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Title - The View from Dundas
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Do we need to fund tourism?
By Phillip Blancher
OurHometown.ca

Do we need to fund tourism?
Do we, we as in taxpayers, need to fund tourism promotion in Cornwall and SDG? Are we now at the time that groups, like Cornwall and the Counties Tourism need to fund themselves and not rely on tax money to survive? In the case of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, why should non-tourism-based businesses in Cornwall and SDG have their taxation fund promotion for tourism-based businesses? That does not seem fair.
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South Dundas - March 19, 2015 - Do we, we as in taxpayers, need to fund tourism promotion in Cornwall and SDG? Are we now at the time that groups, like Cornwall and the Counties Tourism need to fund themselves and not rely on tax money to survive?

The need for financial restraint at the municipal level is clear. Core services are costing more and in the cases of Police, EMS, and Insurance, the municipality is unable to control the increases being sought. Core services are just that, core. The really important things that all residents of the municipality really need. Municipal governments, no matter where they are located, need to focus on providing the core services, everything else is just extra, in diminishing priority based on the number of people in the municipality served.

In the case of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, why should non-tourism-based businesses in Cornwall and SD&G have their taxation fund promotion for tourism-based businesses? That does not seem fair. When you are using tax money, everyone should be represented equally. Any service or funding provided should benefit the entire tax base. That means that either all businesses should be promoted, or none.

Tourism promotion should be funded by those businesses and attractions which are the beneficiary of said promotion. As many of these businesses and attractions promote themselves already, paying into a promotion fund like Cornwall & the Counties Tourism, should be strictly voluntary. Government-owned tourist attractions should pay towards this promotion on a case-by-case basis only.

This funding model should apply to any niche group, in any municipality; from the arts, culture, tourism, agriculture, etc. Unless the mandate of the group covers the entire municipality, there should be no taxpayer funding or subsidy.

In the case of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, yes funding should be cut by $50,000 this year from the City of Cornwall. Next year, funding from the United Counties of SD&G and from the City of Cornwall should be planned for a phase-out over a one or two year period while they look for a new funding mechanism. Taxpayers cannot afford this, and municipal politicians should just focus on the core services and initiatives that serve the entire municipality they represent.

Follow Me on TwitterPhillip Blancher is a writer, web geek and communications professional by trade. He has written for a number of publications in Eastern Ontario and Northern New York State and also was a weekly morning show contributor for two area radio stations. As a resident of South Dundas for the last seven years, this long-time political buff has taken on an appreciation of small-town/rural life while also being a father of four and a soccer coach. Blancher's columns on OurHometown.ca will cover a range of his interests from politics, parenthood, local history and on his favourite NHL team, the Buffalo Sabres. If you have questions or wish to contact Phillip, you can email him at pblancher@ourhometown.ca






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