclature. 

It's the only way I know. 

I've been contributing letters to the editor for years. The last two have not been published. 

I don't even ask why.  Though my name is attached.

It's their decision to make. 

So I am left  to wonder.

But not for long.

 Because I have my blog. 

It's mine and mine alone.

Slamming the door shut on one who can't stop reading even though everything they read is an anathema, is a particular satisfaction. 

They hate it but they can't stay away 

Tough .


Friday, 3 March 2017

" HOBSON'S CHOICE"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "POLITICS IS A THANKLESS TASK....YOU THINK": 

"It was a mistake also to expect a single generation to pay for infrastructure neglected for decades and designed to serve future generations.
There is to be a 25% cut in rates."

But it is okay for this generation and the next 2 to play for the debt. All she has done is lowered the rates now by re-mortgaging the debt. So that debt will be paid over the next 30 years! How much will that cost your grandchildren's grand-children? Think about that! 

The government has not responded positively. They have responded in such a way to buy your vote at the next election and it appears that she has yours now. On the backs of our future.  

This is utter BS from a crooked government trying to hoodwink the public.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 3 March 2017 at 09:07

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I am not a fan of Kathleen Wynne. Anyone in the habit of reading this blog would know that. 

I would have been pleased to supportChristine Elliott had she been chosen leader of the P.Cs.

I  frankly and fulsomely do not appreciate Patrick Brown's method of winning the leadership. He 
gave no thought to  the party's chances. 

Andrea Horvath is a prisoner of organized labour and their stance to save post office jobs in the last election was  not in the general public interest. Times change. When it's called for, public policy has
 to change with the times. 

I see nothing wrong with children,grandchildren and great-grand -children sharing in the cost of 
Infrastructure to supply their homes and business with electricity. It is and always has been the basic principle of debenture debt for public amenities .

The argument thatchildren will be be burdened by taxation is maudlin. They cannot expect to be free of debt any more than past generations. 

Of course my choice  is influenced by decisions made by government. How else would I decide? 

It's not easy to admit mistakes in politics . This week Kathleen Wynne in a single statement admitted to three in hydro decisions. That takes courage.

I like courage. It's a scarce commodity in politics . 

I don't like my intelligence being insulted. 

I have an aversion to being swept along with the crowd. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

POLITICS IS A THANKLESS TASK....YOU THINK

I just watched Premier Wynne on TV acknowledge mistakes made by her own  and previous 
governments  in managing the Ontario Hydro portfolio. It was  a mistake also to expect a single generation to pay for infrastructure neglected for decades and designed to serve future generations.

There is to be a 25% cut in rates. 

It's hard to find fault with the cut even if one was so inclined . I see no reason to pay extortionate charges for hydr to keep cost down for users twenty years down the road. 

It may well be  an afterthought but I find the Premier's reasoning completely fair and sensible. 
Better late than never. 

With thousands of others, I signed a petition demanding the government recognise severe hardship created by huge increases in hydro bills. 

The government has responded positively. 

Criticism for hydro mismanagement is due the government still.

This decision is not part of it. 

Contrived issues are not required. Opposition leaders need to work harder at the job.

Just before Premier Wynn spoke, a news headline informed us a Polish-Euro Rep politician had 
drawn some negative attention to himself by stating women should be paid less because women are less intelligent.

I smiled to myself.