Volume 10 Week 10

Friday, Feb. 23


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette


Monette's pronouncements amount to little more than grandstanding

In case anybody is still wondering why I'm running for city council, you need only to have witnessed yesterday's city council meeting and saw our elected officials posture and pontificate over what to do with the $30 million infrastructure stimulus surplus they've been left with to get a clear picture why.

If you have already seen the trailer for the movie "Piranha", you should have a pretty good idea of what it was like. There's nothing more riveting or revolting than watching a group of politicians who are up for re-election fight over so called "free" money.

My opponent in this fall's municipal election was one of the first councillors out of the gate. Not only did he want a crack at the $12 million leftover from a list of staff recommendations totalling $18 million, but he wanted the entire list reviewed.

He then announced that he wants the money to bury the wires along St. Joseph Blvd. and widen Trim Road, which begs the obvious question, "Why didn't he try to get the money for those projects the first time around?" The answer is simple -- he blew it.

Instead of getting $2.5 million to bury the wires on St. Joseph, he got $2.5 million to build a roundabout, and instead of asking for the money to widen and realign Trim Road between Hwy. 174 and Innes, he asked for $15 million to widen Trim Rd. between Innes and the Blackburn Bypass Extension which the province and the feds turned down.

Monette's pronouncements yesterday amount to little more than grandstanding. For one thing there's not enough money left in the kitty to complete even one third of the Trim Road widening, and for another, the rest of city council isn't about to give him another $6 million to bury the wires along St. Joseph Blvd. after they have already given him an extra $800,000 to complete the roundabout.

Instead of trying to make himself out as the defender of Orléans, he's managed to turn a spotlight on his failure to look after the needs of local residents when the city put together its infrastructure stimulus wishlist.

The mere fact that the east end only received four per cent of the Infrastructure Stimulus Funding despite the fact we account for 18 per cent of the city's population is outrageous. That statistic alone should be argument enough to give the entire $12 million in leftover stimulus money to the residents of Orléans.

Unfortunately, Mr. Monette is still adamant that we got our fair share. To argue that we should get even more now, would mean admitting that he failed to get our fair share in the first place..

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)


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