An open letter to Mike Harris, premier of Ontario.
This letter is sent to you in regards to the consultation meeting on Bill 152, held in Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 28, 1997.
I found it quite upsetting and I had to attend a legislative hearing 950 kms from my home town. It is obvious to myself and our community that this government does not wish to hear the concerns of its Northwestern Ontario citizens.
While I did attend this meeting, it was apparent the Progressive Conservative members of the panel were inattentive, argumentative, and had an antagonistic attitude toward any citizen presenting a position opposite to that the current government.
The opportunity to present our case in regards to the “downloading" of provincial costs to our municipalities was appreciated but we fear it was of no avail. Again, this is another effort on behalf of your legislative policies to suppress the truth about "downloading” and shout out those who oppose your policies.
Bill 152 affects all our community members directly. American-styled ambulances, septic, sewage, public housing, water, and public health units are the wave of this governments future. All will have service fees, as no municipality in Northwestern Ontario can afford to provide these without substantially increasing everyone's property taxes.
Mr. Hampton, leader of the NDP of Ontario, requested that you hold hearings for this bill in Thunder Bay to hear our northwestern communities' reaction but you chose to ignore the north again.
It seems we are too far from the hub of the universe to count.
James Bujold, Paramedic
CUPE Local 795