All it takes is a motion

It’s funny. The democratic system Canadians choose to love or hate, boils down to one simple premise. To get something started, all it takes is a motion.

Such was the case for Erin officials and residents lately, who attended the joint committee in charge of looking after land ambulances for Guelph and Wellington County.

After months of back and forth dialogue, Puslinch Township Mayor Whitcombe, a seasoned veteran of municipal politics, did what needed to be done. His motion, which was amended and then ultimately approved, was to have a new ambulance for Erin become part of the 2010 budget discussions.

For those who like immediate action that could be viewed as a stall, but it is the natural course of events any time a change in programming is being sought. That it has taken this long is lamentable, but the wheels of government often move slowly.

From this date on, pressure will be required on the City of Guelph to be comfortable in incorporating increased costs in its budget so that an underserviced area can reach an agreeable standard of care for ambulance service.

Secondly, the town of Erin itself will need to show a commitment to its own community in the form of fire hall plans that include access for ambulance providers. Once confirmed, the city council would be hard pressed to argue the town has not done its share to make emergency services as effective as they can be.

Thirdly, county council will need to back up its municipal partner when the city hems and haws about increasing costs associated with actually providing a first rate service well outside the city’s physical boundaries.

In recent years we understand the relationship between the city and county has become terribly strained. It would be a shame if those misgivings spilled over into a health care service and what seems to be a very reasonable request on the part of Erin residents.