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Title - The View from Dundas
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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
What do you want from Government?
Phillip Blancher
OurHometown.ca

What do you want from Government?
Every year, many groups come cap-in-hand to municipal councils across the counties and in Cornwall, akin to Oliver Twist asking "please sir, may I have some more". Some groups have good ideas or goals such as literacy, improving health, or preserving our heritage. Others I feel are not worthy at all. Arts, culture, sports programs and the like.
PHOTO CREDIT - Dickens2012.org

South Dundas - January 23, 2012 - It is budget season across the country and government at every level is deciding what they are going to spend your money on for this year. Both the Federal and Provincial governments are struggling with high-deficits due to declining revenues and the spat of infrastructure spending to "stimulate the economy". Meanwhile municipal governments are eying increases to property tax, and savoring the automatic increase on everyone's tax bill due to rising MPAC assessment values of properties. Locally a citizen's group in Cornwall has called for a tax rate decrease, or at least a freeze, in part because of the rising assessment revenue. Instead, Cornwall City Council is planning on a tax increase above and beyond the assessment increase. In the end there is only one taxpayer and it comes down to this, what do you really want from government?

What I want, is the least amount of government involved with my life as possible. I am a firm believer that government should only do the jobs that we as individuals or families cannot feasibly do on their own. Can I build a road, maintain that road and clean that road of snow? I could but it would not be feasible, so I pay taxes for that to be done for me. Can I put out (large) fires, or enforce the laws of the country on my own? Can I defend the country from threats from terrorists and foreign powers? Can I be a doctor, and heal my family? The answer to all of those is no.

Boil all those points down and you have a pretty short list of things I think government should do. Anything above and beyond those basic necessities and functions are entitlements and I disagree with funding entitlements to any groups that it does not benefit everyone as a whole.

Every year, many groups come cap-in-hand to municipal councils across the counties and in Cornwall, akin to Oliver Twist asking "please sir, may I have some more". Some groups have good ideas or goals such as literacy, improving health, or preserving our heritage. Others I feel are not worthy at all. Arts, culture, sports programs and the like. All are sacred-cows of funding programs and all should have zero funding from government. If the users of said programs are willing to pay to use them, then they should be around. If people are not willing to pay to use a program or service, those items should not exist. If someone is unable to pay then there can be mechanisms in place for those.

It is time that government uses common sense when dealing with financial matters and remember who ultimately pays the bill. Us.


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