In these final days of summer, my neighbours in South Bruce are looking forward to a good harvest of corn and soybeans, and to the upcoming municipal election. Around here, municipal elections tend to be sleepy affairs with lower than 50% voter turn-out. The average voter may complain occasionally about taxes, but other than that, we trust that the Council and the administration have our backs, and are taking care of the business of local government.
This year’s election may be a bit different. It seems Rita Groen and the yellow sign crowd have decided to run a full slate of candidates. As David Wood indicated in a recent Facebook post, their goal is to capture four seats on Council (giving them a majority). This would allow them to effectively euthanize the process to host Canada’s Deep Geological Repository (DGR), a process they’ve been dead against for the past couple of years. I can’t speak for local opponents of the DGR, but I’m guessing they see this as a one-issue election, a sort of mini-referendum on the future of the DGR.
For my part, I don’t see it that way.
Our Council deals with a lot more than one single project, and I think they deserve a great deal of credit for toiling away tirelessly on behalf of the rest of us, making decisions on infrastructure, bylaw enforcement, waste and recycling, utilities – you name it. It’s an important and sometimes thankless job, and my hat is off to those who give up their evenings, weekends and days off, often despite running their own farms and businesses, or holding down a full-time job.
Municipal government is serious business, and our candidates deserve both our respect and our support. The first and most important way we can show our support (other than paying the tax bill) is by getting informed, and getting out to vote. Are you on the voter’s list? If you’re not sure, call the municipal office at 519-392-6623 (or the applicable number in your municipality). Encourage your friends, neighbours and relatives 18 and older to participate.
We are so privileged to live in this beautiful little corner of Ontario. Let’s do our part to support the democratic process, and help ensure we have a strong, RESPONSIBLE municipal government.
Tony Zettel, RR5 Mildmay