Consider This Northumberland

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Fire service review, budget priorities and more from Hamilton Township Mayor Bill Cane

A $95,000 study of local fire service across Northumberland is underway, says Hamilton Township Mayor Bill Cane. There are 17 fire stations across the county, costing each municipality about $1 million to $1.5 million annually. With the provincial government anxious to cut costs at the municipal level, this is an important effort towards greater efficiency, Cane said. He also addresses Northumberland County council’s response to the concern of neighbours living near Transition House, the opioid epidemic and the rise of grow-ops in rural municipalities. Like all the municipalities within Northumberland, Hamilton Township faces many of the same issues: balancing budgets, providing critical services like fire and police protection. Continue Reading →

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Walmart gets more than $648,000 in total tax reimbursements, says town treasurer

Three separate local bodies will contribute more than $648,000 in tax reimbursements to Walmart after it won a major decision regarding a property reassessment announced in January. In an interview on Feb. 14, Cobourg Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin said Walmart received a tax break following an appeal to a provincial tribunal, costing the town $225,000 in its 2020 budget. The amount is about one per cent of the total budget, she said, adding it sent her back to find cuts to meet her target of a 1.9 per cent overall increase. Under the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), it is possible to appeal the value of the property, both residential and commercial. Continue Reading →

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Revelation about Walmart tax break sends Cobourg budget chief scrambling

The municipal budget is boring. That is until you get your tax bill. Then, suddenly, it hits home. No matter if you are a senior on a fixed income trying to stay in your home or a recent addition to the community who just bought a house, seeing those property taxes is a sober lesson in how vital it is to pay attention to the local municipal budget. First, Seguin explains how a decision by a property tax tribunal in favour of Walmart cost the town $475,000 and sent her scrambling to find savings in the budget to ensure the overall tax increase did not exceed the 1.9 per cent target she promised. Continue Reading →

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Cramahe citizen activist talks about zoning for cannabis, grow ops, muslim cemeteries and more

The Cramahe Community Association is not exactly a high profile citizen’s group. Yet for many years, Gritt Koehl and her husband, Ernie, have attended council meetings, written letters, organized residents and lobbied hard in an effort to hold politicians in her area to account. But don’t let the name of the group fool you. Gritt is not just active in Crahame Township, but also does her activist work in Alnwick-Haldimand and Brighton, as her website attests. In this interview, we talk about some of the pressing issues she and others are working on within East Northumberland. Continue Reading →

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MPP Piccini shares views on teachers strike, plant closure, and upcoming budget

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini speaks candidly about his position on the ongoing labour dispute between teachers and the government. He addresses the union’s concerns, giving his stance on class sizes, e-learning, and compensation. He shares his conversations with parents and those on the picket lines. But, this is not all. He talks about the closure of Weston Foods, the opioid epidemic, community safety, and the upcoming provincial budget, plus an update on a host of other items.

Originally aired: Feb. Continue Reading →

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Wearing two hats, Sanderson addresses Port Hope concerns and county issues head on

It does not take Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson to make his mark. At the first meeting of the Northumberland County council as warden recently, he and the rest of the council put the brakes on the 2020 budget, saying there was insufficient time to review all the items in order to make a good decision. But he also comes to the job at a time when there are many pressing issues. He addresses the concerns from neighbours of Transition House, along with talking about the opioid epidemic. From reaching a deal with Southbridge over the future of the old hospital in Port Hope to a debate over backyard hens, the past year for Port Hope council was wide and varied. Continue Reading →

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Town doing everything it can to respond to closing plant, says mayor

From Hometown Hockey rocking the harbour to finalizing budgets, it was a busy few weeks as 2020 began. However, the past year has been filled with successes and challenges. New developments, passing a cultural master plan to deciding the future of the east pier are only some of the accomplishments for Cobourg council in the past year. It was also when the opioid epidemic reached new heights, homelessness became more apparent, a controversy emerged in the neighbourhood surrounding the county’s only emergency shelter located in the downtown. This podcast is part of my series of conversations with local politicians. Continue Reading →

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Getting ready to announce support for party leadership; Conservative rookie MP Lawrence busy guy

Local Rookie MP Philip Lawrence busy guy during first weeks in House, at home, and in riding. Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Philip Lawrence is on the cusp of announcing who he will support in the upcoming leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada. While he speaks well of each candidate, he has two with whom he has a special relationship: Erin O’Toole, the MP from Durham, and former MP Peter McKay. MacKay inspired Lawrence as a kid to become involved in politics. In this interview, Lawrence shares his own views on what he is looking for in the next leader of his party. Continue Reading →

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Cramahe mayor vows to take on illegal cannabis grow-ops in township

Cramahe Township is a busy place. With its first major subdivision underway, new additions to municipal staff, and some tensions surrounding cannabis operations, the council has plenty on its plate. That does not include, its 2020 budget, a new strategic plan for the Chamber of Commerce and who knows what else is on the horizons. Mayor Mandy Martin provides a candid assessment of the proposed Sharpshooter cannabis operation, along with her hardened resolve to deal with illegal marijuana grow-ops scattered across the township. The interview is not only about issues. Continue Reading →

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Cobourg police chief calls for all hands on deck to fight drug epidemic

So, for our first show of 2020, it seemed like a good idea to revisit one of the more significant stories in Northumberland: the ongoing battle with drugs across the county. Following a number of key arrests over the past few months, plus a shocking announcement regarding a more deadly form of drug suspected to be in our region, it is appropriate to talk once more about the state of the opioid situation and some of the developing issues that have come forward since July when we began examining what was going on. Certainly, a lot has happened and there is a more vocal public debate taking place since then. Back in July, then Deputy Chief Paul Vandegraff sat in this same chair across from me and we talked about opioids. It was the first of a series of interviews done by Consider This around the emerging situation. Continue Reading →

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