THUNDER BAY – City Council is working through the 2012 Budget. The issue of golf courses and the conservatory have come up. Current River Councillor Andrew Foulds states, “This is another example of a much broader and systemic issue –the attack on public services. First it was golf, now we are talking about the conservatory, what’s next? This appears to be the slow erosion of public services. I feel very strongly that public services benefit everyone even if they don’t directly use a particular service”.
“When we pool our tax dollars it allows all of us to benefit from economies of scale,” continued Foulds. “We all get far more benefit than we pay. We fund a suite of different services and facilities including the complex, the auditorium, public services such as golf and the conservatory, outdoor rinks, parks, libraries, recycling, arenas, ballfields, public art, EMS, fire, police, water, garbage, snow plowing, sidewalk plowing, roads, road maintenance, there are many more – initiatives that fight poverty, racism, crime, economic development, protect the environment etc.
“Golf and the conservatory that make this community more attractive, more liveable and enjoyable. It creates a richer experience for people that live here and in particular our green spaces are the envy of the province. Throughout our lives our use of public services change – that’s natural. Our interests changes and so do our needs. We may never use a particular services but others do and we have to acknowledge that that is ok,” stated Foulds.
“This will be a difficult decison for Council, the public must voice their concerns to Council. There is a facebook site dedicated to saving the conservatory. There are some very interesting suggestions including re-building it perhaps in partnership with a another facility at the waterfront. I think this is an interesting concept and should be explored further,” stated Foulds.
“I don’t understand this current attack on services, according to our citizens satisfaction survey over 70 % of people feel they get value for their tax dollars. 86 % are satisfied or very satisfied with service. This attack on services threatens the vary fabric that makes this community great. As a councillor I am interest in building a greater community not dismantling it. I am proud of the services and facilities we provide, and I am proud of the service delivery. We must continue to strive for continual improvement and responsibility – if we do this – Thunder Bay will continue to be a great place to live, work and play.” concluded the Current River Councillor.