Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Greater Sudbury city council candidates.
Many of you say you’ll go to Toronto to get money for us. You’d sell our assets to raise money. You’ll tax us to raise money. Basically you’re saying we need more money.
The problem is, we have no more money. The tax base for this city is being gutted by taxes and fees with little room to expand and invest in our economy.
People are paying extremely high fees to build their homes, to develop their businesses and are hitting walls thicker and harder than brick walls of red tape.
Instead of saying “we need to throw more money at our problems,” how about we try to approach our problems differently? Offer us solutions that don’t involve taxes or grand legacy projects that would be a burden on our budget.
For example, cut back on the red tape. Encourage a diverse economic base. This is Sudbury, it’s a rail and highway hub. How about we help develop the economic base there? Work with our universities to bring students here and keep them here.
Develop indoor projects for our children that don’t cost $50 a child. Encourage the science and research base here for all, not those with a considerable disposable income.
People want to shoot movies here. Let’s do our best to encourage it. Farming is getting more and more easy here. Let’s help people get farms.
Our lakes are getting poisoned every year. Let’s crack down on lakeside development and pass bylaws restricting what can be laid down on the grass by the lakes.
Let’s make it easier to throw festivals here. Let’s make housing more affordable for those who live on disability.
Let’s make the contracts for roads tighter. If the roads don’t meet certain conditions, then we don’t pay. That would force the companies doing road maintenance to strive to do better to stay in business.
We need to try new approaches. We need to be flexible and not so strict and to the letter.
We need to try something different. Instead of bashing other people’s ideas, how about we take the best of those ideas and see if they work. Why? Because we’re broke and we need to stop throwing money around.