COLUMN: Focus on the important things

SOUTH DUNDAS — Thank goodness for common sense around the council table in Cornwall. Council voted to support a moment of personal reflection instead of the three deep breaths proposed by City Clerk, Helen Finn. This yoga-inspired notion would make Cornwall a mockery of the municipal governance model. One other option is to just start the meeting with the agenda at hand. This works in municipalities like South Dundas, no reason why it couldn’t work in Cornwall.

With the important issues dealt with for the night, city council decided to go with finding the money for an arts center report, and to go with an Integrity Commissioner. Neither of these were in the budget, but that does not matter in Cornwall. Maybe there’s a big couch somewhere that has the combined $80,000 in loose change they can raid for these two whims of the progressives on council.

Not that there is a problem with a report on an arts center, but the time to decide this notion was during the budget season, not three-to-four months later.

As for the Integrity Commissioner, perhaps it is the old school thinking of this writer but the ultimate decider of integrity of elected officials is the ballot box, not some highly-paid official. The IC worked out so well for South Stormont during the last term of their council, it should provide much copy for news outlets in the area for this term of council.

Hydro One

Hydro One is a mess. What do you do in Ontario when you have a government agency that is a mess? Re-elect the Ontario Liberals of course. Ornge (buy a vowel) Air Ambulance, gas plant cancellations, eHealth, the $309 million for MaRS’ building in downtown Toronto, “Green” energy and now, Hydro One. Is there a program, agency or department that the McWynnety Liberals can’t run into the ground? Don’t answer that.

Land Claims deal for MCA

Good for the federal government and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) on coming to terms for settling the land claim in this area. Hopefully the vote will be approved and this chapter of land claims can be closed. This is one of the cases where proper legal procedure was not followed in the past, and now a wrong is being made right.

Only in South Dundas

Only in South Dundas could you land a piece of real estate on a major road for $7,500. As reported in Cornwall Newswatch last week, the municipality sold a property that had been advertised in the past, for $7,500, because someone made a casual offer. Great for the buyer, not so good for the municipality. The municipality has quite a few properties for sale, but you would never know it. Rarely are there signs up showing what property is for sale. Rarely are there listings on the South Dundas web site (when it functions correctly) and when you do contact the municipality about a property for sale, no one knows what the price is. It can take days for staff to get back to about property details. When it comes to marketing property for sale, South Dundas is the best example of what not to do to be successful.

Federal NDP a viable choice to Liberals

Thomas Mulcair is leading the federal NDP into a very close horse race between the NDP, the Liberals and the Conservatives for this fall’s general election. He is taking up the firm, but mostly positive mantra of his predecessor, Jack Layton. While the progressive-bent of the NDP may not bode well in rural ridings like Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, in more urban areas, in Quebec, and even places like Alberta, they are becoming the viable alternative to the Liberals.

Hopefully it stays this way. Having two clear options, left (NDP) and right (Conservative) would be nice, as opposed to the politics of feeling or “mushy middle” that the Trudeau Liberals have offered so far. The Liberals have only been out of power for nine-and-a-half years.

After having governed the country 80 per cent of the 20th century, they can wait a little longer before they get their chance again.


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