Politics

Federal, provincial and municipal

Recent Posts

Health service integration needs to be led by local organizations

Coming off of a spate of imposed reviews led by the Central East Local Integrated Health Network (LHIN) over the past few years, the Northumberland Hills Hospital is currently in the midst of its strategic planning process, having consulted with more than 450 stakeholders. In a recent interview, board chairman Jack Russell and Chief Executive Officer Linda Davis agree the strategic plan is a logical next step. The smidgen of a budget surplus announced in early March is unquestionably a highpoint and bodes well for the future. So, where are the dark clouds? A couple of things jump to mind. Continue Reading →

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Inching toward regional government in Northumberland

Regional government is a dirty term for some in Northumberland County. There are municipal politicians, along with some residents, who spit after saying it, as if to cleanse their mouths of the foul phrase. At this time of year when the levy arrives, taxpayers are reminded of the multiple levels they must pay because of the two-tier system with its deep historic roots. The once proud United Counties of Northumberland-Durham existed from 1850 until 1974, when the west end of the county was sliced off to form a regional municipality stretching from Scarborough to Bowmanville. The current boundaries of Northumberland County were left behind. Continue Reading →

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Empty property tax rebate hurting municipal coffers and must end

It is time to end local tax rebates to empty commercial vacant properties. Port Hope is the latest municipalities to join a growing list of angry politicians wanting to end the provincial giveaway to business property owners. Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson spearheaded a motion recently to remove the section of the Municipal Act allowing commercial and industrial property owners to claim a tax rebate between 30 to 35 percent. The intent of the Vacancy Rebate Program, as the province officially calls it, was meant to give relief to owners when property was empty for an extended period. The idea was to give a helping hand temporarily while a new tenant could be found. Continue Reading →

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Government a public service, not a business

Government should be run like a business. This well-worn adage is about to be put to the ultimate test. As Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States late last week, the businessman/entertainer displayed the attributes of the penultimate entrepreneur. His inaugural address drenched in populist rhetoric and overhyped goals sounded more like an employer talking to his employees than a president getting ready to take office. The most blatant example was the contrast between the inaugural speech and the signing ceremony in the National Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill. Continue Reading →

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