Never-seen-before moment

A quick canvas of members in our newsroom confirmed what we suspected.

Never in their collective memory of covering local council had a meeting ended because the simple act of approving an agenda could not be accomplished. It is something we have not witnessed either – on local council or while serving on provincial and national associations.

At least eight items of business in Centre Wellington that required attention were not addressed when the wheels of local government ground to a complete halt on Monday over a house-keeping motion.

It would seem reasonable that when the next election comes around, voters spend time figuring out who can get along to get business done. These antics need to end – now.

Taxpayers here deserve so much better.

Free-for-all or all for free?

Canadians were finally presented with a federal budget document this week.

After almost two years without a visible game-plan, what many of us feared is now on paper at least. Record deficits will be with us for some time and Canada’s national debt passed the menacing one trillion dollar milestone. Nary an eye blinked.

The pandemic caused governments of all stripes to open up the coffers and borrow to stave off a complete financial meltdown. Whether that stimulus was all needed or when is the right time to cut it off is conjecture at this point. What is without doubt, is that governments of all sizes and households of all means will need to do a whole lot of thinking and soul searching on priorities going forward.

In the early days of the pandemic it was abundantly clear that services for the elderly were lacking and out of date. In recent weeks the strain on emergency rooms and hospitals is stunningly obvious. What we have for systems are clearly not working and require significant evaluation and investment.

For the most part what we see as evident needs, have all but been ignored in this budget. Historic Liberal promises have been re-packaged, re-announced and re-financed over the next several years. How many elections need to pass before promised items like child care, environmental supports and better living conditions for Indigenous peoples come to pass? It just goes on and on.

In this free-for-all access to the treasury, our worst fear remains that the public will get a sense it is all for free. Every program has a price. Canadians will pay dearly in the end.