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Municipal Roundup

Fri Nov 11, 2005 Miss Vicky 

It was a big week here in the Nation's capital.... there's so much to blog about, I feel a bit scattered. Do I hold forth on the municipal budget? Continue with the policing theme? Discuss the last ditch attempt to pass a pesticide bylaw? Bemoan the first snowflakes? Speculate on the seemingly-unavoidable transit strike? Debate the Commonwealth games bid? The election-call shenanigans on the Hill?

I figure there will be plenty of time to blog about the budget. Councillors' consultations start next week (Kitchissippi's is on Wednesday at the Hintonburg Community Centre, 7pm). So far the most controversial proposal is to remove recycling and garbage to a separate utility bill. Fair enough - it adds some transparency, which I think citizens will appreciate. But it certainly doesn't reduce the overall tax rate - it only transforms some services into a separate user fee. It will be interesting to hear what people think of this and other budget highlights and lowlights (like the police service's whopping proposed increase) at next week's meeting.

As for pesticides, the outcome of this week's debate was hardly surprising. The so-called compromise bylaw was a bit messy, this gave the opponents (and even some supporters of the ban) plenty of ammunition to remain steadfastly against it. Frankly, I'm disappointed at our councillor's stand, which seemed to dismiss any public health concerns and the experience of other communities. It is a little frustrating that this is likely to be a burning issue in the election, but if that's the case, then so be it.

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