A disturbing occurrence at Council Tuesday evening left me shaking my head. What just happened? More important, what didn’t happen? I don’t know, and apparently neither did the Councillors.
There was a motion before Council that read as follows:
“That the Council of The Corporation of the City of Thorold consents to the passage of By-law No. 2017-21 of the Regional Municipality of Niagara, being a by-law to provide Niagara Region with the non-exclusive authority to establish, operate and maintain an inter-municipal passenger transportation system for the Niagara Region, be supported.”
Seems straight forward, right? Wrong. As Councillor Longo would point out, after he read the motion, what do we know about this plan we’re approving? Most important of all, what is it going to cost us?
The answer, coming from Regional Councillor D’Angela, who was there to help guide through a couple of initiatives, was a firm we don’t know. In effect, he said that the numbers hadn’t been crunched as yet and they were just looking for permission.
“It just might cost us less,” commented Mayor Luciani. “And it might cost us more,” Councillor Longo rejoined.
Good for Councillor Longo. He pointed out the huge hole in this request. My next question, then, is for him. Why did you just roll over a join the rest of Council in making it a unimous vote to support?
Nobody wants to be seen as opposing public transit these days, especially since the Regional Powers-That-Be keep pointing out that we can’t expect GO service if Niagara doesn’t have transit itself. In fact, I’m not against public transit myself, but my support isn’t infinite or unconditional, especially as far as my tax dollars are concerned. But this isn’t entirely about transit. It’s about surrendering the reigns without knowing what it’s going to cost. If you had someone come to your door about replacing your roof, would you say OK after he tells you that he doesn’t know what it’ll cost? Just sign the contract and then we’ll figure it out? Not at my house, as much as I might need a new roof.
I hope we don’t see any more of this nonsense in the future. It would still be bad if they said OK not noticing that there was no price tag, but not as bad as when it’s pointed out and then still went ahead.