Life as a politician is never boring. I would like to share with you one of the things I have learned over the years. 99.9% of politicians were first your community volunteers. You can tell right away those who were not involved, and they are few and far between.
The 99.9 percent come with a need to serve; they care more about the task at hand than the recognition. Serving is their driver and I am honoured to work among them.
I try to answer every email and phone call right away, I am terrified I will forget or miss responding for I believe the person deserves a response even if the response is not what they were seeking. It is also my job to explain why the response is what it is.
Being the Chair of TAPMO has led to some interesting times. I am also a Co-Chair of TAPMO/OSSGA Committee (TOP AGGREGATE PRODUCING MUNICIPALITIES OF ONTARIO/ONTARIO STONE SAND AND GRAVEL). What I have come to learn over the years is that Aggregate is a necessity, and if your municipality has it, then there is an impact upon the community. I have also learned that you cannot wish or fight it away. Aggregate is a three way partnership between Municipalities, Aggregate Industry and the Province. Fighting one another is costly and there seems to be no winners, only animosity.
In striving to work with the system, I have requested the Province allow Municipal Bylaw the power of enforcement of the Provincial regulations in regards to Aggregate. I am requesting that .01 cent per tonne to be levied to help pay for the bylaw to enforce the rules. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests does not have the time or resources to enforce the industry and in the lack of enforcement, there is a breakdown in the system and the regulations. I believe the municipalities can help to fill the gap for the betterment of all. I should state here that OSSGA supports this initiative which helps our case along. As I stated in my opening sentence, life is never boring.
As a board member of SWIFT (Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology), I am pleased to see the progress as we move into Phase 2, with the launching of three areas. Things are progressing and over the next 4 years the areas under the SWIFT mandate should have the necessary internet. I know, it is about time, but we are getting there. It is nearly within our grasp.
It is an honour to serve the people, it is an honour to work with such people who serve on the Townships and Cities Council and it is an honour to be a part of and serve with Regional Council and our amazing Chair Karen Redman. I wish you could see their drive and dedication. It is humbling.
Working together we are better, we are stronger.