"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

Monday, 6 March 2017


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


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. 


Anonymous said...

The province could introduce a toll on all provincial highways - let the user pay!

This would soon turn the deficit into a surplus.

And would get all the whiners to shut-up.

Anonymous said...

"... straight into the harbour."

Actually, it was Teddington Lock.

Anonymous said...

With the Liberals in power, we will never see a surplus. They'll create some BS dollar figure of how much tolls can bring in, then have it spent before the first toll camera gets installed. They'll take that money and talk about how they will be "investing" in some BS cultural program that will benefit all, and improve our quality of life. Oh...and sorry about your chemo treatment, we ran out of the drug.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

I am the writer of the original post you quoted here. To rebut if I may.

"The writer is easily shocked." - Not really. I am shocked that you have no problem with your offspring's offspring having to pay for debt incurred by Kathleen Wynne under the guise of reducing hydro rates. I thought that you were more caring.

"Were there complaints? I don't think so. People had no trouble connecting expenditure to service." - I would also say that I have no trouble connecting expenditure to service. However, in this case, there is no service. In fact, it is a dis-service. It is clearly the buying of votes.

I routinely get letters from Powerstream comparing my hydro usage with my neighbours. I am always near the top of usage according to them. I would suggest that my neighbours are getting a similar letter with a similar statement. What I fail to see in this is exercise is why do they do it? I don't get letters from any other company that I pay for goods or services telling me that I use too much and I should cut back. It is weird.

Anonymous said...


Every vehicle that uses gas or diesel pays a provincial fuel tax. It also pays a federal tax.

A lot of vehicles operating in Ontario do not use a provincial highway and therefore would not have the burden of a toll. Yet these highways have to be constructed and maintained and I would venture to say that a significant portion of their use comes from commercial carriers, the lifeblood of our economy. Would it not make sense for these to pay a toll? And you will reply that will only get added to the cost of the goods that they transport. Correct. So do you want to do without your groceries or your appliances or the bricks for your new home? I doubt it.

Government budgets, at all three levels are somewhat corrupt, inaccurate at best. And do governments properly account for revenue and expenditure? I think not, but we never know the truth.

Your argument that tolls would do nothing other than force people into public transportation is nothing short of stupid. Our public transportation system in the GTA sucks, BIG TIME. It can't replace cars despite the horrendous traffic and time waste generated by each vehicle for its driver and/or passengers. The Scarborough subway, with one station, was budgeted at around $2.5 billion, is as yet unbuilt, and the latest estimate that I saw exceeds $5 billion.

The people who plan and design public transportation should have to hitch-hike to get around. They are completely incompetent and spend time as if there would be no tomorrow and money as if you had a printing press in your living room.

Why is it that in western Europe, just to name one area, public transportation works and works darn well?

Next time put a little more thought into what you write.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Your calling me (or my comments) stupid is insulting in a place where we are exercising opinion. However, you have thrown down the gauntlet so I will give it a go.

My argument about tolls is that it would force people to public transit is incorrect. You are a bit out of your element here. John Tory... and those that agree with him feel that putting tolls on roads would force people to public transit. I - believe it or not - agree with you. That would only work if our public transit systems could actually get you from point A to B in a realistic time for a realistic cost. The GTA public transit systems are fine if you travel strictly north-south or east-west. If you have to travel diagonally, you are screwed.

Why is it in Western Europe public transit works so well? Have you been there? Or are you still living in your parents' basement? It is quite clear. They are hugely compressed into a small area. Cars are small. Roads are narrow. And the use of trains is embraced and promoted. North America was built on the car and the ability to travel in a car. But it goes back further. The towns and cities are built to allow people to live in the same area where they work. So, travel is not a huge endeavour.

And finally, your last statement.... you are a rude little man. Next time why don't you put a little thought into what you write and not hit the "Publish your comment" button. It would save us all a minute or two if drivel.

Anonymous said...


I love comment and opinion when it is sensible but not when it is ignorant.

I do not live in a basement, neither that of my parents nor anyone else.

I have travelled extensively through western Europe and have lived there for almost five years, in various cities, including national capitals.

While Europe may be smaller scale its cities are more densely populated and people are able to move around using extensive and efficient public transit systems.

I would direct you to the route map of the London subway system so that you can observe, even your little mind, what man is capable of when he sets himself to do something with proper planning and financing.

Toronto's planners and politicians are about as intelligent as gnats when it comes to moving people and goods by road or rail.

What are your qualifications and experience that allows you to prattle on?

Anonymous said...

I am at a loss to figure out why you are arguing with me, you are saying the same thing as me. Maybe you can't comprehend what I am writing?

The London transit system (not just the underground but all facets of it) is an excellent example of how an urban transit system should function. First of all, you can take a tube from Heathrow to the heart of London for less than 5 pounds (that was the rate two years ago when I was there anyways). Multiple lines intersecting a multiple points allow people to travel all of the city. On top of that, you have the overground lines and very soon the cross-city line.

Now to be fair, the London Underground began operations over 150 years ago. They have a bit of a headstart. TTC's Yonge-University line opened in 1954.

We have multiple municipal systems - heck we have two in York alone. We can't get the biggest system to fully adopt a universal payment card. We can't get to where we want to go. It is crazy. Creating tolls to get people out of their cars is not going to do it.

So, I may prattle on. But I think if you actually read what was written, you may find we are on the same page.