Although the brakes were put on last week when Centre Wellington council failed to pass a motion supporting the new hospice project at Wellington Place, all is not lost.
The hiccup at that recent meeting will be fixed (we suspect) at the next council meeting. A motion to reconsider will be required and this desperately-needed venue for end-of-life care will get back on track. We have faith this mistake will be corrected.
For residents here though, this is yet another example of a political culture that simply needs to be replaced this fall. The fractious nature of council and the split votes with seeming regularity may provide some theatre for the chattering class, but it is not healthy if local government is to be effective.
The absence of qualified, thorough discussion does not lead to great decisions, nor does it help in engendering goodwill when the next contentious issue arises. We hazard to guess a little more time discussing the issue would have resulted in the correct decision being made that night.
Instead, the galvanized positions of individual councillors shone through once more. Adding to the mix this time were religious sentiments that conflicted more than one councillor’s attitude on the subject.
The municipality has no jurisdiction in the MAID (medical assistance in dying) conversation since it is legal in Canada. This is not something new and we can think of many examples locally of people who have chosen this option to end their incredible suffering. That very personal choice is only granted to those capable of making decisions in consultation with their doctor.
For those on council seeking feedback from ratepayers at the 11th hour – be reminded that the gift from the County of Wellington to get the project started happened at the end of May. Surely six weeks offered enough time to seek clarity, get a sense of ratepayer concerns, if any, and to be prepared when this request for municipal support hit the council table.
Regardless of these twists and turns, there is redemption in most things. Now is the time to move forward together and make this hospice plan reality.
Food for thought
We note the bathroom plan for Hoffer Park in Elora raised a bit of a stink last week.
It begs the question: if grant money was not available, would the project be pursued?
The grant culture in Canada – and every level of government participates in shuffling funds to this group or that one – really needs to change.
Along with the initial cost to taxpayers, we see it as pure folly wherein councils and groups chase the money, rejig their priorities (ie. – legitimate local infrastructure like roads and bridges) to pursue projects that are in the end “nice to haves” but not “critical needs.”