To: Puslinch Council Members.
I want to thank you for putting on a professional meeting last night [Jan 21st] in regards to our local budget. It was clear, concise and thoughtfully put together for us all to follow and understand. By the large number of people that attended this meeting it shows us there are huge concerns we all have about how and where our tax dollars are being spent in our Township at this time. The people of not only Puslinch but across our Country are frightened, apprehensive and uncertain about our economy and our ability to continue to afford our standard of living. As we all know Hydro prices seem to rise consistently, food prices are rising to levels never seen before, experts are predicting the Canadian dollar to dip below the 60 cent mark this year ( Macquarie forecasts ). Just to name a few items that we all have to deal with on a daily basis and rightfully stress us all out in order to find a way to pay for everything at the end of each month.
I personally believe investing in proper infrastructure projects, such as road maintenance and improvements is a vital investment starting on the local level but also Provincial and Federal levels. The Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, tabled in the Ontario Legislature on November 26, indicated on page 113 that the Government plans to spend $2.466 billion on provincial highway infrastructure this year. In the fall economic statement, the Minister of Finance also committed the Provincial Government to spending $134 billion on infrastructure over the next 10 years. The new Federal Government is also promising to spend billions on new infrastructure projects. We as a Township and a Nation need to make sure our infrastructure is in place and maintained in order for us to grow in the future.
The Township needs to take a long hard look at everything and decide what is urgent, and needs to spend our tax dollars on right now. We all want wonderful things for our great Township but we have to ask ourselves two simple questions. Can we afford it ? Do we really need it at this time?
As you all know I participated in the Morriston Streetscape Study with the help of our local Council, Wellington County Planning Department, OPP, MTO and our MPP. We have to ask ourselves some tough questions at this time. Do we proceed with the installations of the recommended items suggested in the study? Can we afford it at this time ? I am in favour of creating “road calming” measures through the Morriston / Aberfoyle corridor to make them look like proper villages once again, but above all to try and prevent traffic accidents from happening. We at this time have to now ask the tough question, can we as a Township afford to continue with this initiative?
I urge Council at this time to look at all the suggested items and projects proposed in the up coming 2016 budget and honestly answer these two important questions. Before we go on a path where Puslinch Ontario will just become a place for the rich to live and the rest of us might have to move because we cannot afford to live here any longer. We have to be aware of our aging and fixed income population that are now struggling to make ends meet.
I appreciate Council for giving us the opportunity to express our concerns and questions on these important matters.