Site Search

Respond to Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor do not allow comments.  If you wish to disagree or otherwise respond to a letter, you have the option of also writing a letter to the Editor. Rules here.

Surveys

The Town of Cobourg, Northumberland County and other organizations in Cobourg have Surveys from time to time.  There's a list here.

Google Ad

Covid-19

The latest updates on Covid-19 in Cobourg can be found on this special page here.

Letters to the Editor

A collection of Letters sent to the Editor of Cobourg News Blog.

Notification of new letters is sent to subscribers of Blog posts at 8:00 pm. 

To send a letter to the editor get details on this page

Be sure to click "Read More" or the title of the article to see the complete Letter.

 

The 2022 draft budget currently shows an approximate 10% increase to the tax levy. Council has difficult decisions to make prioritizing the items in the budgeted spending. It is a difficult and momentous task. I thank you for your hard work and dedication on this.

I ask that Council put people first during your budget review. People matter and your decisions need to reflect their impact on those who are most vulnerable.

Here are some observations and suggestions that may help in the process.

With so many people struggling with increasing costs, a tax increase will make it more challenging for many, especially seniors and low-income residents, to survive. Council has the ability to have the most effect on peoples’ lives. I urge you to focus on prioritizing those items that help those most at risk to survive. Let people know that their well-being is important to you.

At the writing of this letter, COP 26, the 2021 UN International Conference on the Environment is over ... but questions remain. Will the pledges made by some 200 governments to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius Degrees amount to anything? ... or are they just more "blah, blah, blah!" as predicted by that cheeky young upstart, Greta Thunberg (and reiterated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson).

COP 26 was all about change in the commitments, policies, and programmes of governments and corporations. What is more important to our collective Future, and what was beyond COP26, is whether or not each of us is willing to change the conduct of our daily lives. Our choices determine the behaviour of governments and the success or failure of corporations.

Can we change or are we committed to consuming more?, building bigger houses more?, traveling more?, loving ourselves and our pleasures more? ... and do we do so at the expense of all other forms of life on Earth more? If the answer is "yes" (or at least a shrug of the shoulders), are we not sowing the seeds of a chaotic Future for our children more, if not our own demise as a species more?

Understanding the local economic impacts demand that our Elected Representatives act.

Several noted Economists have been sounding the alarm bells over the declining Labour Participation forecasts coming from organizations such as Statistics Canada. While I don't consider myself an Economist, I instruct university-level business courses that demand some basic understanding of the subject. The simple definition of Labour Force participants means that those 15 years and over who are employed full-time, part-time or unemployed but looking for work. The simple benchmark for worry in Labour Participation is when rates fall near or below 60%.

On a national basis the labour participation rates peaked in 2008 at 68% and have been in steady decline since. I think most Canadians are conscious of the aging of our population as the so called Boomer generation reaches retirement age. The current national rate is closer to 65%. There is a multiplier effect when someone leaves the workforce; not only is revenue and productivity lost, but a social expense is created. Unlike those who might experience unemployment, they don't usually return. Ever.

The Cobourg 2022 operations budget was released on Friday October 22, 2021. This, along with the accelerated budget review/approval schedule, are a welcome improvement over past budget timetables.

There is a serious problem however. The 2021 YTD actual comparative data are as at October 19, 2021 and do not represent a full year of operation's activity. Granted, the actual data can only be up to the publication day (Oct 19), but the provided numbers are largely useless for budget comparative purposes. This significantly hinders Council's ability to properly evaluate staff's proposed budget and fulfil its statutory oversight mandate.

A possible means to mitigate the problem is to follow the best practices of many private sector firms.

Google Ad