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LETTER: Municipalities need the power to say 'the buck stops here'

'We need to give municipalities the legal and financial tools to be able to ensure the safety, well-being and success of all residents,' reader says
2020-02-21-Midland-Townhall
The Town of Midland administrative building. File photo.

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at andrew@midlandtoday.ca. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response

Dear Editor,

An important point I was trying to make during the Town of Midland public meeting about the 2022 budget that got lost in the minutiae of the budget is the need for the town (and municipalities) to say ‘The Buck Stops Here.’

The truth is though, at the present time the town (and municipalities, in general) neither have the funding nor mandate to be able to hold the province, federal government or county to account when they fail in meeting the needs of residents in their jurisdiction, and to fill in the gaps when they exist.

I believe, at least in Midland, there would be the will to do so, as I indicated in my previous letter to the editor. I believe council have made the best effort possible during the second year of the most difficult economic and health event of our lifetimes.

I believe the tier of municipality closest to residents (the ‘lowest tier of government) is best placed to meet these needs should they be given the ability, mandate, and even obligation to do so. As has been said, municipalities are the bulwark of the Canadian democracy and we need to treat them as such, not as an afterthought.

To reiterate, we need to give municipalities the legal and financial tools to be able to ensure the safety, well-being and success of all residents, and even to make that a realistically achievable obligation for municipal governments.

Let’s ensure municipalities can say “The Buck Stops Here”.

Daniel Dickinson

Midland