The Northern Pen newspaper reports, “$4 Million Earmarked for Northern Peninsula” in today’s edition.
In recent weeks the Government has made several spending announcements across the province in the weeks leading up to the upcoming Fall election.
Timing is certainly everything….and Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is overdue payment. The $4 Million is certainly appreciated as it helps Town address some local concerns. However, the dollar value announced for the Great Northern Peninsula does not go far enough – further investments are needed.
Many Towns and communities on the Great Northern Peninsula are challenged with smaller populations and fewer businesses, resulting in a smaller tax base to draw upon revenues. This makes it even more challenging for small rural municipalities to provide basic services, such as chlorinated water and snow clearing, as well as being able to maintain eroding infrastructure. Even coming up with a 10% share can be a constant battle. A one-time increase to municipal operating grants needs a review, especially for small rural Towns.
I’ve driven through many Towns on the Great Northern Peninsula and it is evident their roads are not of comparable standards to those of Local Service Districts and other unincorporated communities. Organized Towns have property taxpayers; they should not see a reduction of services and have to drive over less superior roads.
It is fortunate through an Amalgamation MOU between the Town of Roddickton and the Town of Bide-Arm that they would see road improvements. On June 19, 2011 I was one of first to drive through Bide-Arm passing by James Randell & Sons and not feel the washboard effect from the potholes. I slowly crawled over freshly laid pavement. This pavement is long overdue, a sign of progress. It may lead to new business developments, enhanced visitation to current businesses/attractions and increased housing starts.
Small to medium-sized businesses are the drivers in the rural economies. We should give further consideration to providing them with more incentives to set-up in Towns of rural regions, adding to the local economy and creating jobs. Our tax dollars should be strategically invested and not just handed to large consortiums, oil giants and other large-scale companies. Small Towns need additional operating grants.
The Great Northern Peninsula will see further progress by working together. We may have a small population, but we are big on ideas with a tonne of heart. If we work together we will be heard, make good decisions and prosper as a region.
Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP Candidate for the Straits- White Bay North would like to meet with Municipalities, Local Service Disctricts, Local Commitees, Non-Profits, Local Business and Residents. We as the NDP are here to listen and work with the people of the district to find answers to your issues and concerns.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore E: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter/LiveRuralNL