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LETTER: Does Midland's future involve only cops and condos?

Letter writer expresses concerns abut the direction the town is heading - from how little it spends on parks and gardens to how much it spends on law and order
2020-06-16-Midland
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Every once in a while, there’s a moment of coincidence or serendipity or something in which a number of pieces of information come together in a way that seems especially meaningful. They used to call it an “ah-ha moment.” I had one of these yesterday while reading the Globe and Mail and MidlandToday.

For several years, I’ve noticed a kind of shift in focus and a tightening in Midland. It’s somewhat hard to define, but the direction of the Town seems less toward improving the lives of the citizens. There are more policies and procedures and grand projects and boards and fewer things that make our lives happier.

I’ve seen the Town start to remove the covered garbage cans that dog-walkers rely on in the winter. Too expensive.

Someone donated trees to a park near us, but the Town said they couldn’t afford to water them and some died.

The number of gardeners in Town was reduced to save money and the one person left couldn’t keep up. Too pricey to look good.

The Town wisely bought back the Unimin lands, but refuses to entertain any plan that makes them available to the public. Everything is about money.

Waypoint Centre was originally the Boys Reformatory in Penetanguishene in 1859. It was here before the Town of Midland. People have been without homes for millennia. Neither is new.

Still, when our neighbours who have had a mental illness live in Midland or when someone becomes homeless here, council has decided that it’s a huge, new problem. One that apparently needs to be solved by law and order.

In Monday’s Globe and Mail, Tom Cardoso and Molly Hayes wrote an article describing some research they did into the amounts that Canadian municipalities spend on policing. Interesting article, but let me cut to the chase.

Midland has won an odd honour. We are the municipality in Ontario that spends the highest proportion of its budget on policing. The highest. We once won an award for having the prettiest gardens in the province. Forget the gardens, now it’s law and order, I guess.

Well, the hand-writing is on the wall. Forget having enough staff to keep up the parks. Forget expanding our public green space. In fact, forget parks and beaches and public spaces. All too pricy. Nope, rather than being a great place to live, Midland has a new future filled with cops and condos.

Richard Wackerlin
Midland

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