"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

Tuesday 10 March 2020


The immediate response to my last post was so slight, I got discouraged. I monopolized Anna Lozyk Romano’s blog instead. I know Anna doesn't mind. Still it doesn’t seem right.Yesterday I re-checked the stats on my blog and discovered on one March day, 69 people had read the post. I realize my blog has a limited audience at the best of times. It would seem sensible not to be overly concerned about immediate stats.

I don’t write with a view to make money though I don’t think that would necessarily be a bad thing.
But I do have this compulsion to spill the beans about what I know to be true. Anna has the same feeling that her blog is not widely read, yet I depend on it to keep me informed. I suspect the spike in my readership on that day in March may have been regional reps. Well that’s a good thing. They may collectively decide what I have to say is not worth noting. But they can’t be sure.

I read of the policy to invoice at-fault drivers for emergency calls to collisions on Anna’s post.
Nowhere else was there any discussion. Not at Aurora Council and apparently not in Newmarket either according to Mayor John Taylor.

Apparently the only question in Aurora was “Why did it take so long?”

My immediate reaction was ....why now?

How much revenue will it generate? How much will it cost to administer? Will it reduce the budget? If not, why not? What are they planning to do with the extra money? Buy more gold braid for the Chief’s uniform? Why is he wearing a uniform? Why are any of them provided with a uniform? They don't fight fires or respond to emergency calls in uniform?

But the most significant question of all: if it’s right and proper to charge an at-fault driver for the emergency call to a collision...why is it not also appropriate to invoice a person responsible for a fire in their home for the fire department to fight the fire?

If a person falls asleep with a lit cigarette in his hand, or leaves a pot of oil over a flame on the stove, or overloads a circuit, or messes with wiring, or if a landlord fails to maintain wiring in a safe condition...are they not all similarly at-fault the cause of fires. Should the person responsible not be similarly invoiced for the cost of fighting the fire?

Why should the taxpayer subsidize the cost?

With all the people sitting around the council table...elected to represent the taxpayers ...were none of these questions asked and answered? What do they think they’re there for? Why do we pay them? Are they just figures in the crowd scene? Backdrop to the play?

If a sewer pipe collapses, the town repairs it. But the property owner pays what it costs for that part of the repair on their property.

If a private property abuts a public property, the town will pay half the cost of a fence but it must be built to the town’s standard.

If I took the time I could probably come up with other examples of non-subsidization. But enough is enough. Towing is a private service. Companies compete. If municipalities invoice the cost of emergency measures, what law gives them a monopoly in the emergency business?

Contracting out public services to avoid providing employees with benefits is now the prevailing method of cost-saving in the public sector. If senior’s housing and senior’s care and child care can be farmed out by the Region to save, why not fire protection and emergency calls.

I’m not just asking.

I want answers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Great question! Great post.